Ice Storm Clean-up

Dear Neighbour,

Happy New Year!

The City of Toronto is commencing clean-up efforts in the aftermath of the freezing rain storm that resulted in over 300,000 Toronto Hydro customers losing power over the holidays.  Everyone who have made our office aware of the loss of power to their location has been restored.  One benefit of the smart meter is that Toronto Hydro can now tell if there is power at the meter of the home/business, assuming the communication is working, and assuming Toronto Hydro is utilizing this ability.  Following are edited Toronto Hydro and City of Toronto Updates:

Toronto Hydro Update:  January 1, 2014

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) reports that all power outages from the December 21st ice storm have been restored. However, Toronto Hydro will continue to work to attend to re-connections to homes that required Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) approval for repairs to standpipes. As expected, these types of calls are continuing to be received as ESA inspections proceed.  Toronto Hydro is also attending to calls where customers are receiving “partial power”, which is a situation where some but not all appliances in the home are working. We also expect that new storm related outages will be reported as customers return home from winter break holidays over the next few days.

Customers who are without power who did not require ESA inspection should call 416-542-8000 to ensure that we are aware of your outage.

Toronto Hydro continues its response on a 24/7 basis to reconnect customers and respond to any new power outage reports. In addition, we expect that over the next few days there may be periodic increases in outages related to wind gusts, which may bring down weakened tree limbs on hydro lines.

Clearing Ice Storm Tree Debris:  January 2, 2014

The City of Toronto announced its plan today for cleaning up the thousands of downed tree limbs that fell as a result of the ice storm on December 21 and 22. While City forestry crews continue to tend to overhead branches that are a safety hazard, Solid Waste Management will lead the collection and chipping of wood debris piled on city streets.

The cleanup operation, which is expected to take approximately eight weeks, will begin simultaneously in wards across the city. Up to 125 three-person crews made up of both City staff and contractors will clear tree debris from roadsides using chain saws and chippers while another 120 two-person forestry crews will focus on removing hanging branches that threaten power lines and walking areas.

The City will haul away all tree branches from front yards and roadsides and will include those that have fallen on private property if they are less than 15 cm (six inches) in diameter and have been taken to the curb. Residents should neatly stack limbs/branches at the front edge of their properties without blocking either sidewalks or roads and with the butt ends of branches towards the road.

City crews will not collect large limbs (more than 15 cm or six inches in diameter) from private trees that have fallen on private property. Property owners should contact a private contractor for this. A City permit is not required to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous, however many trees can be saved with proper care and pruning.

For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle (ALHB) quarantine area in Etobicoke, City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in an appropriate manner. Residents are advised not to take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area. Check for more information.

Residents may monitor the debris removal progress by checking a detailed map on the City’s web site at

In addition, if you see downed trees or branches in City parks (ensuring safety for our residents), please report it to 311 or my office at (416) 392-1375.  I have seen city crews going around and moving downed limbs in the Ward, so they are moving quickly.


Chin Lee

Toronto City Councillor
Ward 41 – Scarborough Rouge River

Phone:  (416) 392-1375
Fax:  (416) 392-7433