While we are all in various stages of dealing with the aftermath of the ice storm, this post is to provide information to people who need it. If you need info not provided below, please contact your local City Councillor directly (contact info for the four DECA Councillors can be found here) or call 3-1-1. If you see a downed power line, call 9-1-1.
Our side of town was hit hard by this storm, and the damage is obvious as soon as you attempt to navigate our streets, which are littered with branches, down wires and police tape. For those of you without power, consider visiting one of the many warming stations set up around the City (see below for details), or reach out to friends and neighbours with power. Local businesses have been offering use of plugs for charging phones and general warmth and shelter, so if you need a place to go, you needn’t go far.
Below is some helpful information from Janet Davis, and thanks to her and all of our City Councillors who are tirelessly working to keep information and help coming where it is needed. And let’s all give a collective thanks to the Toronto Hydro staff and first responders, who have given up vacation and worked in treacherous conditions to restore power and address the most urgent issues.
Hopefully the worst of this storm is behind us, and I hope that I’m not alone in saying that the worst of the storm brought out the best in this community. Stay safe, and here’s hoping that the lights are on for everyone soon.
In addition to the information listed below, we have also learned via Twitter that two warming centres have been added in the east end:
- East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave.
- East York Collegiate, 650 Cosburn Ave.
- Food, water, supplies all night.
From Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis:
Staff from Toronto Hydro, Police, TTC, Forestry, and other City divisions have been working throughout the day and night to restore power but I know the needs are still great.
I have requested that additional warming centres be opened to serve the East York community, particularly the Dawes Road and Secord neighbourhoods that have so many high-rise buildings. We are working to secure food, warm clothing and other emergency supplies through local charities and the emergency response team. I am also trying to locate a place for donations to be dropped off that is accessible to our communities. In the meantime, here is some information that I hope will be helpful.
The City of Toronto website is providing regular updates at www.toronto.ca/oem . You can also call 311.
The city has opened multiple warming centres across the City where residents can access food, water, warmth, and rest. Pets are welcome too. The closest centres are:
Matty Eckler Community Centre, on 953 Gerrard Street East, near Pape Avenue
Dennis Timbrell Community Centre, at 29 St. Denis Dr, near Don Mills and Eglinton Avenues
A full list of warming centres, road closures, transit updates, and other information to help you cope with the storm is available online.
Toronto Hydro is currently reporting that approximately 219,000 customers are without power across the City, down from 300,000 at the height of the storm. Toronto East General Hospital and the East York Civic Centre both have power restored. Due to the severity of the damage, Toronto Hydro does not expect to power restored to everyone today. Restoration efforts will continue until there is full hydro recovery, likely for the remainder of the week. City Forestry crews are assisting Hydro to clear damaged trees off hydro wires. All southern Ontario utilities have been asked to assist with restoration across the province. Aid has been requested from the USA as well. Toronto Hydro is not able to provide detailed restoration information however they are providing some info on their website.
To report dangerous situations you can call The Toronto Hydro’s Lights Out number, 416-542-8000 or report situations online. Both the phone line and the website are experiencing some delays due to the high number of concerns.
Stay away from all hydro lines and any electrical equipment that is in standing water, like a flooded basement. If the outage lasted less than four hours, allow your electrical system a chance to stabilize. Turn on the most essential appliances one by one and wait 30 minutes before reconnecting others.
Stay away from trees that are touching hydro lines or in danger of falling. To report dangerous tree situations call the Forestry Services at 416.338.TREE (416.338.8733). If the tree knocked down a power line, then please also call 416.542.8000.
TTC and GO Transit
Service has been restored. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.
GO Transit is operating an Adjusted Winter Schedule today. Check schedule details at http://gotransit.com/public/en/schedules/winterstorm.aspx.
The City’s emergency services (Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Police) are operating and managing increased call volumes. Residents are reminded to only call 911 in the event of an emergency. The non-emergency number for Toronto Police Service is 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.
Fire Prevention & Safety Information
Many of us have needed to find creative means to stay warm. Please remember to take these safety precautions.
- use a sturdy holder
- make sure glass shade higher than flame to protect against loose clothing becoming ignited
- position candle away from anything flamable
- blow out the flame when you leave the room
- keep lighters, matches and candles away from children
- use a flashlight rather than a candle for light
- ensure the fireplace screen is in place
- avoid burning trash or paper as flaming paper can travel up the chimney and land on your roof
- do not use stove, barbecue or camping gear for heating your home, as they create a CO and burn hazard
- do not operate generators inside home, garage, or near windows or vents where exhaust could migrate indoors
- refuel generators outside and after generator has cooled down
- avoid operating propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors – if not properly vented, using them will create a carbon monoxide (CO) hazard
- ensure that your stove is clear of combustibles and is turned off or unplugged to avoid a fire when the power comes back on
- leave kettles and other small appliances unplugged
Once your refrigerator and freezer are operating, carefully check food for spoilage. Generally, food will keep for 24 to 48 hours, as long you keep the door closed.
Information about when to keep and when to throw out foods that may not have been adequately refrigerated is available on this online food guide.
Keep space heaters at least one metre away from cloth or anything that could catch fire
- ensure Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have working batteries
If you have power:
Reach out to your neighbours, especially vulnerable or elderly neighbours who may require more help. Please don’t hesitate to knock on your neighbour’s door to make sure they are safe and well, or to swap phone numbers with those in the area for more updates. Many of you have contacted our office wondering when power will be restored, and we will continue to provide the most up-to-date information we can.
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. For more information and advice about emergency preparedness visit http://www.toronto.ca/oem.