Power was scheduled to be cut this morning for inspection of the building's electrical systems, similar to those that have occurred at 240 and 280 Wellesley Street East. This work has is now postponed.
According to Toronto Fire Services (TFS), it was discovered late yesterday that to turn the power off at 77 Howard Street for the necessary inspection, the power would also need to be cut at 730 Ontario Street.
730 Ontario Street is under different ownership and their tenants had not been notified about this work. TFS says that Toronto Hydro will need to be involved to find a solution that allows 77 Howard to be inspected while not unduly impacting the tenants at 730 Ontario Street.
There is no timeframe for the work at 77 Howard Street to proceed, but the landlord says they plan to reschedule as soon as possible with "ample notice." TFS does not expect this work to happen this week.
The inspection work at 77 Howard follows an outage that cut power, heat and water from tenants of 260 Wellesley Street East in late January, and the fire that occurred at 650 Parliament Street late last summer.
Since these incidents, the Electrical Safety Authority and TFS has been working with the landlord to have their buildings' electrical systems properly inspected given ongoing maintenance concerns in their buildings.
Please visit this website to received updates on 77 Howard Street as well as other St. James Town news.
Toronto Fire has advised me that all systems have been restored at 240 Wellesley Street East this morning, including power, heat, and electricity. Tenants who have sought accommodations are able to return.
Significant and essential repairs were made to the building’s electrical systems over the last 24 hours and the immediate safety concerns have been addressed. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Toronto Fire have both been assisting with, and overseeing various aspects of this work and are providing all the necessary approvals around life safety systems.
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has advised Toronto Fire Services (TFS) and Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) that it will be conducting a residential high-rise electrical safety inspection at 240 Wellesley St. E. on February 21. This inspection is being conducted proactively by the building owner following recent serious incidents at 650 Parliament St. and 260 and 280 Wellesley St. E.
Starting tomorrow at 9 a.m., the building will undergo a physical inspection of its electrical system. During the inspection, power to the building will be completely disconnected. The building will have no electricity, heat, water, or elevator service for a minimum of 24 hours. The building owner advised residents of the upcoming outage on February 15.
During the inspection, the safety of residents and workers is the priority. The building owner has contracted a third-party company to provide bottled water, hot beverages, snacks and assistance to residents throughout the outage as well as conduct inspections in accordance with the building's fire safety plan. As with any outage of this type, Toronto Fire Services will monitor compliance with the fire safety plan. In the event repairs are needed before power can be restored, the ESA will provide direction to the property owner and the property owner will communicate with residents directly.
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Yesterday afternoon my office held a meeting with Toronto Fire Services (TFS), Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS), Toronto Communications, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), and representatives of the owners of Wellesley Parliament Square to discuss the upcoming inspections at 240 Wellesley Street East. The building will be inspected this Thursday, February 21, 2019.
Toronto Fire has informed me that the fault in the electrical system has been corrected. ESA has given authorization for reconnection, which should start imminently. Barring any complications, the heat risers will be charged for floors 1-15 one-by-one over the next 6 to 8 hours. Upon completion, the water system will be able to be recharged and restored in as little as 30 minutes. If everything proceeds well, the building should be back to normal sometime between 8 pm and 10 pm tonight. Toronto Fire will continue to monitor and maintain a fire watch until the restored systems are all verified and life safety systems cleared.
Toronto Fire has just informed me that the fault in the electrical system has been found and currently being remedied. ESA is expected to give the order to recharge floors 1-15 tomorrow morning.
If everything goes well tomorrow, then heat and hot water will be back up and running. In the meantime, the garbage compactor can't function properly without adequate power and the property owner has closed the garbage chute to prevent fires.
Garbage bins should have been provided on each floor to accommodate temporary storage. This request was made to the owner's contractor, along with timely information posted in visible locations explaining the situation.
The electrical inspections revealed a system poorly maintained. This neglect could have resulted in another catastrophic #650Parliament fire. The disruptions, inconveniences and out of pocket costs to the tenants could have been prevented. City will have more to say soon.
Toronto Fire Services (TFS), the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) staff remain on scene, working with the building's contractor to restore heat and water to all units.
Power remains on throughout the building. Heat is being provided from floors 16 to 33. If you live above floor 15 and your unit is not receiving heat, the issue is likely localized and not floor-wide. Please contact building management immediately at 416-929-3532. We have been informed that the owner shut off the water and drained the system following three burst pipes in the basement of the building. The water will remain shut off until heat is fully restored, to ensure that no further pipes burst or electrical fires are caused.
We are receiving numerous reports from 280 Wellesley Street East tenants that water has not been turned back on since yesterday, contrary to the information we had received this morning. In addition, some residents above floor 15 are reporting that they do not have heat on in their units. Our office immediately communicated these deficiencies with city staff. We will provide further updates when we learn more.
This morning I received an update regarding the ongoing work by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), Toronto Fire Services (TFS) and Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) at 280 Wellesley Street East.
Following the blackout at 260 Wellesley Street East in January, the ESA, TFS and MLS have started investigating buildings in St. James Town, starting with 280 Wellesley Street East. Power was cut off yesterday morning at 280 Wellesley Street East to allow ESA to examine the electrical systems are ensure they have been maintained and will operate properly in the event of an emergency.
During the investigation, a fault was found that is impacting one of the electrical risers. The ESA has used the remaining risers to provide power, heat and hot water to units on floors 16 to 33. For units on floors 1 to 15, power has been restored, but the units remain without heat or hot water. Elevators and life safety systems are functional at 280 Wellesley Street East. ESA and the building's contractor are actively seeking to correct the fault, but there is no current timeline as to when heat and hot water will be back on for floors 1 to 15. The goal is restore heat and hot water as soon as possible however.
Toronto Fire Services has ordered the ESA to re-energize those sections and electrical systems of 280 Wellesley St. E. deemed safe to so at this time with at least one elevator available and electricity to all units. This could take up to 4 hours.
However, due to the condition of some of the electrical equipment in the building, there will be no heat available to floors 1-15 this evening. Water will be available to all floors, but is unknown at this time if hot water will be available tonight.
The safety of all Ontario residents is the Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA) chief priority and it will ensure the electrical system is safe before authorizing full power restoration.
The building owner will make necessary repairs as safely and quickly as possible before the ESA authorizes full restoration of the electrical system, including heating to floors 1-15.
Toronto Fire will continue to ensure the building owner maintains alternative safety measures as required in the approved fire safety plan.