Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





Power Blackouts

posted January 19, 2009

The coldest-day-of-winter blackout in downtown Toronto (January 15-16, 2008) got us thinking about blackouts, and what happens in neighbourhoods during an emergency. In emergencies, mutual help among neighbours suddenly becomes more important than in the day-to-day. So we've started a folder on the subject.

Blackout January 15-16 2009
January 22, 2009 follow-up meeting
It turns out that the January 2009 Blackout was caused by a sprinkler system failure. In 2003 a power blackout was extended by many hours as the result of a similar problem. There was a meeting at the Parkdale Library to review the situation.
Blackout January 2009 in the media
City Blackout Information
This includes a map of the areas that were out the longest (and will be out the longest next time too) Read more >>
March 31 2009 follow-up meeting
M.P.P. Tony Ruprecht held a meeting to let hydro users know what improvements had been made to prevent another Dufferin substation power outage. Read more >>
May 9, 2009 West Toronto Power Outage
There was a two-hour power outage affecting the same large area as on January 16. It seems to have originated at the Dufferin substation. Rumour says that a raccoon got into the equipment and shorted it out. CELOS is trying to find out the story -- with limited success. Read more >>
Public services available during emergencies
Here are some email list service messages regarding emergency services. They were generated after the January 2009 Downtown Toronto Blackout. Read more>>
Blackouts in the recent past
Some basic links about the Quebec 1998 Ice Storm, the Big Hydro Blackout 2003. Read more >>
Other blackouts in the media
Our electrical system, from the Dufferin transformer outward
"I used to work as a certified high voltage technician back in Norway during the 80's. I have worked in substations and on the high voltage grid, belove and above ground. Never have I seen blackouts like the ones we have had in our community." Read more >>
Some links and information
...about getting off grid or reducing your energy dependence. Read more >>
Being Prepared
An hour after the power went back on, Mayor Miller said there was an astonishingly small amount of damage from this blackout. He may have spoken too soon. Read more >>

Hydro One Director Mike Penstone speaking at a post-blackout community meeting

Content last modified on May 28, 2009, at 05:21 PM EST