Just when you thought the slushy weather in Toronto was unbearable, it got a little bit worse for one police officer after he jumped into Lake Ontario to rescue a dog.
Greg Whynott first noticed people gathering outside his office window around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
His building looks out to Lake Ontario, right along Waterfront Trail and Queens Quay.
“There were two gentlemen down at the bottom there and they were looking in the water, walking back and forth,” said Whynott. “You could tell they were very interested in something.”
People started to linger over to the window to watch what was going on, and many thought it was a duck in distress.
“They start throwing ropes and stuff into the water and we were joking that a duck isn’t going to be able to climb up a rope,” he said.
But instead of a duck, Whynott and his colleagues realized it was a little dog.
“All of a sudden we see the dog start to head out into the deep water and we think ‘oh it’s a dog and he’s going the wrong way! This isn’t good,’” he said.
CityNews meteorologist Adam Stiles said water temperatures are close to 1 to 2 degrees today.
“Lake temps are running about 3 to 4 degrees in most spots and a little cooler closer to the lake shore,” said Stiles.
Just a few minutes after the dog had fallen in – leash attached and all – the Toronto Marine Police came zipping around the corner.
“We were all about to go downstairs with a ladder and then we saw the police,” he said.
The dog was swimming around in the cold water for about 10-to-15 minutes.
“Banks are very unstable and slippery with early morning freezing drizzle then snow, now rain for Toronto,” said 680 NEWS meteorologists Jill Taylor.
Taylor said that the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority has issued a Watershed Conditions Statement for water safety asking people to exercise caution around all bodies of water and to keep pets away.
“Bet you he was very glad to get out of there,” Whynott said.
By the time the dog was rescued, almost 20 people had lined up along the window to watch the rescue.
It isn’t often that Whynott sees dogs falling into the water but he was impressed with how quickly the police rescued the dog.
“It was a good happy feeling, great way to start the day off for sure,” he said.
Whynott added that it appeared as if the officer gave a stern talking-to the owner, based off of his body language.