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Toronto Hydro says power restored after large downtown outage

Click to play video: 'Massive power outage impacts downtown Toronto' Massive power outage impacts downtown Toronto
WATCH: Massive power outage impacts downtown Toronto – Aug 11, 2022

Toronto Hydro says power has been restored to customers impacted by a mass outage in the city’s downtown on Thursday.

In a tweet just before 8 p.m., Toronto Hydro said together with Hydro One, crews were able to restore power to remaining customers in the downtown area.

Hydro One said it was able to restore power to Toronto Hydro after an upright crane hit three high voltage transmission lines.

“The outage was caused when a barge moving a crane in the upright position ran into high voltage transmission lines in the Port Lands area causing further downstream damage to equipment at a power station near The Esplanade and Lower Sherbourne Street,” Hydro One said.

“The established safety protocol is to stay a minimum of 10 meters away from powerlines.”

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The company urged anyone still without power to call its dispatch team at 416-542-8000.

At around 6 p.m., Toronto Hydro said power had been restored to around half of the company’s impacted customers.

Toronto Hydro notified customers of the outage just before 1 p.m.

“We’re currently experiencing a large outage in downtown Toronto and working together with Hydro One to address it,” Toronto Hydro said.

Toronto residents in the downtown core near the waterfront, near hospital row and at Yonge-Dundas Square, including at Toronto Metropolitan University, said there was no power.

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Toronto Hydro power outage map as of 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022. Toronto Hydro

According to Toronto Hydro’s website, at 1:45 p.m., the outage stretched north as College Street, to the west at University Avenue and south by Lake Shore Boulevard/Queens Quay, and to the east at Parliament Street.

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An area near Carlaw Avenue and Eastern Avenue was also out of power.

A spokesperson for Toronto Fire said they received a call on Commissioners Street, near Bouchette Street, at around 12:32 p.m. for reports that “a ship or a crane” that took down two or three main lines, and that a loud explosion was heard.

Hydro substation located northwest of Tommy Thompson Park.

In a tweet at 2:14 p.m., Hydro One said it was “investigating reports that a barge carrying a crane came into contact with high-voltage transmission lines in the Port Lands area.”

The company said it was trying to “reroute power,” adding that customers would be restored at differing times.

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Hydro One shared photos of the transmission circuit that was affected on social media.

“We know this has made today exceptionally difficult for many of you, and we appreciate your patience,” the company said in a tweet. “We will continue to share more information as it becomes available.”

Toronto Fire said no injuries were reported, adding that it was not immediately clear whether the barge was moving at the time of the incident.

Global News / Gord Edick

Toronto police reminded motorists to treat intersections as a four-way stop if traffic signal lights are out.

Meanwhile, the City of Toronto said several buildings were still open to the public, including City Hall, Old City Hall, Union Station, 277 Victoria Street and 75 to 81 Elizabeth Street.

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A spokesperson for the Toronto Transit Commission told The Canadian Press that some downtown subway stations had lost full power briefly but it had been restored.

The TTC’s King Station, in the financial district, was on emergency power, said Stuart Green.

In a tweet, Toronto Fire said crews were responding to “numerous calls” from people trapped in elevators.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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