helpful tips

Toronto Hydro Outage Map and Tips

Toronto Hydro just launched a new and improved version of its outage map.

The map’s new features include status updates on outages and estimated times for
restoration.

The outage map is also more user-friendly and provides detailed boundaries of
current outages. You can also search the map by address.

Toronto Hydro is currently working on a notification program that will provide you with
updates during major outages. You can register for outage alerts here.

If power is down following a snow storm, Toronto Hydro suggests following these tips:

  • Check to see if your neighbours have power. If they don’t, it is likely that more work is planned on your street.
  • If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside your home to see if the breakers are in the “on” position.
  • Check outside and visually inspect if the electrical equipment on your home is damaged or if the service wire is down. If the customer-owned connection point (usually the pipe and wires attached to your home connected to the powerline) is damaged, you may need to contact an ESA-certified electrical contractor. A list is available on the ESA’s website at http://www.esasafe.com.

In the event of a power outage this winter, you can contact Toronto Hydro’s Customer Care team at (416) 542-8000. This number can also be used to report emergencies such as downed or sagging wires.

You may also report power outages and streetlight outages by visiting this link or by calling 311.

For additional information on emergency preparedness, please click here.

Protect Your Pipes from Freezing

As the cold weather approaches, it’s important to take steps to protect your pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can leave you without water. They can also burst and cause damage to your home and property.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent your pipes from freezing:

Be knowledgeable

  • Make sure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how to turn it on and off.

Insulate pipes

  • Insulate pipes with foam pipe covers. Outside pipes and those located near outside walls and crawl spaces are at the greatest risk of freezing.

Eliminate drafts

  • Seal all air leaks in your home and garage to prevent cold air from getting in. Double-check around doors, windows, electrical wiring and pipes.

Drain the outdoor water supply

  • Outdoor faucets freeze first. Unscrew outdoor hoses, let the taps drain, and turn off the outdoor water supply.

Know a plumber

  • Have the contact information of a reliable plumber readily available. If your pipes are continually freezing, there may be an underlying plumbing problem that requires professional assistance.

When the weather drops significantly below 0ºC, ensure that areas containing indoor pipes (especially those near the water meter) are maintained at 8ºC or higher. Consider opening cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around the pipes. It’s also a good idea to keep your garage door closed during extremely cold weather.

For extra peace of mind during a cold snap, you can also turn on your tap to run a pencil-thin stream of water. This will ensure some movement of water in the pipes. Remember, though, you will incur fees for water use if you opt to take this step.

Staying Safe on the Roads

Every fall and winter there is an increase in the number of pedestrian and cyclist collisions on city roads due to reduced daylight hours.

It’s key that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists become more aware of other users as they travel on our streets throughout these seasons.

One of the best ways to ensure safety is to stay focused on what you’re doing – whether you’re driving, cycling or crossing an intersection by foot. Don’t talk or text on your phone. Be aware of your surroundings.

Here are some other tips from the city’s “Stay Alert – Stay Safe” safety education campaign:

Drivers

  • Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Note that pedestrians in dark clothing can be difficult to spot during the fall and winter months.
  • Take extra caution at nighttime and during wet or wintery weather conditions.

Pedestrians

  • Cross streets at traffic signals, intersections and crosswalks.
  • Always look carefully before crossing and make sure all vehicles are stopped.
  • Wear bright clothing or clothing with reflective materials if possible, especially at night. Drivers often have a difficult time seeing pedestrians in dark clothes.

Cyclists

  • Make sure you have both front and back lights for your bike and turn them on when riding at night, dusk or dawn.
  • Wear clothing and other cycling accessories with reflective materials.

Top Tips for Summer

Yard Waste

From mid-March to December, leaf and yard waste is collected every other week on your scheduled garbage day. City staff advise that you should wait until the evening before your collection date to put your waste on the curb.

The city collects plant and tree trimmings, weeds, brush and bundles of branches, but does not collect soil, sod, grass clippings, logs or tree stumps. Instead, compost grass clippings or reuse them on your lawn – an easy way to maintain nutrient-rich soil!

Toronto Water

Gardening

  • Disconnect your downspout and use rainwater to water your grass and gardens.
  • Extra watering is not always required – the rain is often enough.
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways clean instead of using a hose.
  • Start planning your water-efficient, natural garden using native plants and trees.

Environment and Water Efficiency

  • Use commercial car wash facilities to wash your car – they are required to follow a set of practices determined by the city, including treating wastewater and discharging it into the sanitary sewer system where it will receive further treatment.
  • A leaky toilet or tap can cost an extra $600/month – fix leaks to avoid being charged.
  • It costs only $0.002 to fill a reusable water bottle.
  • Pool water may contain chemicals. Click here for pool drainage tips and advice.
  • The city doesn’t conduct door-to-door water tests – be careful of sales people making that claim.

For more information on how you can be more water efficient, please click here.

Winter Tips for Your Home

The winter weather has arrived and here’s what you need to know to be prepared!

Potholes

Snow, ice and freeze-thaw cycles can cause serious damage to our roadways.

To report potholes, phone 311, the city’s 24-hour service portal, or visit www.toronto.ca/311. Have the closest municipal address on hand – it helps pothole repair crews work efficiently.

Snowclearing

Did you know that the city clears 5,604 km of roads each and every time it snows?

Expressways are cleared after 2.5 cm of accumulated snow and arterial roads after 5 cm. Local roads are cleared following the accumulation of 8 cm of snow.

If it’s been 18 hours since the end of a storm and your street has still not been ploughed, please call 311.

For more information about the city’s snow ploughing practices, click here.

Icy sidewalks are a serious pedestrian safety hazard, particularly for our older neighbours and those with accessibility issues. So please be nice and clear your ice!

Senior city staff advised that contacting 311 is the fastest and most efficient way to report snow and ice issues. Each time you contact 311, your issue is recorded (with a service request number that can be tracked) and the request goes immediately to Transportation Services for investigation and follow up.

Toronto Hydro

If power is down following a snow storm, Toronto Hydro suggests following these tips:
-Check to see if your neighbours have power. If they don’t, it is likely that more work is planned on your street.
-If your home is the only house without electricity, check your electrical panel inside your home to see if the breakers are in the “on” position.
-Check outside and visually inspect if the electrical equipment on your home is damaged or if the service wire is down. If the customer-owned connection point (usually the pipe and wires attached to your home connected to the powerline) is damaged, you may need to contact an ESA-certified electrical contractor. A list is available on the ESA’s website at http://www.esasafe.com.

In the event of a power outage this winter, you can contact Toronto Hydro’s Customer Care team at 416-542-8000. This number can also be used to report emergencies such as downed or sagging wires.

You may also report power outages and streetlight outages by visiting this link.