wind warning

A Toronto apartment tower's exterior was ripped away by extreme winds

Toronto got a first taste of intense spring weather for 2022 on Wednesday, with a special weather statement issued in advance of what turned out to be a miserable day of freezing rain and powerful gusts of wind.

It was the windiest March 23 on record in over four decades of tracking on Toronto Island, and the extreme gusts reaching 80-kilometres per hour were enough to cause damage in the city.

Videos and photos are emerging the morning after, showing some of the destruction caused by these intense bursts of wind, which downed lines and knocked out power for thousands in the city, including almost 3,000 in the High Park area.

One clip captured in midtown Toronto shows a section of an apartment building's exterior cladding being ripped away from the facade by the wind, before coming crashing down onto the pedestrian entrance below.

The incident occurred at 110 Erskine Avenue, a few blocks northeast of Yonge and Eglinton. Josh Saddy, who captured the chaos from a nearby condo tower, tells blogTO that the section came crashing down around 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, the road promptly closed and fire crews directed to the scene.

Though the building, known as Upper Canada Court West, dates back to 1972, the damaged section is actually relatively new, the large brown panels been added in the last decade to replace the previous red brick cladding.

It's evident in the clip that the section falling to the ground was not the first panel to fall, as a much larger section of the underlying insulation material can be seen flapping in the wind from where the panel had dislodged. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

blogTO reached out to Homestead, the rental management company for 110 Erskine, though the company has declined to comment on the incident.

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