Kenneth C. Edwards

Section 31, Lot 358
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

On the evening of Friday, October 15, 1954 a Caribbean-born storm called Hurricane Hazel regained strength as it crossed Lake Ontario and began battering an unsuspecting Metropolitan Toronto and the surrounding communities. One of the areas hardest hit was Weston and in particular Raymore Drive, a quiet residential street that flanked the west bank of the Humber River. As the storm raged, the normally swift but controlled waters of the river quickly turned into an uncontrollable torrent. Without warning the footings under the west end of the concrete pedestrian bridge south of Lawrence Avenue gave way, the structure fell into the river and began deflecting much of the river’s flow onto Raymore Drive. Suddenly, houses were being swept away and within minutes most of the street had vanished. One of the houses that was missing was number 148 and with it nine of its inhabitants. The victims included Ken and Joan Edwards and three of their children. The mother and father and three-year-old Caloric are buried here. The two other Edwards youngsters, Frank and John, also drowned, but their bodies were never recovered. In addition, Ken’s sister, Jean Neil, and her three children, Darlene (fours years old), Susan (three years), and Adele (23 months) also drowned and are buried here as well.

Recovery of many of the victims took time and while seven members of the two families were buried on October 20, Darlene’s funeral didn’t take place until the 25th and Ken’s was a week after that. In all 91 Toronto-area people died as a result of the unwelcome visit of “Hurricane Hazel.” Hundreds more were left homeless and more that $100 million in property damage was inflicted on the community.

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded