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Massive ice storm hits Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / December 22, 2013

Ice storm TorontoA massive ice storm has hit Toronto, leaving roughly 250,000 without power and disrupting all streetcar service in the city and the Scarborough RT (as of 8:30 a.m.). Toronto hydro estimates up to a 72 hour wait for those currently without service, while the TTC has yet to determine when streetcars will once again return to the streets. Widespread delays and cancellations have also been reported at Pearson International, and travellers are advised to check all departures before heading to the airport. GO Transit is also struggling with service interruptions.

Toronto Hydro Ice StormWhile the freezing rain is forecast to taper later this morning, increasing winds could cause further outages as ice covered trees and power lines are put under additional stress. "This has the potential to be the worst ice storm in decades across the GTA... the only question is how much and what impact this has on the electrical grid," said Weather Network meteorologist Chris Scott.

The storm peaked late Saturday leading into the overnight period, during which time a thick layer of ice has formed on all manner of surfaces across the city. Toronto Hydro has not pinpointed areas that have been hardest hit, saying instead that outages are distributed across the city. They have yet to update their outage map, which currently reports only modest blackouts across the city.

Check out photos of the storm and its aftermath here.

Do you have your photos of the storm? Tag them on Instagram with #iceTO or add them directly to our Toronto Ice Storm gallery.

Photo by Jonathan Ponce in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

30 Comments

Mark / December 22, 2013 at 08:50 am
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No matter what the weather is, you can always count on Toronto Hydro's electric system to fail! Stop paying the execs their millions and instead, build some better infrastructure!
steve / December 22, 2013 at 09:33 am
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Your wish is their command, they are building new infrastructure now. Soon you will have what you want.
Not sure how paying people to do their job is preventing building infrastructure.
I have rarely experienced power outages. the few I have were for short periods.
Warren / December 22, 2013 at 10:38 am
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Mark's comment demonstrates how little people think things through before opening their yaw.
No amount of pay cuts to hydro execs is going to prevent an nice storm , Mark! Going by what people are saying on social media, I have NINE friends who have suffered damage to their homes or cars this morning. How do you propose Toronto Hydro keep power running to everyone's homes in such a severe environment? Bury the lines? That would mean rebuilding every single street in the city, and extensive work inside each house. That could cost hundreds of billions of dollars. We can't afford that!

......plus we we would be in a lot of trouble next time it flooded. Do you remember the flood, Mark?
akswun / December 22, 2013 at 10:52 am
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Mark troll just trolled you both.

Driving into work this morning 7-730AM felt like I was in Sleepy Hollow. Eglinton, East of Laird was scary. I usually take side streets but its days like this I'd rather take the busier roads. The guys at Toronto Hydro are going to be busy for a while. Props to the road guys salting as well. No one will ever be totally prepared for weather like this, but I feel we're doing alright(says someone who has electricity:P).

Carl / December 22, 2013 at 11:15 am
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I was scared listening to CP24's warnings last night. Warren I remember the terrible flood this Summer. My basement flooded all night, however no sufficient damages. I am very fortunate that my house in Etobicoke was safe all night throughout this Ice Storm. Are these sort of things unpreventable? Or is there something the city can do to better prepare us for these natural disasters?

Cheers. Stay Warm/Safe
Wrong, guy replying to a comment from Carl / December 22, 2013 at 11:40 am
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Etobicoke is like living in a perpetual flood.
hamish / December 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm
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There's something called climate change too; extreme events have far more oomph than what systems, including humans, have been so far been able to react to, apart from just making it worse.
Nature bats last; says someone thankfully inside with warmth and electricity.
Me / December 22, 2013 at 03:21 pm
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At least it gave Derek something to write that didn't involve him jerking off over Rob Ford.
Dale / December 22, 2013 at 04:25 pm
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You guys call this a storm?? Come up north to experience some real weather to be worried about! You guys are such wusses! It's confirmed toronto is a joke. With your ford brothers, terrible "pro" hockey and basketball teams, streetcars and hipsters!
abc / December 22, 2013 at 05:13 pm
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The hydro one outage map is absolutely useless! The moment we need it the most and it is not updating anything.
foofoofoo / December 22, 2013 at 05:13 pm
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Rob Ford is right outside my house scraping ice off my driveway! What-a-mayor!
John low / December 22, 2013 at 06:12 pm
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I thought mayor ford was stripped of his powers for emergency situations? Either way he will get blamed for the outcome of this. If a tree fell on dereck flacks car last night I'm pretty sure he would say its rob fords fault.
biggy replying to a comment from Dale / December 22, 2013 at 06:20 pm
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So 350 000 people in the city without power & heat isn't a real story / storm?

When you are dealing with the GTA with millions of people all in a small area effected and trying to get around it is a bit different than North Bay getting a big storm and having a 1000 people effected.

Try driving on the highways here with millions of people trying to get around at rush hour with a crazy ice storm.
Sayer / December 22, 2013 at 07:53 pm
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Dale no one is impressed by how how hard core you're pretending to be. Yes , I'm sure you guys up in badassville don't give a shit about downed power lines, trees falling on cars or power outages at all.
Me replying to a comment from John low / December 22, 2013 at 09:04 pm
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Don't forget Chris. Him also. I suspect they wank each other whilst writing about Rob.
foofoofoo / December 23, 2013 at 12:02 am
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Now Alana is outside my house too, helping Rob Ford! Wait, what's happening? Rob Ford is eating out! In public! Go Mayor Ford! Oh wait! They're filming a campaign ad!
iHighscraper replying to a comment from hamish / December 23, 2013 at 09:28 am
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It's called winter Stupid.
iSkyscraper / December 23, 2013 at 09:32 am
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The non-troll way to say what Mark was trying to say would be to be grateful that the city is slowly upgrading its infrastructure to put power lines in older neighbourhoods underground. As a city, Toronto has far too many above-ground poles and these are very susceptible to weather. It will take time to improve matters.
MER1978 / December 23, 2013 at 11:15 am
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Unsurprisingly Ford uses one of the few powers council couldn't take away from him (the power to declare a state of emergency) in a totally selfish way. The only reason he hasn't called one is because the deputy mayor would be in charge of any operation involving the province.
MER1978 replying to a comment from Me / December 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm
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Oh really... hundreds of thousands without power in the cold... that's something that happens normally during the winter in Toronto... I must've missed that.
Jessie / December 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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Warren. You sound like a jackass. It's not about how much work and money would need to go into building new infrastructure. As long as the project would come to be one day and eventually pay itself off thru its benefits. Why dont you look into how many times we've been through severe weather like this and how much the damage costs are estimated at. You tool
Son / December 23, 2013 at 03:18 pm
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Toronto was not ready for a flood this summer, now it's not ready for an ice storm! Is there anything that will go trough Toronto that they will be ready for? We are paying their salaries with our tax money and I do not see that as a money well spent. Someone doesn't know how to do their job there. I am mad because I shower in cold water, I am dragging my children around for two days already while my food is rotting in my fridge and my fish are dying in my tank. All the while I ma passing malls and Cineplex and building showered in full splendor of Christmas lights. So, can I please have the same representative taking care of my building that is taking care od Cineplex? Because it seems that the misfortunes do not affect them as much as they do affect me. And for my tax payers money, all I want is to feel equally well treated, at least for Christmas!
Not replying to a comment from Son / December 23, 2013 at 03:37 pm
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Maybe YOU should prepare instead of expecting someone else to do it for you. What a dependent bunch we have become. Sad and pathetic. Ironically the same people whining are the same people who probably mock survivalists.
Me replying to a comment from Son / December 23, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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They probably have backup generators not paid for by the government. Y'know, they were prepared for it, like you weren't.
totallyfeedup / December 28, 2013 at 04:56 pm
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Why is it that a city of Toronto owned tree is "my tree" when it comes time to rake it's leaves, pick up it's fallen branches and seed pods and repair damages fallen branches have done to my home and vehicle. But when I want to prune away and remove dangerous branches, it suddenly becomes the city's tree and it seems I have to jump through rings of fire in order to get someone from the city works department to do the prunning and cutting!
Itsnotfair / December 28, 2013 at 05:23 pm
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During the recent ice storm (December 21-23, 2013) a large branch from a city of Toronto tree fell l off and fell onti a feeder line and in turn torn the stand pipe from my house cutting power to my home. The average repair bill is rumoured to be in the $3000.00 range and apparently is the responsibility of the home owner to pay to have it repaired. The city of Toronto seems to be washing their hands of any responsibilities for damages caused by their trees to homes, vehicles etc. This in my opinion is NOT FAIR and should not be tolerated by city of Toronto home owners. Lets all collectively band together and stop this insanity ... stand up for your rights!!
Exhausted / December 28, 2013 at 11:50 pm
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Obviously something is very wrong with Toronto Hydro. Can someone figure out what it is? A storm like this is usually cleared up in hours in places like Montreal, Chicago and even Atlanta and Dallas.
Be-aware / December 29, 2013 at 03:52 am
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I am sure there are many decent and ethical electrical contractors doing quality ice storm damage related work in the gta. However there seems to be a few roaming our streets who would not hesitate to take advantage of home owners who are desperate . Do yourself a favour and try to hire a contractor that is recommended by a family member or trusted friend.
Stephen / January 5, 2014 at 04:36 pm
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Hello All,
I personally found it frustrating during the icestorm power outages. Our line came down, no power, you have not internet, TV or radio to find out what you need to know. We went to a coffee place to watch numerous news updates on CP24 , but at no time when officials were sitting down and congratulating their colleagues on their efforts, did I hear anyone say, " if you don't hire an approved licensed contractor, through the ESA, Hydro will not restore power. I used an experienced licensed electrician and as a result " I learned the hard way". Made a dozen calls to Toronto Hydro and not one person explained things to me.

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