Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Mayor Rob Ford says it won't be possible restore heat and electricity to everyone in time for the holiday.
The damage left behind from the huge ice storm that swept through parts of the Midwest U.S. and Canada has left many without power for Christmas. In Toronto, over 100,000 homes and businesses in the region are without heat or electricity as of this morning.
Mayor Rob Ford says that getting everyone's power back by Christmas Day won't be possible. Toronto Hydro's CEO has warned that more snow and wind expected in the coming days will only cause more trees and utility poles to fall.
The outages, combined with extremely cold temperatures (it's 11 degrees Fahrenheit in Toronto today) is causing some residents to come up with dangerous solutions. The Toronto Star reports that carbon monoxide poisoning calls in the city jumped from an average 20 calls a day to 110 since the storm. Two people died yesterday after running a generator in their home one hour east in Newcastle, Ontario.
Ford, whose home is without power, has said he won't declare a state of emergency despite pleas from multiple councillors. The CBC is reporting that the mayor's decision would leave Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in charge of the crisis, leading to speculation that Ford's decision is politically charged. However, councillor and chair of Toronto's public works committee, Denzil Minnan-Wong, tells CBC, "I don’t think declaring a state of emergency is going to make the electricity go on any quicker, or our furnaces turn on any faster."