Ice Storm Updates from Toronto and Ontario Dec. 27, 2013

This is an update to the previous blog, Ice Storm Updates from Toronto-Dec. 24- and Ontario-Dec. 25, 2013.

Toronto’s Update for Dec. 27

  • Hydro in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    • Toronto Hydro is reporting that approximately 32,480 customers are now without power.
    • Crews are currently focusing on neighbourhoods and individual homes still affected by outages.
      • The utility is closely monitoring the weather.
        • If winds pick up this could trigger more outages.
    • The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been working closely with Toronto Police Services, Toronto Hydro, the TTC and TCHC (Toronto Community Housing) through door-to-door canvassing to identify vulnerable residents that require special assistance.
    • There are currently 38 City Forestry crews and 16 contractor crews out today working closely with Toronto Hydro.
      • The Forestry crews work to clear downed trees and fallen branches and facilitate access for hydro crews to work on power restoration.
      • Additional forestry crews from across the province are currently responding to assist Toronto’s forestry staff with debris removal.
    • All motorists, especially truck drivers, are urged to watch for low hanging wires particularly on residential streets.
  • Exercise extreme caution when using candles.
  • The Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Services are now conducting wellness checks at high-rise buildings that have been without power since December 21.
  • City staff from Transportation, Forestry and Solid Waste Management are working together to address tree debris.
    • Clearing of debris is well underway on major roadways, with a priority on public safety.
    • Crews are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable, and will focus on residential streets in the coming days.
    • Work to clear tree debris is expected to continue for approximately six weeks, weather permitting.
    • Tree branches that have fallen on private property and are of a manageable size that can be dragged to the City’s right-of-way (i.e., to the curb) will be picked up.
      • Please do not place debris on the sidewalk.
    • Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb.
      • Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material.
    • Homeowners do not require a City permit to remove damaged or downed trees. Please use a professional arborist to ensure safety.
    • City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.
    • For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area in Etobicoke, the City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in the prescribed manner.
  • Toronto Roads and Traffic
    • The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease.
      • An estimated 100 traffic signals remain without power.
      • Transportation Services expects that number will decrease further today.
    • The City is working closely with Toronto Police to provide point-duty at intersections that require it.
    • Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop.
    • Salting operations continue today on main roads, and collector roads, local roads and sidewalks, with TTC stops a priority.
    • Truck drivers are asked to watch for low hanging wires on residential streets.
    • Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy driveways.
  • Food, Water, Warmth and Rest
    • Approximately 450 people were accommodated last night.
    • In addition to the 13 Toronto Police Service facilities as listed in the previous blog, here is an amended list of Toronto Community Centre locations:

  • Outdoor Skating Rinks
  • Toronto Public Libraries
    • All Toronto Public Library branches are open regular hours today – except Forest Hill – and available as a place to stay warm.
    • Library staff will visit as many reception centres as possible today to provide reading material or to read stories.
    • Service updates are available at The Toronto Public Library is currently experiencing technical issues with its website which is not functioning at the present time.
  • City Museums
    • Scarborough Museum is open today with regularly scheduled hours. The Museum’s Holiday Day Camp also resumes today and it is accepting new registrants.
  • Food safety during Toronto’s ice storm and power outage.
    • Toronto Public Health (TPH) reminds residents and businesses to follow all food safety guidelines when it comes to consuming or serving food that may be affected by the power outage.
    • Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a foodborne illness:
      • If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
      • During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
      • Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
      • Never eat food that looks or smells strange.
      • TPH’s advice is – when in doubt, throw it out.
    • More food safety tips are available at
    • Toronto Public Health inspectors are conducting regular visits to all City reception centres to ensure food safety.
    • The Emergency Operations Centre has requested that residents and businesses do not drop off food donations to the City’s reception centres or warming centres.
      • The reception centres and warming centres do not have the ability to store food sufficiently to prevent foodborne illnesses.
      • If people want to make food donations, they can drop them off at their local food bank.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Contact Info

  • Information on fares, routes, schedules and service.
    • 416-393-4636 (INFO)
    • Recorded information available 24 hours daily.
    • Operator-assisted service is available from 8:00am to 6:00pm daily, except statutory holidays.

    • TTY Hearing Impaired Service, 416-481-2523, Daily, 8:00am-6:00pm; except statutory holidays.
  • Main Switchboard
    • 416-393-4000

    • Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

City of Toronto Contact Info

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311.

Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
(can be used within Toronto if you can’t reach 311).

TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889)
Fax: 416-338-0685

If your matter is urgent, please call them. They are open 24/7

Ontario’s Update for Dec. 27

Ontario, Canada


Latest Update on Ontario’s Response to the Ice Storm – Dec. 27

Office of the Premier

Ontario is continuing to work around the clock to respond to the ice storm that is still affecting parts of the province.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.


At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power.

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online. Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible. In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.

Customers still without power:

Hydro One: 4,800 customers (120,000 at peak). Communities still without power from the original outages include:

  • Bolton: 368 customers
  • Guelph: 1,639 customers
  • Orangeville: 1,774 customers

Toronto Hydro: 32,400 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:

  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 500 customers
  • Halton Hills Hydro: 900 customers
  • York Region (Power Stream): 1,000 customers
  • Durham Region (Veridian): 1,000 customers
  • Milton Hydro: less than 1,000 customers

**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops.

The Province is grateful to local electricity distribution companies across the province who have supported power restoration efforts in a number of different ways.

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro One crews from Kingston, EnWin, Ottawa Hydro, Sault Ste Marie PUC, Manitoba Hydro, Horizon Utilities and Sudbury Hydro.

Hydro One continues to receive the support of local distribution companies (LDC) from across the province including Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro and Haldimand Hydro.


Several warming centres are open to give people a respite from the cold – 12 in the City of Toronto, in addition to thirteen Toronto Police Service facilities that have community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres.

VaughanMarkhamBurlingtonBrampton and the Town of Halton Hills are also operating warming centres. Ontario has placed provincial buildings on standby in case there is an overflow from city warming and reception centres.

As all indications are that the health system is stabilizing, the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) will begin a staged deactivation over the next 24 hours.  The infrastructure will remain temporarily in place in the event that a secondary deployment is necessary.

The team is working with Toronto EMS and Community Care Access Centres to assist with flow and patient management.

The Ontario government is also working with municipalities and volunteer organizations to coordinate visits to seniors and other vulnerable individuals to ensure they are safe. A team of OPP officers will also be assisting Toronto Police Service in conducting door-to-door canvassing of vulnerable residents.


In Toronto, all TTC service is running.

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, GO Transit reports all trains running on schedule.


  • The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) constantly monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. It coordinates the government’s response to major emergencies and is staffed at all times.
  • Steer clear of downed power lines. They could still be live and deadly even if they show no active danger signs.
  • If hydro wires connected to your home appear damaged, do not touch them, even if you believe the power is off. Do not attempt the repairs yourself; instead, call a licensed electrical contractor to do the job. The Electrical Safety Authority has contact information for more than 7000 licensed contractors at 1-877-372-7233 and Or consult your local telephone directory.
  • Carbon monoxide goes undetected and is deadly. Do not heat your homes with devices that are designed for outdoor use, particularly barbecues and outdoor generators. If you are using an outdoor generator, ensure that the exhaust fumes do not enter your home.
  • Electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms do not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-up, so make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and loose fabrics. If possible, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect them from potential power surges as hydro crews work to restore electricity. And make sure the stove is off. Leave on only select lights to let you know that you’re back up and running.
  • Keep a few taps turned on to a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • You can make the most of your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness and turning off functions such as Bluetooth, WiFi and location services.
  • Take a moment to check on elderly neighbours and people with mobility issues.

Learn More

Check for the latest information

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