Major Toronto power outage caused by sea crane snapping hydro lines – CP24
Tens of thousands of hydro customers in downtown Toronto have their power back after a massive outage on Thursday that forced some businesses to close and caused headaches for drivers.
Power was restored just before 8 p.m., nearly eight hours since the outage began.
“Safety is always our top priority. We know this power outage has made today exceptionally difficult for many of you, and we appreciate your patience,” David Lebeter, the chief operating officer of Hydro One, said in a statement on Thursday evening.
“We had all available resources helping to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. I want to thank all of those affected by this outage for their patience and Toronto Fire and Toronto Hydro for their collaboration.”
Hydro One said a crane in an upright position that was on a barge travelling in the Port Lands’ Ship Channel around 12:30 p.m. ran into three high-voltage transmission lines, causing further downstream damage to equipment at its power station near The Esplanade and resulting in power being lost throughout of the downtown core.
At its peak, an estimated 10,000 customers were left in the dark.
For several hours, the outage knocked out power to parts of the Hospital for Sick Children’s campus. It also darkened a portion of the Eaton Centre, forcing the closure of hundreds of stores. The mall, however, reopened at around 3:30 p.m. after power was slowly being restored.
Many large advertising screens at Yonge-Dundas Square also went dark. Traffic lights were down in some downtown intersections, prompting police to remind drivers to treat them as four-way stops. It led to some thoroughfares jamming up.
CTV News Political analyst Scott Reid was driving downtown when the lights went out.
He said navigating the city’s streets was a bit “hairy” as several traffic lights are out in the downtown core.
Reid said police officers were directing traffic at some major intersections, but not all.
The outage did not impact subways, but the TTC said there were significant streetcar delays due to traffic lights being out in parts of the downtown core. Meanwhile, Metrolinx said its PRESTO, GO Transit, and UP Express services were all running. It added that Union Station never lost power.
Several people were also trapped in elevators due to the outage. Toronto Fire said crews responded to a number of elevator rescues.
No injuries have been reported at this point in connection to the outage.
“(It was) definitely a unique situation,” Hydro One spokesperson Tiziana Baccega Rosa said.
She noted that an investigation is ongoing into the circumstances of how that barge was moving with a crane in an upright position and not adhering to the safety protocols.
Hydro One said crews will continue to work in the coming days to fix the damage caused by the crane.
City launches investigation
In a statement, the city said that a subcontractor to Southland-Astaldi Joint Venture (SAJV), which is involved in the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant outfall project, may have caused the outage.
“The city has launched a full investigation and has requested a full report from SAJV to understand what happened and what needs to be done to ensure this does not happen again,” the statement read.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a separate statement that the outage caused tremendous disruption in the downtown area and that it should not have happened.
“I want to thank the team from Hydro One who worked with our Toronto Hydro team to restore power to those affected as quickly as possible,” Tory said.
The mayor said city staff and all relevant parties will be reviewing the incident to ensure that it will not be repeated.
“I have been clear to city officials that I support them doing everything possible to get to the bottom of this and ensure full and complete accountability,” Tory said.
Food inflation in Canada shows signs of easing, but grocery prices to remain high
Food inflation appears to be easing in Canada, but experts say shoppers shouldn’t expect lower prices at the grocery store.
Statistics Canada said Tuesday the cost of groceries in February rose 10.6 per cent compared with a year before, down from an 11.4 per cent year-over-year increase in January.
Yet a falling food inflation rate doesn’t mean the price of food is coming down.
Instead, it means prices are rising less quickly, signalling the worst of the grocery price hikes could be behind us.
“Consumers may still feel sticker shock at the grocery store because the products they buy are up closer to 15 or 20 per cent,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.
In the month of February, multiple pantry staples increased by nearly double the overall inflation rate for food purchased from stores.
Pasta prices rose 23.1 per cent last month compared with a year earlier, flour jumped 22.9 per cent and butter increased 19.7 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
Fats and oils also climbed significantly higher than the food basket average, up 18.8 per cent year over year. Sugar and syrup prices rose 15 per cent, cereal was up 14.8 per cent and eggs increased 13.6 per cent.
Still, the overall pace of food price increases eased in February and is expected to abate further in the coming months, Charlebois said.
“We expect the food inflation rate to continue to drop as we head into spring and early summer,” he said.
Fraser Johnson, a professor of operations management at Ivey Business School, said he expects a “steady progression to more normalized price increases” by the end of the calendar year.
“What I’m seeing is a shift in power between the suppliers and the buyers,” he said.
“A year or 18 months ago, certainly there was more supplier power in terms of pricing, but now things are starting to stabilize in terms of wait times, in terms of supply chain disruptions. Buyers are starting to exert more force and prices are … not rising as quickly as they were.”
But factors such as high costs for delivery, packing and labour, coupled with historically high commodity prices, are still contributing to rising grocery bills.
Johnson noted that while the price of oil has fallen in the last month, there is a lag until the effects are seen on the price of food.
“It’s easier for prices to go up than to go down,” he said.
“It takes time for contracts and pricing to work their way through the system. If you take a look at grocery chains like Loblaw or Sobeys, you’ve got multiple suppliers and multiple products which means that you’ve got to negotiate with your suppliers to be able to bring the pricing back in line, and that all takes time.”
Meanwhile, restaurant prices eased even more than grocery prices in February.
Statistics Canada said food purchased from restaurants rose 7.7 per cent last month compared with a year before, down from 8.2 per cent price growth in January.
“People are being extra careful with their budget these days and restaurant operators are being very prudent with menu prices,” Charlebois said.
– With files from Sammy Hudes
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2023.
Nordstrom liquidation sales underwhelm Canadians as most items marked down 5 per cent
The first day of Nordstrom’s liquidation sale began on Tuesday, but some shoppers walked away underwhelmed by the discounts.
Many locations saw shoppers lining up outside of stores, anticipating deep discounts, only to find that most items were only marked down a measly five per cent off.
A Nordstrom spokesperson told CTV News Toronto “select categories and products” have also been marked down up to 20 per cent.
Nordstrom announced earlier this month it would be exiting the Canadian market, closing all six of its Canadian department stores and seven Nordstrom Rack locations. The upscale retailer opened its first Canadian store in 2014, but after eight years, CEO Erik Nordstrom said the company couldn’t see “a realistic path to profitability” in the country.
The liquidation efforts only got underway after the company got approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Monday. Under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, the company is required to get court approval before it can liquidate.
In addition to merchandise, the company will also be liquidating all of the furniture, fixtures and equipment from its stores, while goods from third-party sellers were already removed last weekend.
The company had already closed down its Canadian online store earlier this month.
Around 2,500 employees are being affected by the closure.
Nordstrom’s liquidation efforts are set to wrap up by late June.
With files from CTV News Toronto and The Canadian Press
5 Digital Marketing Strategies For NGOs
In this digital age, digital marketing is the way to go if you are looking at business growth for any size business. Nothing works as efficiently with a generation that uses digital devices for more than half of their day. With multiple techniques like email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, content marketing, SEOs, and more, you are in for a drastic boost in your brand awareness, engagement, and global reach, provided you use these techniques correctly.
Since the main aim of nonprofits is not financial gain but working towards a social cause, digital marketing proves to be a better option for them. It is cost-effective and requires less energy than most traditional methods. Since it saves costs, NGOs do not need to worry about spending a ridiculous amount of money on marketing.
There are multiple budget-friendly marketing softwares available that are specially designed for use by nonprofits, helping them spread their cause without the concern of a heavy expense. Try to check out Constant Contact pricing, for instance.
While the rest might get sorted, what strategies would you implement for digital marketing as an NGO? Let’s discuss a few in this article.
- Video Campaigns
Strong and structured video campaigns have the capability to make a huge difference in your digital space, where the video strategy is king.
You can utilize video in direct marketing campaigns in addition to using it as a vlog or a permanent post on your home page. They are a great way to communicate the cause you are working for and make your audience connect with it. Plus, utilizing video in your emails can increase landing page conversion rates and double or triple click-through rates tremendously.
- Build Your Blogs
For NGOs, blogging sites are a fantastic narrative medium. They are a fundamental tool for presenting stories that spread campaign social media postings for fundraising and other causes.
Your blogs need to tell gripping tales and interact with potential donors. It is a crucial component of the content marketing strategy and one of the adaptable digital marketing tools. Using a blog may increase the impact of your efforts to spread the news about your worthwhile cause without having to rely on other people or organizations to do it for you.
Spend time and energy creating a blog that will serve as a strong platform for drawing the critical attention that your NGO merits in order to produce work of the highest caliber.
Retargeting encourages visitors to return to your website and engage with your business more frequently than before.
Some visitors might leave a contribution, while others might exit the page without adding anything. But retargeting will increase your website’s conversion rate.
Some nonprofit organizations use Facebook Exchange, a tailored ad service that accesses preferences via third-party demand-side providers like Adroll, for retargeting. You may reach Facebook users who have already expressed interest in your brand with Adroll. The user will learn more about your nonprofit organization and cause from their feed and advertisements.
- Make An SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the most authentic way of increasing ranking. With a good SEO strategy in place, your users can find your business easily on the index. It would help if you strived to adopt the following practices:
- Make your NGO website optimized for mobile devices for a useful user experience.
- Improve website load time to improve user experience
- Have a good website architecture to make it easier to navigate. Donors should be able to locate donation forms and register for events using them.
- Invest In Social Media Advertisements
To connect with the desired community or demographics, you can make locally relevant posts. Based on your target profiles, you can build targeted adverts. These advertisements attract new donations and increase awareness of the organization’s goal and vision statements. With more captivating visual content, these advertisements serve as an extra engagement tool. These advertisements can be used to network with various audiences and create supporters for the cause. Utilizing successful social media methods can aid in boosting donations and awareness.
These strategies will help you improve and build your online presence and connect more audience with your organization, contributing positively to your organization’s growth. Strategically place them in your marketing schedule and enjoy the benefits of each.
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