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Overnight heavy rain has caused the Don River to spill its banks sending water onto parts of the lower end of the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, May 29, 2013. The highway was closed between Bloor Street and the Gardiner Expressway. At 8 a.m. the waters were receding, leaving mud that made the highway look more like a beach than a roadway. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)
Overnight heavy rain has caused the Don River to spill its banks sending water onto parts of the lower end of the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto, May 29, 2013. The highway was closed between Bloor Street and the Gardiner Expressway. At 8 a.m. the waters were receding, leaving mud that made the highway look more like a beach than a roadway. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

Heavy rainfall leaves Toronto thoroughfares washed out Add to ...

One of Toronto’s busiest commuter arteries has reopened in both directions after being shut down overnight by some of the severest flooding ever seen on the roadway.

The Don Valley Parkway was closed at around 5 a.m., shortly before the beginning of the morning rush hour, which brings tens of thousands of drivers into Toronto from points east.

The southbound lanes were back to normal by around 9:30 a.m., and the northbound lanes reopened about half an hour later.

All lanes between the Gardiner Expressway and the Bayview/Bloor exit were closed after the Don River overflowed its banks, leaving behind water up to a metre deep, and motorists scrambling for alternate routes.

The waters are now subsiding and a cleanup of the debris left behind is under way, police said.

In all, Toronto and the area north received up to 60 millimetres of rain before the downpour eased at around 6 a.m.

No injuries or serious traffic accidents were reported.

The shutdown on the DVP was not the only disruption. Other road closures included the intersection of Jane Street and Wilson Avenue in northwest of the city, and a section of Torbram Road near Steeles Avenue in Brampton.

As well, a section of GO Transit train track was under water for a while in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, shutting down service at the Oriole and Old Cummer stations.

Sporadic rain showers are expected during the rest of the day but no more heavy rain is anticipated in the Toronto area, Environment Canada said.

Toronto city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong praised the way the flooding was handled.

“Our system did work, our staff responded very quickly and effectively,” he said, after civic officials were briefed by authorities.

“We didn’t see this coming.”

The councillor said Mayor Rob Ford’s office received 200 calls Wednesday morning from people affected by the flood.

“It’s pretty much across the board,” he said. “North York got a significant number of issues.”

The mayor did not attend the morning’s flood briefing.

With a report from Katrina Sieniuc.

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