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Raccoon knocks out power for large swaths of downtown Toronto

A raccoon was behind the massive power outage that knocked out  electricity to some 7,000 customers in downtown Toronto for hours Thursday night.

Hydro One said a raccoon “made contact with equipment” at a downtown station, which cut the lights for parts of the city. The raccoon’s condition is currently unknown.

“We’re currently responding to an outage affecting customers in and around the following boundaries: St. Clair Avenue W to Gerrard Street W and Avenue Road to the Don Valley Parkway,” Toronto Hydro said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter. 

“We’re working closely with Hydro One to restore power and resolve the issue as quickly and safely as possible. We appreciate your patience at this time,” the utility said.

Toronto Hydro’s outage map reveals the outage started at around 7:40 p.m. Nearly three hours later, at around 10:30 p.m., power was fully restored. 

A spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services confirmed to CTV News Toronto that there were seven elevator rescue calls, including on Bloor, College and Ontario streets, with the power out at those buildings and occupants in the elevators.

“Typically, a building will have backup power if it’s a big enough building, but these might be smaller buildings or where the backup power has failed,” Toronto Fire Capt. Deepak Chagger said. “People are actually stuck in the elevator so that’s pending us making access to them or power being restored.”

Some Torontonians took to X to share what the outage looks like, posting photos and videos of how unusually dark the city looks at night.

TTC subway service on Line 1 had also been impacted by the power outage, but it has since resumed.

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