They reopened a portion of the financial district on Thursday but closing off the difficult memories of the wind storm that caused it won’t be quite as easy.
Wednesday’s extremely gusty day caused pieces of two CIBC signs atop the bank’s Bay St. tower to come off. The threat more could crumble and fall prompted officials to keep the area shut to vehicles and pedestrians as a precaution.
Crews worked on the signs, removing some pieces of the yellow skin of the first “C” in one case, until about 10am. When they were done and everything was deemed safe police began taking down the barrier tape and allowing traffic back through the area.
The damaged signs are at the 58th floor level on the building’s west and north sides. Luckily there were no reports of injury.
Pedestrians headed to the area during the closure were forced to use the underground PATH system to get around, while drivers looking to park in the area were using underground parking garage entrances off Wellington St..
King St. streetcars were diverting at one point but they got back on track midmorning as well.
While crews were out in force attending to the emergency, home owners weren’t quite so lucky. They had to do the big clean up on their own property and there was no shortage of chores.
Felicia North came back outside to her car on Markham St, which was crushed by a blown-down tree. Her now destroyed Volvo was the first new vehicle she’d ever owned. “I always had secondhand so I decided I was going to treat myself and buy myself a new car,” she sighs. Only her snow brush, a shovel and a blanket emerged unscathed. But she knows she could have lost a lot more. “Every time I look at it I feel sick. I mean I really feel sick when I look at the car and I realize that could have been me in there.”
She estimates the loss at $20,000. “And I know the insurance won’t pay because then I asked them what the black book value was and they told me I was lucky to get 12-and-a-half. Can’t get much for 12-and-a-half thousand dollars.”
The wind woes aren’t completely over for Ontario. A new system moving in will create strong gusts on Friday, which promises to be another blustery day in the GTA. But at least whatever falls in the form of precipitation will come down as rain. Temperatures are expected to stay well above normal right into the weekend.
Those in the northern part of the GTA may not be quite so lucky. After all those mountains of frosted flakes melted with the warmth earlier this week, they could see some flurries or even an accumulation of snow.