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Notable Canadian Tropical Cyclones


1775 – The Newfoundland Hurricane (also called the Independence Hurricane)

More than 4000 mariners lost, mostly off the coast of Newfoundland. It has been speculated that this storm was a turning point in the American Revolution because most lives lost were British sailors.

1869 – The Saxby Gale

A powerful post-tropical storm that coincided with a perigean spring tide (on a new moon) causing extensive flooding from storm surge in the Bay of Fundy. The isthmus between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was almost completely under water. Hundreds of lives and farms were lost.

1873 – The Great Nova Scotia Hurricane

Some historical records indicate as many as 500 lives (mostly sailors), 1200 boats and 900 homes were lost in Nova Scotia. An additional 100 lives were lost in Newfoundland.

1900 – The Galveston Hurricane

Between 52 and 232 lives were lost from the remnants of the Great Galveston Hurricane after it crossed eastern Canada. The large discrepancy between confirmed and unconfirmed deaths is almost entirely in the numbers of missing people fromSt. Pierre, just south of Newfoundland.

1924, 1926, 1927 – The Great August Gales

Following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the first (1927), third (1926) and sixth (1924) deadliest tropical cyclones for Canada were the “August Gales” of the 1920s. Together these three storms claimed 276 lives, mostly mariners.

1935 – Newfoundland Hurricane

This little-known hurricane was the first one off the Atlantic season of 1935 and killed 49 Newfoundlanders (15 unconfirmed or missing in the marine community).

1951 – Tropical Storm Audrey

This deadly tropical storm claimed 5 lives in Ontario and 10 in Quebec (Quebec’s worst tropical cyclone encounter). Twelve of the deaths were the result of storm-induced automobile accidents.

1954 – Hurricane Hazel

Canada’s most remembered hurricane claimed the lives of 81 people in southern Ontario (mostly Toronto) from the flooding rainfalls.

1959 – The Great Escuminac Disaster

An early-season storm hit the Gulf of St. Lawrence in June of 1959 and stalled, bringing high winds, high surge and heavy seas. This storm claimed the lives of 35 New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island fishermen.

1991 – The Halloween Storm (also called The Perfect Storm by Sebastien Junger)

Seven lives were claimed by one of strangest storms on record--one that formed from the combination of a remnant hurricane and a powerful mid-latitude storm. Phenomenal seas claimed all of the lives.

2003 – Hurricane Juan

Halifax, Nova Scotia, was a direct hit for this true “storm of the century.” Agriculture specialists estimate that 50–100 million trees came down in Nova Scotia in two hours (one million in Halifax alone), including 90% of the mature growth of Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park. Eight lives were lost in Canada with Juan: two in automobiles, two in a boat, three in a house fire (started by candles during the power outage), and one in the relief work weeks after the storm.

2010 - Hurricane Igor

Hurricane Igor was the worst storm of tropical origin to hit Newfoundland in 75 years. Excessive rainfall and hurricane force winds lead to the toppling of many trees, power outages, structural damage to buildings, widespread flooding from overflowing streams, and many roads being washed out.

Many communities on the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas were isolated as their only access road was completely cut. One man died when his driveway washed away taking him with it. For the first time in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, schools were closed for rain and wind a day in advance of the storm.


Major Hurricanes (Categories 3–5) in Canadian Waters since 1950
1975GladysOctoberScotian Slopes
1978EllaSeptemberSouth East waters
1982DebbieSeptemberSouth East waters
2004AlexAugustEast Scotian Slope
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