Ice Storm Updates of Toronto & Ontario: Torontonians Get Grocery Gift Cards Dec.31-Jan.2, 2014

This CBCnews video presents “Ice storm compensation.”

This is an update to these previous blogs:

City of Toronto Ice Storm Update: Dec. 30

  • Mayor Ford has called a special meeting of City Council in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    • It will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 10, 2014 in the Council Chamber, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., for the following purposes:
      • To consider a report from the City Manager on the ice storm, including a request for Provincial assistance under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.
      • To introduce and enact a confirming bylaw for this special meeting.
    • The agenda for the special meeting will be distributed and posted to as soon as it is available.
  • Hydro Update.
    • Toronto Hydro reports there are now approximately 725 customers without service, and crews have been dispatched to these locations.
    • Work will continue until all outages are addressed.
    • In addition, there are approximately 680 locations that have received Electrical Safety Authority approval to reenergize following repairs to electrical stand pipes that were damaged in the storm.
      • Toronto Hydro has dispatched crews to all of these locations.
      • Customers who are required to make repairs before their service can be reconnected must have that work completed by an ESA/ECRA licensed electrical contractor.
      • The licensed electrical contractor will take out the necessary electrical permit from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), make the repairs and arrange for an inspection.
        • Once complete, ESA will notify Toronto Hydro that power is authorized for reconnection.
    • Customers that reside in a neighbourhood that has been restored but are still without power must report the outage to Hydro by calling 416-542-8000.
  • Tree Debris Removal begins January 3.
    • Work to clear all tree debris will begin on Friday, January 3 and it will continue for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.
    • Residents are asked to place their tree debris on the curb or the boulevard by Thursday, January 2.
    • Please remember to provide at least one metre of clearance to ensure those with mobility issues can pass safely.
    • 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.
  • Toronto Roads and Traffic.
    • Power has been restored to all signals and all signals are operating normally.
    • However, the power supply is not quite stable at all signalized intersections and there may be fluctuations in the Hydro supply voltage which can result in a few signals being temporarily “all-out” or on flash.
      • Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop.
      • In such cases, the public should call 311 and the City will send a crew to investigate and fix the problem.
    • Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy or blocked driveways.
      • If the homeowner receives a parking ticket, there is an application that can be filled out to describe the circumstances and request ticket cancellation at .
      • Completed application forms and documentation can be faxed to 416-696-3652 or sent via e-mail to .
  • Food, Water, Warmth and Rest.
    • Seventy-two people were accommodated last night.
    • In addition to the 13 Toronto Police Service facilities (listed in the previous blog, Ice Storm Updates from Toronto-Dec. 24- and Ontario-Dec. 25, 2013) for use 24/7 as warming centres, here is an amended list of Toronto Community Centre locations:

    • The following reception centres are closing today:
      • Agincourt Community Centre – 31 Glen Watford Rd.
      • Dennis Timbrell Community Centre – 29 St. Dennis Dr.
      • Pleasantview Community Centre – 545 Van Horne Ave.
    • Normal programming will resume at the above Community Centres.
  • Toronto Public Library
    • All Toronto Public Library branches are open regular hours on Monday, December 30.
      • Libraries offer wifi and internet workstations as well as great books, magazines and more.
    • Call your local branch or check .
      • All branches are open holiday hours, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31.

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, Canada

Grocery Store Gift Cards

“We know many people in Ontario have gone through a lot of hardship this holiday season as a result of the ice storm. I want to thank the retailers who have generously donated to this initiative. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support people who need the help so that they are safe and cared for during this difficult time.
Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

  • Yesterday, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the Ontario government matched Loblaw’s generous donation of $25,000 toward grocery store gift cards.
    • She also encouraged both businesses and individuals to join in this community initiative.
  • With the assistance of the Retail Council of Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart has matched Loblaw’s contribution of $25,000.
    • Metro has stepped up to the challenge with $25,000.
    • Sobeys has contributed $25,000.
    • Louie Coppa Family – A Coppa Family Tradition has also donated $5,000 in gift cards.
    • The government of Ontario will match these generous donations and any other corporate donations received to a maximum of $100,000.
  • The Daily Bread Food Bank is currently working to coordinate distribution which will begin in Toronto.
    • The initiative will be expanded to other affected municipalities as needs are identified.
    • If you would like to donate, the Daily Bread Food Bank is accepting both cash donations and grocery store gift cards.
  • Toronto residents who have experienced prolonged power outage who need help will be able to collect a gift card at one of 15 Ontario Works Toronto offices beginning Tuesday, December 31 and ending Friday, January 3, 2014.
    • Families in need will be eligible to receive a $100 gift card.
    • Individuals in need will be eligible to receive a $50 gift card.
  • Ontario Works offices will extend their hours on Thursday, January 2, 2014 until 7 p.m.
    • Ontario Works offices are closed on New Year’s Day.
  • Residents are asked to bring confirmation of their address and will be asked to declare the number of people in their household.
  • Individuals should contact their insurance provider for information on making a claim for food loss due to the storm.
  • Please click here for more info on Ice Storm Food Replacement Gift Cards.


Latest Update on Ontario’s Response to the Ice Storm – Dec. 30

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.

Efforts are being made to help people replace food they may have lost as a result of the storm. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is working with its Supply Chain Alliance partners to obtain and distribute grocery store gift cards to these Ontarians.

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, more than 600,000 customers were without power across affected communities.

Power restoration has now been virtually completed.

Toronto Hydro now reports 725 customers are without power down from a peak of 300,000 and is predicting that these remaining customers will be restored today.

Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at

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


Several warming centres remain open in the GTA to give people a respite from the cold. Visit for the latest information and locations for warming centres.

The health system across the GTA has stabilized and hospitals are open and currently able to meet patient needs.


  • Ice is still melting and falling off trees and tall buildings. People should avoid walking under trees and be extremely vigilant while outdoors.
  • 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 7,000 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.
  • 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.

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