More than 280,000 Ontarians lost power on Saturday evening due to high winds that wreaked havoc in the southern part of the province and triggered a widespread warning from Environment Canada.
Utility Hydro One says nearly 210,000 customers were still without power as of Saturday at 10 p.m., and those in hardest-hit areas were expected to remain in the dark overnight.
Police forces across southern Ontario say they responded to calls about downed wires, fallen trees and flying debris.
Environment Canada issued wind warnings for essentially all of the province’s southern regions, predicting gusts between 90 and 120 kilometres per hour expected through the afternoon and evening.
The warnings had lifted for much of southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area by Saturday night, but remained in place for eastern parts of the province.
Earlier, Toronto Police tweeted that there were “many reports” of wires and trees down across the city due to the wind.
They say a fence blew into the road in midtown, not far from where scaffolding reportedly toppled to the ground at a construction site.
Matthew Pegg, the city’s fire chief and head of emergency management, also shared a “heads up” for residents and safety tips on his Twitter account Saturday.
“Please remain alert for flying debris while moving around the (City of Toronto),” he wrote. “If you encounter downed lines, stay at least the length of a school bus away.”
Waterloo Regional Police said several calls had reported downed hydro wires, fallen trees and debris blowing in the high winds.
In a tweet, the police force asked people to drive or walk with caution.
Halton Police also shared reports of dangling traffic lights, downed trees and “flying debris” across the region west of Toronto.
In addition to the southern Ontario wind warnings, Environment Canada also issued snowfall and winter storm warnings for the northeastern part of the province. Up to 20 centimetres of snow is expected in areas such as Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.
It says a mix of precipitation from freezing rain and ice pellets or snow was expected as a low pressure system moved northeast across the Great Lakes.