[URBAN NOTE] “The day that Toronto floated above Lake Ontario in Buffalo”
The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait describes an unusual mirage, an manifestation of Toronto in the skies above Buffalo one hot summer day in August 1894.
Buffalo residents were treated to an unusual sight on Aug. 16, 1894: a detailed image of Toronto hovering over Lake Ontario.
Or rather, “a city in the air,” according to a November 1894 Arizona Republic newspaper article.
For about an hour during the mid-morning, Toronto, its harbor, and the Island to the south of the city were visible to those on the ground in Buffalo. Normally Toronto is only visible to those high up over Buffalo.
“A close examination of the map showed that the mirage did not cause the slightest distortion, the gradual rise of the city from the water being rendered perfectly,” said an August 1894 edition of Scientific American magazine.
Despite being approximately 93 km away, witnesses on that fateful day could see a few ships, and for the first 10 minutes, even count downtown church spires.