Power restored for all customers affected by downtown Toronto blackout caused by crane striking hydro lines

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Tens of thousands of hydroelectric customers in downtown Toronto got their power back after a massive outage Thursday forced some businesses to close and caused headaches for drivers.

Power was restored shortly before 8:00 pm, nearly eight hours since the blackout began.

“Safety is always our top priority. We know this power outage has made today exceptionally difficult for many of you, and we appreciate your patience,” David Lebeter, Hydro One’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. Thursday night.

“We had every resource available to help restore power as quickly and safely as possible. I want to thank everyone affected by this outage for their patience and Toronto Fire and Toronto Hydro for their partnership.”

Hydro One said an upright crane was on a barge traveling in the Port Lands Ship Channel around 12:30 p.m. which resulted in the loss of power throughout the city center.

At its peak, an estimated 10,000 customers were left in the dark.

For several hours, the blackout left parts of the Hospital for Sick Children’s campus without power. It also darkened part of the Eaton Centre, forcing hundreds of stores to close. The mall, however, reopened around 3:30 p.m. after power was slowly restored.

Many large billboards in Yonge-Dundas Square were also turned off. Traffic lights were out at some downtown intersections, prompting police to remind drivers to treat them like four-way stops. It led to some public roads becoming clogged.

CTV News Political analyst Scott Reid was driving downtown when the lights went out.

He said navigating the city streets was a bit “hairy” as several traffic lights are out in the city center.

Reid said police officers were directing traffic at some major intersections, but not all.

Energy cut

The blackout did not affect subways, but the TTC said there were significant delays to streetcars because traffic lights were out in parts of downtown. Meanwhile, Metrolinx said its PRESTO, GO Transit and UP Express services were up and running. He added that Union Station never lost power.

Several people were also trapped in the elevators due to the outage. Toronto Fire said crews responded to several elevator rescues.

No injuries have been reported at this point in connection with the outage.

“(It was) definitely a unique situation,” said Hydro One spokeswoman Tiziana Baccega Rosa.

He noted that an investigation is underway into the circumstances of how that barge was moved with a crane in an upright position and did not adhere to safety protocols.

Hydro One said crews will continue to work in the coming days to repair the damage caused by the crane.


City opens investigation

In a statement, the city said a subcontractor to the Southland-Astaldi Joint Venture (SAJV), which is involved in the Ashbridges Bay treatment plant outfall project, may have caused the outage.

“The city has launched a full investigation and requested a full report from SAJV to understand what happened and what needs to be done to ensure this does not happen again,” the statement read.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a separate statement that the blackout caused major disruption to the downtown area and should not have happened.

“I want to thank the Hydro One team who worked with our Toronto Hydro team to restore power to those affected as quickly as possible,” said Tory.

The mayor said city staff and all relevant parties will review the incident to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“I have made it clear to city officials that I support them in doing everything they can to get to the bottom of this and ensure full and complete accountability,” Tory said.

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