The Great Christmas Ice Storm inToronto

Weighted trees with ice, causing havock to all the power lines:



It is now 3pm EST and this is the first sign of power since yesterday’s 10 minute gift. We have been stranded with no power since Saturday night. It’s been very cold in our homes and I am grateful that I had tins of salmon and tuna in my cupboard along with cereal for sustenance. I am posting this article I wrote yesterday while I still have power at the moment. Below you will also find a link to the newscast regarding the carnage of this storm.

God Bless you all and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happiness and health in the coming year!

They had been calling for it all week! After getting a wallop of snow last weekend here in Toronto and weather-wise being a very frosty week, there were warnings that we were in for a weekend of freezing rain. I hadn’t really paid it any heed; after all, this is Toronto, and it’s winter. So undoubtedly we would be getting our share of precipitation.

Saturday was an icy day, freezing rain, slick roads and frankly, not the best day for last minute Christmas shoppers. I was quite happy to be home writing in my flannel p.j.’s with the fireplace on. I decided not to work on Saturday night and snuggle up under a blanket on the couch and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. That was working out nicely until the power went out.  Although the power did manage to come back on intermittently through the evening, by midnight the lights were flickering non-stop so I took it as a sign to head up to bed and read on my kindle.

When I woke this morning, there was no power. What? No computer? No Sunday Football? NO COFFEE? I NEED MY COFFEE! I turned on my cell phone to check my email and found that I was unable to send any.:) Our son-in-law who lives blocks away called on my cell to update us as to what was going on in the outside world. Truthfully, I hadn’t even looked outside at that point because it was winter so what did I expect to find different? Our son-in-law offered to come over and help chop off the layers of ice on our walk and driveway. He said he had been to Tim Horton’s to get his family coffee and breakfast already and just after he got his order they had to close down. Previously he had gone to the gas station to fill up his car and scathed that as well. There was a huge line up there and shortly after his visit, all the pumps were closed down. He had heard on the car radio that many transformers were blown in the city from the rain freezing on the wires. They are saying we may not have power until Christmas!  A quarter of a million homes without heat and power and I am one of them.

I WANT COFFEE! I decided to brave the ice and the cold and I went out in the knee-deep snow filled backyard so I could turn on the bbq to boil some water. Layered up with boots, coat, gloves and scarf, I found myself having to stomp very hard with my every step to break the ice layers that had formed atop the snow. When I approached the bbq which my husband had so meticulously wrapped with it’s cover, laden with bricks atop so the winter would not blow it away, I began chiseling about 4 inches of ice which had formed on top of and around the full-length cover. It was as stiff as a brick wall. I kicked it continuously to shatter the ice and continued chiseling for about ten more minutes. THAT COVER WASN’T COMING OFF UNTIL NEXT SPRING!

Before coming back inside, I turned around to have a look at the extent of the ice formulation in my garden.  I couldn’t believe my once bare leafed trees after autumn’s departure now weighted down by icicle branches. The pictures below should give you an indication as to the conditions just by seeing how the branches had sustained the falling rain and being frozen instantly in mid air.


So I have resolved myself to no coffee and a bowl of cereal and I am declaring this a writing day.  I am grateful that I had gotten the flashlights and candles ready last night as well as charged my laptop’s back-up battery. I cannot connect to the outside world on the computer but I have a lot of publications stored I can read and catch up on and right now I am topping up the charge to my cell phone on it as well.

2pm – The lights came on for a brief interlude. I thought the media was over-hyping the outage and within 20 minutes my exhilaration was short-lived. I am writing now at 7pm by candlelight. Instead of my lovely seabass dinner, I shall be dining on a can of salmon and some crackers. As I wrote the afternoon away, I waited and waited to go take a shower and blow dry my hair, but I finally succumbed to a candle lit shower as the dark was fast approaching. In the excitement of my big power reprieve at 2pm I had stuck in a load of laundry, which still remains soaking in suds 20 minutes into the cycle, hours ago. I am currently typing this as a word document so it’s ready to transfer onto my blog at the next sign of power.

Perhaps the media got it right – no power until Christmas? One quarter of a million people here without power! They are calling for the temps to drop to minus 18 on Tuesday. I sparingly went on my cell phone to get a news update on the situation and was disheartened to learn there is no news, no resolve as of yet. They are calling this the worst ice storm to ever hit Toronto.

Today, now it is 3pm EST I am posting this as I just got power! A Christmas blessing after having to leave my home this morning in search of warmth and coffee and a car charger, I am happy to be here back to my cyber world. We often take things for granted because they are always there, but let us be aware of the tender mercies we receive every day and please pray for the 200,000 others who are without heat and electricity at this special time of year. Many won’t have power until the weekend.

Besides the many stranded travelers who are trying to get to their loved ones for Christmas and the many last minute shoppers who are out of luck until this passes, the question remains….Will anyone be getting a nice cooked turkey dinner for Christmas?

Happy Holidays to you all!

16 thoughts on “The Great Christmas Ice Storm inToronto

  1. Chronicles of DG´s shutdown on internet…. This title would fit well too !!!… Really: those tweets telling us how you were trying to handle the storm effects were great!!!…. And intriguing!

    Have you ever thought about an SCi Fi story… As I see it the scenery it well set up… The quarantine background is a further guaranteed hit…

    Oh, I am sorry about the storm…Seriously speaking, the same thing happened heer last year and it is awful…Being offline without your consent is something that makes you feel quite powerless, as I see it… Glad you are back!

    Cheers to you, sweetheart & merry Christmas ;

    Aquileana 😉


    1. Thank you my sweet friend. As it is, I am a nonfiction author and I tell it the way it is. I am ever so grateful to be back online catching up in my world. Thank you for being with me in the twitter universe through this journey. Merry Christmas and wishing you health and happiness for the New year. xo 🙂


    1. Oh thank you Melanie, how I wish I could. I am grateful to have heat and power again here, especially at Christmas. I will be going for some warm sunshine in the coming month, eagerly anticipating! xo


  2. We had the ice storm Sunday and hardly anything but the brave (and stupid) ventured out onto the roads. We luckily had power. Still, after going a week without it after Hurricane Juan hit, we have made many changes. We now have a generator that runs the furnace and a few other things. I have also since bought a Coleman stove, so I can make hot meals and tea in the kitchen. We also have a space heater run by a prophane tank. For my sanity (computer) I have a large battery back up system that will keep me writing for more than 48 hours. I keep a supply of glow sticks to light the hallway at night when the generator is turned off. It helps the kids sleep easier, knowing they can find their way when everything is pitch dark. When the power is out, they each get one to hang on their bed post too. I also bought a few Coleman lanterns that hang on wrought iron hooks (made by a local Black Smith) in central places, ready to be switched on if needed.

    Storms like Hurricane Juan teach us more in 24 hours than any schooling. Unless the roof blows off, we can now happily survive anything mother nature throws at us.

    Unfortunately I haven’t been able to make it to town since last week, and with the ice storm and snow coming today, it looks as though I’ll have to write notes to put under the tree to let a few people know that “this is supposed to be (fill in the blank), but the weather has kept me home”. I’ll pick up the expected item later this week. Oh well.

    The best thing about storms is the inability to leave home, and for writers, that means more writing or reading time. Enjoy the holidays, and I hope your power is still on and will be from here on in. As you say, this is winter. Merry Christmas.


    1. Diane, thanks so much for taking the time to post this lengthy, informative post and some great tips! Yes, I know, you people out east have had more than your share of inclement weather. I hope the ice storm passes by you and if not, does not leave you all without power, especially for Christmas. We aren’t usually in such predicaments such as this storm as it is more common further into the east coast as you well know. Thanks so much for the tips on the coleman stove, that is a definite must on my list, perhaps as an after Christmas sale (if there are any left). It seems the weather seems to get more intense around the world with every passing year. Global warming or God’s wrath I always question. Funny, my husband was just talking about looking into a generator. We just moved into our current home last year and have experienced more outages here in a year and a half than we have in all our past homes combined. Of course this outage was an act of nature but so many others are mysteries to us. We live and learn. I missed coffee and a hot meal the most. It is Christmas eve day, 3 days into the carnage and only half the homes have been gifted back with power. I pray for those still without as the temps are at minus 20 right now, so many have had to leave their homes for warmth at this special time of year. I wish you a Merry Christmas and pray you don’t become one of the coming storm’s powerless victims. I agree with you on the writing, for we have that gift and in the still of the dark with nothing to do, I took advantage of lots of writing! 🙂


      1. We were spared any major weather, both in the form of freezing rain and snow. We had only a dusting (about 2 cm), while towards town they had about five. I’ve seen single stove units that are compact enough to fit in the cupboard or closet where they can be easily accessed if the power goes out. They are simply so handy to have. You’ll never be without a way to make tea (or coffee) again. During the power outage of Hurricane Juan, my youngest was only nine months old. I heated his baby food over a candle. I don’t know if it’s true, but it does feel as though the power goes out more often now.

        Here’s hoping everyone has their power restored tonight. Merry Christmas.


      2. Thanks again, I am very grateful as it is minus 24 with the windchill, and still 80,000 with no power, sending prayers!


  3. Nothing like that here in southern Spain. Just heavy rain which we desperately need. I hope your power is back, full of coffee and nice and warm on this Christmas Day. Ralph xox 😀


    1. Thanks Ralph, it is, but for many it is still not. Many have been forced to leave their homes with no heat as it may take until the weekend yet to repair all wires. Truly a frightful situation. Blessed am I to have power back, the best gift! 🙂


    2. Thanks Ralph, it is, but for many it is still not. Many have been forced to leave their homes with no heat as it may take until the weekend yet to repair all wires. Truly a frightful situation. Blessed am I to have power back, the best gift! 🙂


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