Thousands in East York without power during heat wave

Transformer fire responsible for Sunday night power outage

Over 1,000 Toronto Hydro customers in East York lost their power Sept. 20 on the city’s hottest weekend of the year.

About 50 customers were initially affected, according to Toronto Hydro, in areas near Pape Avenue, Danforth Avenue, Donlands Avenue, and the Don River. Hydro says the first reports came in at around 8:20 p.m

A few highrise buildings and traffic lights on Broadview Avenue were affected. Two elevator rescues were also made, including a boy trapped in an elevator in a building on Gamble Avenue.

Toronto Hydro says a faulty transformer near the Evergreen Brickworks was responsible. Firefighters responded to reports of sparks and smoke coming from the transformer, as five firetrucks were necessary to extinguish the fire.

Tori Gass, Toronto Hydro’s media representative, says that the utility was managing customers’ issues on social media and conducting media interviews to inform customers as they worked on the matter.

“We were able to isolate that transformer and reroute the power around it and then bring it back to our customers,” Gass said.

Although power returned to the area at around 10:15 p.m., hundreds of people in Forest Hill were also without power until 3 p.m. the folowing day.

“We have had power outages for two nights in a row now during this hot weather,” she said. “So it is reasonable to think [the weather] is playing a part in what we are seeing.”

The outage came during a heat warning advisory by Environment Canada, as temperatures in the GTA elevated to the low 40s with the humidity. Saturday’s daytime high broke the city’s record for the hottest day since 1959.

Toronto Hydro tweeted a message saying customers affected should go to the seven cooling centres operated by the city during the heat wave.