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Hydro Toronto test called a success

By Tanya Ho
Toronto Star Staff Reporter

Sunday March 7, 1999

Toronto’s electricity providers passed their year 2000 compliance test during a dry run in the city last night.

Services in Toronto’s central and west-end areas suffered no ill effects as Ontario Hydro advanced its computer system to Dec. 31, 1999, at five minutes to midnight, at its Manby transformer station on Kipling Ave. at Bloor St. W.

The station feeds power to Toronto Hydro, which supplies power to some 200,000 residential and commercial customers in the test area.

“It was very successful. There was no problem with Ontario Hydro’s feed into the city and no problem on Toronto Hydro’s distribution system,” said Blair Peberdy, spokesperson for Toronto Hydro.

Police said lights flickered in the Etobicoke area, but the fire department didn’t get any calls. “It went quite well, we didn’t have any apparent problems,” said a fire department spokesperson.

Across the city, subways and streetcars were halted at the closest stations and transit stops at five minutes to midnight. The TTC wanted to prevent passengers from panicking if trains were stopped in tunnels, or streetcars were stuck in intersections during the 10-minute test.

“It was fine and uneventful, it was a 10-minute pause, that’s all,” said Anne McLaughlin, TTC spokesperson.

The test area stretched from Highway 409 and Highway 401 in the north, along Avenue Rd., south along Spadina Ave., east at Queen St. to Yonge St. and south to the lake, and included the Toronto Islands. The western boundary was Etobicoke Creek and the Mississauga border. Hospitals and nursing homes were also prepared.

At St. Joseph’s Health Centre, on The Queensway, two back-up diesel generators were switched on at 11:45 pm, and were set to run until 12:30 a.m.

“We don’t have any power interruptions. All essential services are running. We look forward to the millennium,” said David Kemp, the hospital’s maintenance co-ordinator.

Nor did Toronto police have any disruptions to report.

“They’re calling it a success,” said Acting Sergeant Ed Jakuboskin. “We weren’t involved in anything at all. Usually when the power goes out, alarms go off and things like that, but nothing happened.”