WEs we like - Written by on Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:25 - 2 Comments


At approximately 10pm last night, as temperatures plummeted to a frigid -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit), a flood in one of the city’s power stations plunged a large section of West Toronto into complete darkness. online canadian pharmacy With my area thankfully spared, I carried on without knowing of the outage until a curious looking hashtag appeared

on my twitter stream: #darkTO.

Within minutes, tweets started flooding in from people reporting the outage. Now, Torontonians are no wimps and we’re used to the bitter cold; but with the wind chill factor sitting at -29 Celsius, subway and streetcar service brought to a halt, restaurants and supermarkets forced to close  – and rumors flying that the power outage would carry on until morning, well, let’s just say our big-city bravado didn’t last too long.

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Initially, it seemed as if Twitter was going to – once again – play the pivotal role it knows best: disseminating essential information.

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An hour after the first #darkTO tweet, major city newspaper websites had yet to make mention of the outage. And that seemed to sit just fine with Torontonians who opted to rely on one another, relaying updates and information – despite battery juice eventually running out for many who had access to only their mobile phones for communication.

Then, solidarity at its best: one tweet offering to pick people up and take them somewhere warm; another one offering to drop off candles and food; people offering to check in on elderly neighbors and families with children; one kind soul simply sent out his warm thoughts – a small gesture, but widely appreciated by those on the receiving end. Adding humor to a bleak situation,  a tweet from a Winnipeg (a city that is well accustomed to its fair share of shrewd Canadian buy generic viagra winters) resident tried to lighten the mood with a quip: “-20c and Toronto is whining?! We’re doing cartwheels (wearing shorts) in those digits!”

As the night wore on, #darkTO quickly took second spot in Twitter’s trending topics; and national and international news websites picked up the online chatter. Yet for the #darkTO folks, Twitter was the place to be for the latest breaking news.  An associate producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Coorporation (CBC)  blogged his thoughts as as he “watched the power of Twitter in action.”

In all, 100,000 customers were affected by the outage – tonight, power has been restored to 75% of these households.

So allow this proud Torontonian to blow our own horn, and give a shout out to the Big Smoke for the united front it showed online last night. Tonight, as crews work around the clock to restore power to those who remain in the dark, the ‘WE I like’ mention goes out to the people of Toronto, who were armed with digital tools and big hearts.

In a cold night, warm tweets will go a long way.


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Jan 10, 2010 23:07

And now it’s deja vu all over again – another power failure, thankfully smaller, but hitting the downtown core near Yonge/Bay-Bloor.

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