2009 Blackout Stories

Please add stories, as im sure everyone had their own unique experience with the power outage.

My wife and myself are located on south Perth. We stayed the night, when the blackout occurred. When we awoke in the morning (around 5ish). The temperature in the house was + 15. By 11 am it had dropped to 8 degrees. This is the time when I noticed we can see our breath.

As for the fireplace, its behind a wall and the chimney is unusable. No gas stoves, so we were pretty much at the end of our rope. We left the house by noon. The temperature bottomed out later on at 3 degrees.

My elderly parents live on St Clarens, they're room temperature bottomed out at -8. They were long gone before then. Its interesting as they have fish tanks and a bird. The bird left with them, but the fish could not be moved. By 8pm (Friday) night, the fish started to go belly up. The power came back at 9:35pm, astonishingly the fishes all survived - they basically came back alive - dont know how, but I think they lowered there heart rate or something like that - it was amazing.

I am glad the power came back. I am happy we are having a meeting to address - what went wrong.

This really makes me wonder as to alternatives when the power goes out, we felt helpless, which no one wants feel.

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My blackout story

Hi Ran,

Thanks for sharing that.

Comparatively, we had it really easy. We're on Symington, first block north of Bloor, west side. Our thermostat would have been at about 67F (19C) when the power went off in the evening. We normally have the thermostat drop to 60F (15C) overnight, but when we got up at 6:30 in the morning it was down to 54F (12C).

I decided to stay home from work to babysit the house and make sure I could take care of any pipe freezing issues. I trickled some water, but didn't end up having to shut of the main and drain the pipes.

Our furnace and water heater are gas, but they require the electric fans to operate. At least we have a gas stove that can be lit with a match, so I enjoyed a hot cup of tea in the morning!

I walked my wife to the GO station for the 8:00 train, then went for a walk around the neighbourhood. The crowds waiting for the Bloor shuttle buses weren't as bad as I expected, but it was still quite busy. The GO train platform had a few more people than normal, using it to get downtown instead of the subway. The ticket vending machines were out of service though.

By time time I got from my walk, shortly before 9:00am, I noticed that my power was back on when I stepped into the house. Judging by our reset clocks, I think the power came back at around 8:30am. It took several hours of constant heating to get back up to the regular temperature though.

In any case, I'm really glad we added attic/ceiling insulation in shortly after moving in, and all of the caulking and air sealing we did this past Fall. Probably made a difference with how long we retained heat overnight with all that cold wind.

I have some photos (with commentary) from my morning walk posted here:


My Blackout Story

My blackout story didn't happen. Although I live at Bloor & Ruttan, for some strange reason my condo building and the townhomes behind us had power throughout. I heard of another condo building at Lansdowne & Dupont that had power throughout too. I did not have cable or internet service - no big deal considering what people were going through who didn't have power.