By Horse Journals Media
Sunnybrook Stables, the site of one of Canada’s first indoor riding arenas, was the scene of a massive barn fire in the early morning hours of May 21, 2018.
Up to 50 Toronto firefighters battled the two-alarm blaze that broke out around 3 a.m. EST, engulfing one barn and spreading to another. Sixteen horses died, and 13 more horses were moved to safety from the second burning barn, and later moved again to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds with the assistance of the Toronto Police Mounted Unit.
Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Doug Wishart stated, “The crews did an excellent job getting the horses out of the second [barn].”
Sunnybrook Stables, located in Sunnybrook Park just north of Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood, is very well known in the equestrian community, and has provided a wide variety of activities and competitions for riders from novice to advanced levels for more than 37 years.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, who has fond memories of visiting horses at the stables, said, “Somebody owned these horses and was very close to them, it’s a tragedy when you lose animals like this.”
The fire was first noticed by a resident of a nearby apartment building. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the Ontario Fire Marshall says there were reports of fireworks in the area on Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Several of the horses that died in the Sunnybrook Stables fire are pictured. Photos are from sunnybrookstables.ca/horses.
In Memorium - Horses Perished on May 21, 2018