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Hurricane Hazel: Canada's Storm of the Century Paperback – Aug 3 2004

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Aug. 3 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550025260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550025262
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 0.6 x 22.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #304,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Of interest to history buffs and storm junkies, Hurricane Hazel: Canada's Storm of the Century ... is Jim Gifford's homage to one of the worst natural disasters to hit Toronto."

(Quill and Quire 2004-09-01)

"Hurricane Hazel is a deftly-woven, heart-wrenching tale that sweeps readers through remembered history of the night, or drops those who were too young for the experience into the horror of massive detritus, death and disease."

(Destinations and Discoveries Reviews 2004-01-01)

On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel battered southern Ontario, leaving in its wake a terrible toll: thousands homeless, million in property damage, and, worst of all, 81 people dead. Hazel destroyed bridges, submerged towns, and drowned unsuspecting Ontarians in their homes and cars. Raymore Drive in Weston was decimated when the Humber River swelled by eight feet, taking the lives of 32 residents in only one hour. In Etobicoke, five volunteer firemen drowned while trying to reach marooned motorists. Towns and villages from Toronto north to Timmins felt Hazel's fury.

After the storm, people walked the now-surreal streets of their towns: cars upside-down and wrapped in power lines, iceboxes and dead cows hanging from trees, houses flattened, toys and furniture floating down the street.

On the 50th anniversary of the storm, Jim Gifford has captured that fatal night in the voices of those who survived it, from residents who lived along the surging Humber River to a policeman who rescued families from their rooftops to firemen and Boy Scouts who searched for victims along the riverbanks. Including more than 100 never-before-published photographs, Hurricane Hazel: Canada's Storm of the Century documents one of the worst natural disasters in Canadian history.

About the Author

Jim Gifford is a freelance writer and a professional book editor. A frequent guest speaker in the publishing industry, he has written for several publications, including Where Toronto magazine and The Beaver. He teaches creative non-fiction at the University of Toronto. Gifford lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Nov. 12 2004
Format: Paperback
Top notch. I felt like I was there. I still do. Thankfully I wasn't. A fantastic account -- or should I say accounts. Stories of fear, of heroes, and the banding of strangers. This book will whisk you away. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book for my Dad, as he suffers from Dementia. He lived through this Hurricane, and it brought back a lot of memories, and even more stories. I did have a peek at the book, and the way the writer wrote it, it's like you were right there. Front & Center. This is NOT only a remarkable book, but also a devastating storm that changed many lives. The photos are unforgettable, and some of them(photos) show what Toronto looked like before the storm. I highly recommend this book, as part of the History of the People, and the Storm
that showed the know how & resiliency, of NOT only the People of the City of Toronto, But of a Community as well. Mr Gilford Brilliant!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1930b1c) out of 5 stars 1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa18cf210) out of 5 stars Disappointing April 29 2013
By TheSWalks - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up along the Gulf Coast and have seen the devastation caused by major storms such as Hurricanes Betsy, Camille, Andrew, Katrina, and numerous tropical waves or depressions. I was interested in how such a storm could impact a more interior region. This is less a well-researched, documented book and more a pictorial overview. There are too few first-hand accounts, the presented information seems randomly sparse, and the photos are grainy. It was too expensive. It would make an entertaining newspaper article.