Parts of southern Ontario were hit with wind gusts on Friday strong enough to topple trees, delay flights and knock out power.
During the storm, Milton Hydro said a forestry worker from Miller Tree died and Halton Regional Police said another was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition after a tree they were working on fell on them.
In Hamilton, local police said at around 7 p.m. officers were called to West Avenue South and Main Street East to assist paramedics. A man, who is believed to be in his 50s, was found unconscious on the road next to live wires.
Police said witnesses reported the man tried to move the wires from the road and was subsequently electrocuted. Officials encouraged residents to stay well back from downed electrical wires.
Meanwhile, Peel Regional Police were called to Sayers Road, northeast of Southdown Road and Lakeshore Road West, in Mississauga Friday afternoon after a large tree fell in front of a school bus. Police said 72 children between the ages of seven and 10 were on the bus at the time. There were no reports of injuries.
Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for a large section of southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area on Friday. The weather agency said gusts of up to 110 km/h were observed.
WATCH: Toronto Pearson Airport personnel dodge luggage containers sent flying in strong winds
Global News Chief Meteorologist Anthony Farnell said Toronto received winds of up to 119 km/h and Hamilton’s gusts clocked in at 126 km/h.
Winds were so strong that a video posted on Twitter showed a lawn chair falling to the ground after being blown off of a high rise balcony in the Park Lawn Road and Lake Shore Boulevard West area of Toronto.
Hydro One said its crews were responding to many outages caused by the high winds and thunderstorms. The utility said more than 126,000 homes were without power as of early Friday evening.
Toronto Hydro said as of 10 p.m., approximately 68,000 customers were without power.
Earlier on Friday, Environment Canada placed much of southern Ontario under a severe thunderstorm watch. It said conditions were “favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.”
The warning was called off for Toronto and areas close to Lake Ontario late Friday afternoon.
The winds were expected to shift to the northwest in the evening and diminish.
Transit, flight delays reported in the GTA
Officials with Toronto Pearson International Airport said early Friday evening there was a ground stop in effect, meaning flights could not land at, or depart from, the airport.
The winds were so strong at the airport that a loose baggage container could be seen blown into a fence just north of Highway 401.
Ontario Provincial Police tweeted at 5:45 p.m. that the QEW is closed in both directions at the Burlington Skyway due to high winds. The highway reopened at around 8:15 p.m.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said on Twitter Friday afternoon that subways will be travelling at a reduced speed (30 km/h) in parts of the system “to ensure safe stopping in the event debris or falling tree limbs encroach on the tracks.” He later said debris blown on the tracks — including mattresses and pillows — caused subway delays.
GO Transit said its trains were experiencing significant delays due to fallen trees, broken railway crossings and power outages. The agency’s spokesperson, Anne Marie Aikins, asked the public to delay non-essential travel.
Service on the Union-Pearson Express was cancelled for several hours due to mechanical problems and debris on the tracks. Service was reinstated after 10 p.m.
–With files from Jessica Patton, David Shum and Don Mitchell