5 Things To Know Today
Power outages reported throughout the GTA. Police plan St. Patrick’s Day R.I.D.E. spot checks. York U to resume most classes today. Blaze ravages Brampton hospital construction site. Mayor John Tory heading to Austin for SXSW Festival.
POWER OUTAGES REPORTED THROUGHOUT THE GTA
Toronto Hydro says around 5,000 customers were without power Monday night, amid numerous reports of outages and flickering lights across the city. The hydro company says the outage was due to downed wires. Residents in the Dufferin/Caledonia/Rogers/St Clair were primarily affected, as well as Steeles/McNicoll/Brimley/Middlefield areas and Dufferin and Finch. Meanwhile, PowerStream customers were reporting flickering lights and other hydro issues. They say the issues are weather-related. At around 3am on Tuesday morning, they reported over 900 customers without power, restored by 6:30am. PowerStream also said around 8,400 residents in Barrie were without power, restoration expected for 8am. Less then 200 are now affected. A spokesperson with Hydro One says they’re investigating what caused a “momentary drop in voltage” resulting in a province-wide dip in power on Monday night. They say there were no outages as a result of the voltage drop. Over the weekend, around 30,000 residents in and around the GTA were without power – some for over 12 hours – due to a number of transformer fires caused by salt.
POLICE PLAN ST. PATRICK’S DAY R.I.D.E. CHECKS
The Irish and the want-to-be Irish are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. And while that may include raising a pint or two, police are warning drivers they’ll have stepped up R.I.D.E. checks, with zero tolerence for drinking and driving. Police are also asking people not to use social media to inform others of the sites of R.I.D.E. spot checks.
YORK U TO RESUME MOST CLASSES TODAY
Just in time for St Patrick’s Day, classes will resume for most students at York University, even without a deal between the school and striking teaching assistants. The school senate executive has approved the resumption of most classes on Tuesday, with all classes are set to resume at York University, Monday the 23rd. The strike though, by teaching and graduate assistants, will continue. Meanwhile, strikes are continuing at University of Toronto as well, though no classes have been disrupted. CUPE 3902, which represents 6,000 workers at the facility, says no agreement was met following a weekend mediation.
BLAZE RAVAGES BRAMPTON HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION SITE
Luckily no one is hurt following a spectacular fire at the old Peel Memorial hospital. Fire crews spent several hours dousing the flames that ravaged the construction site near Centre and Queen streets. The new building – under construction since last summer – is supposed to be the new home of the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. No word on the cause of the fire.
MAYOR TORY HEADING TO AUSTIN FOR SXSW FESTIVAL
Mayor John Tory is flying into Austin, TX today for South by Southwest. But, he’s not just there to enjoy the music, as the mayor is there on business – hoping to create jobs and a bigger music market for Toronto. Tory will be attending the festival with a Toronto contingent to try and learn how the festival has grown and bring those lessons back to Toronto. Accompanied by Councillors Michael Thompson and Josh Colle, the trip will includes many meetings with Austin city officials and visits with technology companies. Tory says the North by Northeast festival generates about $50 million for the city and that sounds fantastic until you hear the SXSW festival generates about $150 for Austin, a city a 1/3 as big as Toronto. Tory hopes learn how they’ve grown the festival and duplicate the success the city has had in growing the film industry in the city through TIFF. While the growing economy is the primary priority, job creation is a close second. “One of the reasons I’m going there is yes to see how good their music festival is and how we can make ours as big and as successful as theirs but also I’m visiting the technology companies to try to understand better that connection between the creative industries and culture and our ability to attract jobs.” Tory told reporters before the trip. A number of Toronto music industry representatives will also be joining the mayor in Austin, Texas from March 18 and 19.