Downtown Kingston Flooding, 1951

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Queen’s University Archives, George Lilley fonds, Locator V25.5 16-20.1

The past few weeks have been a little rough, with significant rains and overflowing river banks.  The unfortunate part about being surrounded by creeks and rivers is that the water has to go somewhere, and this has been a part of Kingston history for some time. This photo was taken after a massive 118 mm of rain poured down on our streets in 1951.  This flood, however, happened in early July, and this photograph is dated July 4th, 1951.  Much of Kingston was affected, although the highest water levels were reported on Princess Street, Queen Street, Wellington Street, and around Anglin Bay, with reports of water up to 45 cm deep, and water so high at some points that it reached the headlights of the cars.  1951 wasn’t Kingston’s only great flood however, the archives holds reports of flooding as old as 1890.  Let’s hope that the rain lets up enough to let the water levels subside!

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