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Thousands remain without power after ice storm

Winston Sih | posted Sunday, Dec 22nd, 2013

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Hydro crews continue to work around the clock to restore power in the Toronto area after the weekend’s ice storm left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark.

Toronto Hydro said 115,000 customers were without power as of early Tuesday morning, which is down from the 300,000 who were in the dark at the height of the storm.

The utility said now that critical customers have been addressed, it is working to fix feeder lines to restore power to “large numbers of customers.”

Click here for Toronto Hydro’s power outage map.

Click here for real-time updates.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and hydro officials provided an update on Tuesday morning.

Ford emphasized that the power outage will not be fully resolved by Christmas Day.

“That’s not going to happen, folks,” he said, explaining that the last 50,000 homes without power will take the most time to restore, since in most cases it’s just one house per street without power.

Scarborough is the hardest-hit area.

Meanwhile, Emergency Medical Services has attended to 3,100 calls in the last 24 hours, four times more than average, Ford said.

The Sheppard TTC subway line, which has been out of service due to a power outage since the storm, should be back up and running by noon, according to the mayor. Shuttle buses are being used in the meantime.

At a news conference on Monday, officials said the situation was still dicey as the temperature was expected to drop to the -10 C range on Tuesday without the wind chill. There is concern that frozen trees limbs could fall as winds pick up and break more power lines.

Ford said repair crews will stay on the job as long as it takes, even through Christmas. Crews from Windsor and Ottawa are arriving on Tuesday to help out and crews from Manitoba and Michigan are arriving on Wednesday.

He also said declaring a state of emergency is not necessary because he said conditions are improving.

Utilities in the Toronto area are warning that some residents may not get their power back until Boxing Day or later.

The city opened nine community centres on Sunday where people can get food and warmth. More warming centres were opened on Monday including 13 police buildings and another four community centres. Click here for a list of warming centres. Ford said that 750 people using the warming centres.

Power outages outside of Toronto
Meanwhile, outside of the GTA, Hydro One said around 56,000 customers are still waiting for their electricity to be restored.

In York Region, Powerstream said 6,400 customers are still without power in Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. Veridian Connections reports 13,000 customers in the Durham area are still affected.

In Mississauga, Enersource said 275 customers don’t have power, while in Brampton, Hydro One Brampton said 1,600 customers are still in the dark.

With files from The Canadian Press

Your photo submissions

Take a look at your photo submissions in the gallery below. Send them into us using the hashtag #CityStorm.

 

CityNews Toronto real-time weather

Real-time weather reports from CityNews meteorologists and weather specialists. Join the conversation using the hashtags #Citywx or #CityStorm.

For a mobile-friendly version, click here.

With files from CityNews.ca and The Canadian Press

Featured image sent in courtesy of @cdnangel73 on Twitter

City’s Spirit of the Season holiday party to be held Friday

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, Dec 19th, 2013

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The Sheraton Centre Toronto hotel is offering Breakfast Television viewers a great rate for a stay, while helping raise funds for Daily Bread Food Bank, too.  The Sheraton Centre’s ‘Elevator’ rate of $139 per night includes a $10 donation to Daily Bread.

Fans and families are invited to celebrated with giveaways, live performances and donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Donations of a new, unwrapped toy for the Annual Toronto Auxiliary Police Toy Drive are also welcome.

The day-long yuletide extravaganza begins at 5:30 a.m. with a live broadcast on Breakfast Television, with coverage continuing on The 5, CityNews at Six and all day coverage on-site on 680News.

For those heading into town on Thursday night, the Sheraton Centre’s ‘Elevator’ rate of $139 per night includes a $10 donation to Daily Bread.

The Daily Bread said Thursday it has received $1.4 million and almost 200,000 pounds of food in its holiday drive. The food bank’s goal is to raise $2.5 million and one million pounds of food by Dec. 31.

The food bank’s executive director Gail Nyberg said in a statement that donations have been slow, but she expects more donations to come in next week closer to Christmas.

Stay on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 19 before BT’s Spirit of the Season show, broadcasting live from the hotel’s lobby.

To book, visit www.sheraton.com/tospecials, or you can call 1 (866) 716-8101 and ask for the ‘Elevator’ Breakfast Television special  rate at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

Click below to book now:

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With files from CityNews.ca

‘Significant winter weather’ tracking towards GTA: Environment Canada

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Dec 18th, 2013

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Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for southern and eastern Ontario, including Toronto and the GTA, warning of “significant winter weather” expected late this week and over the weekend.

According to the weather agency, two storms are tracking towards the lower Great Lake. One is expected to arrive Friday morning and depending on the temperature will include rain, freezing rain, ice pellets or snow.

680News meteorologist Harold Hosein said storm number two on Sunday will be much worse.

“That is going to produce a very gusty wind, along with the possibility of 15-25 centimetres of snow, if not more, if it all comes as snow,” Hosein said.

It’s certainly bad timing for the second storm as it’s the first travel weekend of the Christmas season.

Winter officially arrives at 12:11 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The statement is in effect for:

  • City of Toronto
  • Halton – Peel
  • York – Durham
  • Huron – Perth
  • Dufferin – Innisfil
  • Grey – Bruce
  • Barrie – Orillia – Midland
  • City of Hamilton
  • Windsor – Essex – Chatham-Kent
  • Sarnia – Lambton
  • Elgin
  • London – Middlesex
  • Simcoe – Delhi – Norfolk
  • Dunnville – Caledonia – Haldimand
  • Oxford – Brant
  • Niagara
  • Waterloo – Wellington
  • Belleville – Quinte – Northumberland
  • Kingston – Prince Edward
  • Peterborough – Kawartha Lakes
  • Stirling – Tweed – South Frontenac
  • Bancroft – Bon Echo Park
  • Brockville – Leeds and Grenville
  • City of Ottawa
  • Gatineau
  • Prescott and Russell
  • Cornwall – Morrisburg
  • Smiths Falls – Lanark – Sharbot Lake
  • Parry Sound – Muskoka
  • Haliburton
  • Renfrew – Pembroke – Barry’s Bay
  • Algonquin
  • Burk’s Falls – Bayfield Inlet

Week of Dec. 15, 2013

BT Toronto | posted Sunday, Dec 15th, 2013

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It’s a festive lineup on next week’s Breakfast Television!

Susur Lee stops by with his hottest recipes for the holidays.

Cityline stylist Lynn Spence is in on Wednesday with her top holiday décor picks.

On Thursday, our Winston Sih has your last-minute tech stocking stuffers.

Plus, on Friday, it’s our big BT Christmas Spirit of the Season holiday party. Stay with us overnight or stop by the morning of to meet your favourite personalities, as well as hear JRDN and Suzie McNeil perform at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

Be sure to watch BT weekdays 5:30 to 9 a.m. on City, right here at BTtoronto.ca/live, or on our Breakfast Television mobile app for iOS and Android!

Blast of winter weather comes to GTA Saturday

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Dec 13th, 2013

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Winter has arrived in the Greater Toronto Area.

The season doesn’t officially start until Dec. 21. But up to 25 centimetres of snow are expected on Saturday in parts of the region and temperatures will hover below – 20 with the wind chill.

A winter storm warning was issued for Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton. Environment Canada also issued a snowfall warning for Toronto, Mississauga and the Niagara area.

CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said by the evening the downtown core had already seen between 10 to 20 centimetres of snow, with as much as 10 more centimetres possible by the morning.

“The snow is continuing right through the evening hours. It’s going to be heavy at times,” she explained. “We’re not going to start to see the snow taper to flurries until the wee hours of the morning…About the time we wake up on Sunday this snowstorm will be over.”

Toronto’s director of transportation services Peter Noehammer told 680News about 200 salt trucks have been deployed and 600 plows started moving at 2:30 p.m. on expressways and arterial roads.

Noehammer says once the main roads have been cleared plows will begin work on residential streets.

“We’ll hit the local streets after the snow’s done in the overnight and we’ll be plowing the local and residential streets,” he explained.

While crews work around the clock, Noehammer reminds residents to do their part to help keep the streets safe and clear.

“If you are shovelling your driveway, probably tomorrow, don’t put the snow back out onto the roadway,” he said. “That just causes it to be unsafe again and does carry a fine so our bylaw officers are instructed to look out for those things – especially from commercial parking lots.”

Meanwhile, dozens of flights through Toronto Pearson and Montreal-Trudeau airports have been delayed or cancelled.

Ontario Provincial Police are cautioning motorists to take care on highways, posting on Twitter — “IF YOU SEE SNOW, GO SLOW!”

Police also say there have been numerous accidents including a 20-car pileup on the Queen Elizabeth Highway in Mississauga.

Drivers should prepare for poor road conditions tonight and into tomorrow morning.

Take a look at your photo submissions below, sent in on Twitter via #CityStorm:

 

Snow totals forecast and timeline:

With files from CityNews.ca and The Canadian Press

Skating & food trucks on offer at City’s New Year’s Eve party

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Dec 12th, 2013

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City will once again be hosting its annual New Year’s Eve party at Nathan Phillips Square, with a slight twist on years past.

The party will run from 8 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 31, the 29th year City has celebrated in the square.

There will be skating, food trucks, musical performances from KiSS 92.5 DJ Clymaxxx, R&B band Fathead and funk band God Made Me Funky, and of course, a spectacular fireworks show to ring in 2014.

New this year is a curling demonstration.

Hosts from City and Sportsnet will emcee live events and host coverage from the square, while on City, viewers can watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2014.

CityNews Tonight will carry live coverage of festivities from the square at 11 p.m. in a special national news edition.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is a six-hour television marathon beginning at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 and running until 2 a.m. on City and Citytv.com. The show will begin with a two-hour countdown looking at the 30 greatest female artists in music, and continues with performances from Los Angeles and Times Square in New York City.

Rogers Media is the parent company of City, Breakfast Television, and this website.

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Let us know in the comments.

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With files from Erin Crigers, CityNews.ca

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