Ice Storm Updates from Toronto-Dec. 24- and Ontario-Dec. 25, 2013

This CityNews Video of Dec.22, 2013, reported on the impact of the ice storm on Toronto, Ontario, Canada :

Ice Storm in Toronto
Ice Storm in Toronto

Here is the recent, updated info – Dec. 24, 2013 – on the City’s response to the ice storm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Toronto Hydro

  • Approximately 90,000 customers are now without power.
  • Hydro crews are continuing to work around the clock to respond.
  • Additional personnel have now come in from Sault Ste Marie, Windsor, Ottawa and Manitoba to assist with the restoration efforts.

Toronto Fire Service

  • Toronto Fire is warning the public not to operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues inside as they can create a dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning hazard if not property vented.
  • Also, do not use a stove or camping gear for heating your home, as they can similarly create a carbon monoxide poisoning and burn hazard.
  • Ensure battery backup is operating for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Community Care Access Centre Clients

  • Community Care Access Centre clients who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 310-2222 (no area code required) for assistance.
  • All others are asked to contact their oxygen supplier for assistance.


  • Please check for updates and service alerts.
  • Sheppard Subway Line is being tested and expected to be running shortly.

GO Transit

Toronto Roads and Traffic

  • The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease.
  • Estimated 200 – 250 traffic signals without power.
  • Salting operations are continuing on collector roads, local roads and sidewalks, with TTC stops a priority.
  • 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

  • The City is operating 12 locations where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest.
  • Pets are welcome.
  • A total of 774 people were accommodated in these locations last night.

Toronto Community Centre locations are as follows:

Warming Centres – daytime only:

  • The public is invited to any City building with public space.
  • Due to food safety guidelines, the public is asked not to bring home-made food to the warming/reception centres.
  • Pre-packaged foods are acceptable.

Toronto Public Libraries

Toronto Zoo

Casa Loma

Parks, Forestry and Recreation

  • The public is reminded that trees remain covered in ice, which means that parks (anywhere near trees) are very dangerous, particularly in wooded valleys, near slopes and under trees.
  • Park pathways have not been cleared and should not be used.
  • Playgrounds near trees should also be avoided due to falling branches.
  • Public should use extreme caution around parks to prevent slips and falls and should avoid walking under or near trees.
  • Parks staff who have appropriate chainsaw training and equipment are being deployed to assist in clearing tree debris from roads and paths.
  • Parks crews will continue to salt and clear debris, focusing on Reception Centres, Community Recreation Centres, parking lots and well-used locations such as rinks.
  • Two of the City’s 51 Outdoor Artificial Ice Rinks are currently closed (Broadlands and Ledbury).
    • Other rink pads remain open for skating purposes, but adjacent rink buildings are closed at many locations due to power outages.
    • Many of these locations will close early due to no lighting availability.

Tree Debris

  • Toronto staff anticipates that the clearing of fallen trees and tree debris will begin on December 27 on City roadways.
  • Staff are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable.
  • The priority is to ensure public safety.
    Where debris is not obstructing the road, cleanup will take place at a later date.
  • Clearing of all tree debris will take approximately four to six weeks.
  • If debris is from trees on private property, homeowners should contact a private contractor to clear away.
  • If you live in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area (see map and further information) in Etobicoke, the City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in the prescribed manner.
    Do not take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area.

Holiday Waste Pickup

  • Residents are reminded that there is no collection on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
  • This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day.
    • This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday.
    • Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar.
  • Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas.
    • There may also be delays.
    • Residents should leave out their materials until they are collected.
    • If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

Food Waste

  • If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag.
  • Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

  • If you don’t have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.
  • If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

Food Safety

Emergency Preparedness

Social Media Updates

  • For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter.
  • The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm.

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


Latest Update on Ontario’s Response to the Ice Storm – Dec. 25

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: 24,000 customers (120,000 at peak)

  • Bolton: 2,415 customers
  • Brockville: 1,973 customers
  • Dundas: 4,901 customers
  • Guelph: 7,296 customers
  • Listowel: 818 customers
  • Orangeville: 4,404 customers
  • Peterborough: 1,470 customers

Toronto Hydro: 72,200 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:

  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 1,400 customers
  • Halton Hills Hydro: 2,500 customers
  • York Region (Power Stream): 7,000 customers
  • Durham Region (Veridian): 4,000 customers
  • Milton Hydro: 1,000 customers
  • Oshawa PUC: 2,000 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 Ottawa, EnWin, Enersource, Manitoba Hydro and Sault Ste. Marie PUC.

Hydro One is receiving assistance from Woodstock Hydro, London Hydro, Tillsonburg Hydro, Festival Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro, Haldimand Hydro, Norfolk Hydro, Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Ottawa Hydro and Pembroke 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.

VaughanMarkhamBurlingtonHamiltonBrampton 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.

Ontario has deployed its Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) to help take pressure off emergency rooms and give patients the care they need at this time. The EMAT is a mobile medical field unit that can be deployed anywhere in Ontario and provides a staging and triage base for patients. It comprises 15 staff representing different medical professions and is operating from Sunnybrook Hospital 24 hours a day.

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.


In Toronto, all TTC service is running.

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, commuters on GO Transit can still expect service disruptions.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visually check food for spoilage, but do not taste it. Generally food will keep for 24 to 48 hours, as long as you keep your refrigerator door closed.


“As I’ve visited warming centres, talked to first responders, hydro workers and volunteers, I’ve seen the very best of the people of Ontario. Through very difficult circumstances, people have come together to help friends and neighbours in need. I’m grateful to everyone, including those who have come from across the province and outside of Ontario to help keep us safe and restore power. I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve seen, particularly in the last 24 hours, but more work lies ahead. We won’t rest until everyone’s power is restored.”

Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario


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