Friday, 14 August 2009


So today is the anniversary of the blackout, which means that I get to roast in the office since the lights and air conditioning has been turned down. Yay environment. Anyway, since the blackout has become one of those definining moments, I thought I would share where I was when the blackout hit.

I was moving. What luck, right? Yes, the day of the blackout was the day I moved to an apartment in London. My first two years of university I did a room and board thing with someone my mom knew in London, but for the second two years I lived in an apartment with a (mildly crazy) roommate. As I'm sure you'll recall, the day of the blackout was a scorching day. It was insanely hot when we loaded things up to take to my new apartment on Huron Street. When we got there, my roommate had already been staying there a night or two without any furniture, TV or anything. We moved in my stuff and then found out that all of her things were in a storage unit way out by the 401 and apparently we were there to help her move in as well. Sigh, I should have seen the start of the problems. So after a few sweaty hours of moving things in, my mom was calling it quits and heading back home, and my boyfriend at the time and I were heading north of the city to pick up a bed from some people. So we head out of the city north on Adelaide, pick up the bed no problem. The people mentioned that their hydro was out, but we didn't think anything much of it. On our way back into the city, we noticed that street lights are out. Huh, that's strange, we thought. The farther we got, the more widespread we noticed things were. It took forever to get back to Huron Street, and when we arrived we realized the power was out there as well.

Which meant that the elevator wasn't working.

And my apartment was on the 6th floor.

And there was no way that I was dragging a bed up 6 flights of stairs.

So we kept the bed in the truck and went upstairs to check on my crazy new roommate. She said the power went out about 10 minutes after we left, which meant I had been that close to getting stuck in a million degree elevator.

We ended up leaving her there in that incredibly hot apartment, since I wasn't actually moving into the place until the end of the month, I just wanted to do the moving of things early. I don't know how she entertained herself in there for a few days, I'm sure I don't want to know.

We had to truck the bed back to my mom's place to store it for a week or so until things got settled and we could use the elevator again.

What I'll never forget about the blackout was when I finally got in touch with my mom. As you remember, cell phones were totally shot that afternoon because so many people were trying to use them. When I finally talked to my mom about the blackout, she said the first thing that she thought of when she heard how widespread the blackout was, wasn't the thought of terrorists (like most people thought right away). No, my mom's first thought was alien invasion, thanks to the release of the movie "Signs" earlier that summer. Wonderful.

What were you doing when the blackout hit?


Dan Brown said...

I was one of the ones who thought it was a terrorist attack. I was in Toronto, working at the CBC's headquarters downtown. First, we just thought it was our building. Then we found out all of Toronto was hit. Then, we heard other cities in Ontario were out. My sense of dread grew. When I heard the power was off south of the border, I was convinced. I worked late — was working, just not in the affected areas — then had to walk from downtown to Yonge and Eglinton. The buses were full, they didn't even stop. I remember a festival feeling in the air, people were out on their front porches drinking and even in one case playing the guitar. Then there were the unscrupulous store owners over-charging for batteries. Good times.

comicbooklady said...

and then there were the unscrupulous customers our neighbourhood a line up was gathering to buy ice from the corner store and one person was demanding to be allowed to buy it all,and the owner was trying to be fair and let others buy some!