More than 69,000 homes and businesses in Toronto remain in the dark after last weekend’s crippling ice storm, and there is still no clear answer as to when full power will be restored.

More than 300,000 had lost power at the height of the storm and 85,000 still had no electricity on Christmas Eve.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a very challenging four days,” Mayor Rob Ford said at a news conference on Wednesday morning.

“We are going to stay here and give you updates every day until we restore all the power.”

The utility said now that critical customers have been addressed, it’s working to fix major feeder lines to restore power to “large numbers of customers.” It said crews from Windsor and Ottawa arrived on Tuesday to help out, and crews from Manitoba and Michigan were joining them on Wednesday.

“We are working around the clock to restore power to all Torontonians,” Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines said.

“I want to thank those people that have come from other jurisdictions to help us — an amazing group of people that, as the call went out for volunteers, they put their hands up and they said that Torontonians mean more than their family dinners.”

Scarborough was the hardest hit area, but utilities across the GTA are saying other residents may not get their power back until Boxing Day or later. Click here for Toronto Hydro’s power outage map.

Ford said before calling a state of emergency wasn’t necessary because conditions are improving, and he repeated on Wednesday the city “wasn’t even close” to a state of emergency.

The city has opened community centres where people can get food and warmth. Toronto police are also offering shelter in 13 of their buildings. Click here for a list of warming centres.

Meanwhile, the Sheppard subway line, which had been out of service due to a power outage since the storm, resumed service in both directions shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Power outages outside of Toronto

Outside of the GTA, Hydro One says 18,315 customers are still waiting for their electricity to be restored.

In York Region, PowerStream says 4,220 customers are still without power in Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. Veridian Connections reports roughly 2,500 customers in the Durham area are still affected.

In Mississauga, Enersource said 200 customers don’t have power, while in Brampton, Hydro One Brampton said 1,600 customers are still in the dark.


With files from The Canadian Press