Letter from Toronto Hydro about CityPlace power outages

CityPlace residents and businesses,

These past weeks, you have endured a number of power outages including an extended failure over Labour Day weekend. At best, these were increasingly frustrating inconveniences. But for some, these outages were serious challenges to health and mobility. I have heard from many people who struggled without air conditioning or elevators. And both residents and businesses lost a great deal of food without working refrigerators and freezers. This has been an unacceptable situation for the community.

Toronto Hydro has written a letter explaining what they know so far about the power outages, and you can view it by clicking here. They are hand-delivering copies to the concierge of each CityPlace building this afternoon. I have been advocating strongly for Toronto Hydro to communicate directly and promptly with CityPlace residents and businesses because it is clear that shortcomings with Toronto Hydro's hotline and website worsened the challenges experienced in CityPlace.

Any power outage is a problem but the repeated incidents are a deep concern. At the next City Council meeting in October, I will be requesting a formal review of the capacity and maintenance of electrical infrastructure serving CityPlace, as well as the communications protocols in place for major failures like these.

Adequate and well maintained infrastructure is vitally important for every neighbourhood, but especially so in dense vertical communities like CityPlace where 18,000 people live. It is critical and urgent that we determine why the existing infrastructure has not been providing a reliable supply of electricity to the neighbourhood. Toronto Hydro has already replaced one of the cables that supplies power to CityPlace and now we need to understand if more work must be done.

In addition to dealing with this immediate problem, as a City we also need to be proactive about anticipating capacity constraints and aging infrastructure as our downtown neighbourhoods grow. This includes electricity, clean water, and sewers, along with social infrastructure like parks, libraries, childcare, and schools. The TOcore study that is underway will address these concerns, and you can click here to learn more about long-term electricity planning for downtown Toronto.

I will continue to work closely with Toronto Hydro to ensure that this urgent problem is investigated and resolved without delay, so that the CityPlace community can be confident again in the reliability of the electricity supply.