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Ice Storm 2013: Toronto’s Deep Freeze

Snapshots from the worst winter storm Toronto has seen in years.

A peak of 300,000 customers without power; much of the TTC diverted, delayed, or shut down; split trees; live wires hanging over residential streets. It’s one of the most damaging storms the city has seen in years: Toronto Hydro called it “catastrophic” and warns that it could take days yet for power to be restored to all those who lost it.

The latest updates…

All TDSB and TCDSB sites, including child care centres, are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

For the latest on power repairs, check Toronto Hydro’s outage map or its Twitter feed. Call (416) 542-8000 to report downed wires, but be advised that lines are still very busy. As of 5 p.m. on Monday “less than” 200,000 customers (which works out to about 500,000 individuals) were without power. Toronto Hydro has advised that because of extensive damage caused by trees coming down on power lines, some locations may not be back up until the weekend, though they still hope to have the majority restored by Wednesday.

The TTC is largely back up and running—though multiple bus routes are diverting due to road closures and debris—with the following exceptions:

  • The Sheppard subway line remains closed due to power issues; 13 replacement shuttle buses are running.
  • Service on the following bus routes has been suspended due to road conditions: 28 Davisville, 82 Rosedale, 97A Yonge, and 162 Lawrence-Donway.

The City of Toronto has opened multiple reception centres for residents who need food, water, and a warm place to rest. (Pets are welcome, too.) Note: some new centres have opened, and some previously opened ones have closed. The complete, updated list:

  • Dennis R. Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St Denis Drive (Eglinton/Don Mills)
  • Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Road, (Neilson/Rd/Finch)
  • Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
  • Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
  • Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
  • Joseph J. Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St. Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
  • Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East
  • Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 50 Highland Hill
  • Armour Heights Community Centre, 2140 Avenue Road
  • Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Avenue West
  • Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Avenue
  • East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue

The Toronto Police Service has opened the following police buildings as additional warming centres; they are also accessible 24 hours a day:

  • 11 Division (2054 Davenport Road)
  • 12 Division (200 Trethewey Drive)
  • 14 Division (350 Dovercourt Road)
  • 22 Division (3699 Bloor Street West)
  • 23 Division (5230 Finch Avenue West)
  • 31 Division (40 Norfinch Drive)
  • 33 Division (50 Upjohn Road)
  • 42 Division (242 Milner Avenue)
  • 43 Division (4331 Lawrence Avenue East)
  • 51 Division (51 Parliament Street)
  • 52 Division (255 Dundas Street West
  • Toronto Police College (70 Birmingham Street)
  • Toronto Police Service headquarters (40 College Street)

And the Toronto District School Board has made the following school available as a warming centre:

  • East York Collegiate Institute, 650 Cosburn Avenue
  • Comments

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Most of my street’s power was knocked out by a falling branch really early Sunday morning. You know which city service was on the scene first? Not trucks and saws to cut the branches dangling from the lines, or Toronto Hydro to cordon off the area around the live wires. Animal Services. Because someone reported an injured squirrel. (Power is still out.)

      • dsmithhfx

        They probably didn’t get many other calls — unlike hydro and tree surgeons.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Evidently. They sent two people. They were very busy standing around.

      • wklis

        Think of the poor bed bugs. They’ll freeze to death with temperatures below freezing, for a couple of weeks.

        • dsmithhfx

          Sadly, it’s been established that they are unfazed by cold temperatures.

    • dsmithhfx

      CBC radio this morning: ‘if your power is out, please see our web site for a list of warming centres’. OK, but…

      • tomwest

        … but people have smartphones with internet access, was what they were thinking.
        What they didn’t think about is (1) lots of people don’t have smartphones with internet access; and (2) most smartphones only last about 24 hours until they need charging.

        • Kivi Shapiro

          On the other hand, anyone who heard that on CBC Radio had enough power (at least at that time and place) to listen to CBC Radio.

          • tomwest

            My radio (like most) has batteries.

    • Brian Young

      So OK, the ice storm is “catastrophic” according to Hydro (and still is for around 110,000 Torontonians after about 4 full days), but Ford did not declare a state of emergency? Am I missing something?

      • dsmithhfx

        Rob Ford is a narcissist and a psychopath?

        • Brian Young

          I mean apart from the obvious. ‘;o)

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        If Ford declares an emergency, the left-wing media conspiracy wins!

        • Brian Young

          Precisely, Watson!

      • nevilleross

        The thing is,had he done so, he’d be regarded as weak and stupid, the same way that Mel Lastman was regarded for having declared the big snowstorm of ’98 as a state of emergency and calling in the army to clean up the streets of snow. But we need the army right now to help out with this.