Monday, December 30, 2013

The Big Ice Storm of 2013

One of the perks of working at a University is that I always get the days between Christmas and New Years off.  This year I had many plans for those days - spend time with family, visit with friends who don't live in Toronto, get a hair cut and pay some attention to my blog.

And then, December 21 came, and the ice storm with it. Our landlady came to our door at 10:30 p.m. to ask us to move our car - and we are so glad we did. The next morning we woke to no power AND a huge tree branch in our parking spot.

We spent Sunday figuring out what we could eat with no power, playing and colouring with Hannah. Because the other side of our street had power, we assumed ours would come back shortly. It did not, and after lunch time, the other side of the street lost its power too.

Like many of our friends, Chris and I don't have a landline - we both have cell phones. Thankfully I charged my MacBook before I went to bed on Saturday night...but by Monday when Chris left for work it was down to 15 per cent. My Mom was home and without power, but at least she had a landline if anything happened. She also had a radio. So Hannah had to sit in the car and eat crackers while I scraped the ice off my Fusion for ONE HOUR.

When I got to my Mom's her place was a lot warmer than mine. The day passed more quickly with access to a phone. My Mom being resourceful had put many items from her fridge on her balcony, and they kept quite well - even our Christmas turkey!

That night we drove up to Richmond Hill and spent the night in a hotel. The last time I woke up in a hotel on Christmas Eve I was on Disney property in Orlando. Even with the pancake machine, the Richmond Hill hotel just didn't compare.

The hotel was warm, had water and TV. Until we got to the hotel I really didn't understand how badly the storm hurt Toronto - and especially Scarborough where we live. It's all good for the news to report things such as warming centres, but the people who need that information most weren't getting it due the lack of power.

Thankfully, the next day my Mom's power came on and we were living with her until today (even Booyah our cat spent the week at Grandma's!).

I will never forget Christmas 2013 - we went to dinner at my Grandpa's retirement home. On Saturday we had "fake Christmas" when my Mom cooked at her place. A fake Christmas miracle occurred and our building finally had power - but no heat or water. Sunday we had power and water, but no heat. Today we finally have all three.

A week after our hotel night and many days after the storm, I am finally in my own home.

Were you affected by the ice storm? How long was your power out?

© 2013 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.


  1. The power at our place went in and out, repeatedly. Worried about when it would come back or doing something that would overload things and make the power go out, we prioritized what we believe needed to be used when power was in. Don't remember the exact order but cellphones were near the top, if not at the top. Especially important if we had to leave our place and seek shelter elsewhere.

    1. Yeah, that is a good plan! We were all waiting for the power to come should have seen how many devices I had charging at the hotel! :)


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