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Blackout Party Goes for a Ride

Lemon Bucket Orkestra convenes a blackout anniversary party on—and under—downtown streets.

In 2003, Toronto—along with much of Ontario and the northeastern United States—experienced a blackout that brought most regularly scheduled activities to a halt. Shops started handing out free ice cream before it melted, neighbours checked on each other by candlelight, and downtown residents saw stars that were usually blotted out by the light. Every August since, the city’s seen one kind of blackout anniversary party or another, marking what turned out, for most people, to be an impromptu night of fun.

In that tradition on Tuesday night, some Torontonians gathered at Bloor and Spadina, summoned by the Lemon Bucket Orkestra for a street party. After a ride on the subway down to Union Station, the crowd stopped for another song (and a crowdsurfing kayaker), before walking down Front Street and meeting up with a Critical Mass bike ride en route to the Flatiron Building, where there were more songs, fire jugglers, and assorted forms of revelry.

Video of the adventure after the jump…


  • Anonymous

    Supreme concentration of hipsters.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I hate it when the wrong kind of people have a good time.

      • Anonymous

        That was a very presumptuous comment. I’m sorry you took that negatively, it was very much an observation.

        • Anonymous

          “Hipster” isn’t a flattering term these days, so your observation reads as a complaint.

          • musiclover

            There were tons of different people there, of all ages and backgrounds, having an amazing time. It wasn’t at all limited to “hipsters” (an increasingly meaningless term that is mostly used cynically), as you suggest.

          • Anonymous

            I suggested nothing of the sort, re-read the comment thread.. A quick glance at the photo gallery shows the diversity of the crowd.

          • musiclover

            Sorry, my comment was directed @IdiotAboveMe:disqus !

  • Margot Collins

    what a great night… and it was all types of people, all ages

  • 기성 김

    I write a book on stars in the morden city. I found an interesting story during the blackout in north america, 2002. People there saw the stars they had never seen before in the downtown. Many people remember the stars in town as a womderful experience. Would you tell me more about stars during those nights?

    from Geesung, Korea