Many believe that only the Far West portion of the North American continent is prone to earthquakes. In fact, earthquakes happen in many other parts of North America and pose a serious threat to persons and property.
Toronto, Canada's largest city, is approximately 3,000 kilometres from the Cascadia subduction zone that threatens the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Nevertheless, Toronto experienced an earthquake as recently as 2010. That earthquake event originated in the Ottawa region and was felt as far away as Kentucky. Toronto is not in a fault zone but is subject to tremors that originate from the hot spot that runs through the failed rifts in the Ottawa Valley about 250 km to the northeast. Some scientists have, also, speculated that earthquakes in Eastern Canada are the result of the earth bouncing back from the depression brought about by the weight of the ice on the earth's crust during the last ice age.
Earthquakes don't feature in the City of Toronto Emergency Plan and scientists estimate that the possibility of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Toronto may only happen once every 3,000 years. What will happen, however, is continual tremors and minor earthquakes that require seismic mitigation and caution in how buildings are constructed
Diarmuid D. O'Dea