It was 1 year ago Today (Tuesday, August 21) that a deadly tornado tore through the historic downtown of the Town of Goderich.

The F-3 tornado packed winds of up to 300 km/hour and Environment Canada’s rating made it the most powerful storm to strike Ontario since 1996.

“It was just devastation. All the buildings were gone and there was no trees, nothing. It was just incredible.”

1 man was killed and 37 others suffered various injuries as the storm caused widespread devastation, ripping off roofs, demolishing homes and destroying cars.

Goderich Mayor Delbert Shewfelt tells 570 News the quick response by the provincial government and Canadians across the country, including in Waterloo Region, financially and through other means, helped his community tremendously.

Shewfelt also credits a mild winter in easing the pain of rebuilding.

The downtown area, which has classic historic buildings, was declared a “no-go” zone because of the severity of the damage. And about 90% of the businesses affected by this monster storm have reopened.

The local business association said they have even seen a boost from so called “tornado tourists.”

Shewfelt says the town will mark the 1-year anniversary with a number of different events on Tuesday. There will be a dedication ceremony of a monument to honour Norman Laberge, the man killed at the salt mine where he worked. And later the town will show an appreciation to the many donors who helped raise nearly $4-million for the Goderich and Area Disaster Relief Fund.