Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A Toronto Hydro employee works to restore power in the Scarborough, Ont., on Dec. 27, 2013. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

A Toronto Hydro employee works to restore power in the Scarborough, Ont., on Dec. 27, 2013.

(Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Ice storm deemed one of the largest in Toronto history Add to ...

Six days into one of the largest storms in Toronto Hydro's history, there are still nearly 26,000 customers without power.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said crews continue to work around the clock but it could still be days before power is restored across the city.

Subway service on the Yonge-University-Spadina line was shut down for several hours Friday afternoon between Union Station and St. Clair West after the TTC lost power at a number of subway stations. Service was restored shortly before 3 p.m.

More Related to this Story

A spokesperson for the TTC said that the power outage appeared to be the result of a transformer fire near Bathurst and St. Clair. A spokesperson for Toronto Hydro said that crews are on their way to investigate the reports.

Although Environment Canada had not issued a weather warning for the city Friday morning, both Mr. Ford and Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines said strong wind gusts may cause further power outages.

Mr. Haines confirmed this is one of the largest storms in the organization's history.

“When we look at the number of customers involved and the time that it’s taken to bring those customers back, I think it’s fair to say this is one of the largest,” Mr. Haines said.

He said crews are making good progress but he feels for the customers whose homes remain without electricity and heat.

"We are working as hard as possible and we will not stop until the lights are on for everyone," Mr. Haines said.

With only 450 people staying in warming centres Thursday night, the number is "going down dramatically," said Mr. Ford.

Toronto Community Housing still has 76 single home units without power, but all buildings have regained electricity, according to Mr. Ford.

Mr. Ford also said streetlights at 90 intersections remain out and advised residents to approach with caution and treat them as four-way stops.

Six crews from Ottawa and two from London, Ont., have arrived and are on the ground to assist forestry crews with the clean up of fallen trees and branches.

Mr. Ford dismissed controversy regarding his lack of communication with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, saying dealing with the storm has been a team effort and he was more concerned with getting power restored.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly responded to questions about his Christmas Day trip to Florida, saying that he was fulfilling a family commitment while trying to balance his obligations to the residents of Toronto, but “found that there are times when balance is impossible.”

“To those residents of Toronto who have been affronted by my behaviour, I want to convey to them a very sincere apology. I’ve learned the lesson and I won’t forget,” Mr. Kelly said.

While away, however, Mr. Kelly said he was constantly on his BlackBerry and kept in constant communication with city staff and Ms. Wynne.

“I answered all my e-mails, all the texts and the relevant tweets. In essence, I took my job with me,” he said.

In Ontario – where about 600,000 customers lost power at the height of the storm – about 32,250 customers remain without hydro.

About 400 customers are still in the dark in Quebec, while 12,500 hydro customers in New Brunswick were also without power.

With reports from Ann Hui and the Canadian Press

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail

Top stories

Most popular video »

Highlights

Most Popular Stories