Toronto Ice Storm 2013

For most Torontonians it was a holiday season they will not forget anytime soon. Across the city a ravaged tree canopy caused many branches to fall on homes and streets. A major power outage left many wondering if they would have to vacate their homes.

I suspect there is a lot of damaged eavestroughs around the city due to falling trees.  Pictures like the one below could be seen in many neighborhoods with mature trees. Amazingly this home suffered no damage to roof or eavestrough.

ice storm toronto 2013 tree falls on house
Trees falling on homes.

One thing that may have saved some eavestroughs is the amount of snow and ice that formed along the roof edge. This would help keep many eavestroughs sturdy in the event of a heavy limb hitting it. Below is a typical damage from a falling tree. A dent like this is fixed by replacing the entire piece of eavestrough. The dent is not something that can be pounded out and have it resemble what it originally looked like.

If your home has a lot of ice build up on the edge of the roof a repair may have to wait until the ice melts off in some warmer weather.

damaged eavestrough falling tree
Typical storm damage to eavestrough.

If the eavestroughs are older, like 15 to 20 years old then you may consider replacing all the pieces that attach to this damaged piece. A more reliable seal is obtained from joining new eavestroughs together as compared to joining new to old eavestrough. We give a 2 year warranty when joining new to old and a 10 year warranty when joining new to new.

You may want to consider calling your insurance company to see what’s covered on your home. Personally I had some damage to our backyard furniture and shrubs. After talking to our insurance company we decided to repair and replace things out of pocket. A $2500.00 deductible and a 20% hike in our premium for 5 years for making a claim soon made me realize we are not going to save much by going through insurance.

The trees were very pretty and the ice stuck around for about a week! We were fortunate to have supplemental power and heaters due to the nature of our business. North Shore Eavestroughing equipment was able to provide some power to 3 separate homes and heat to another. Wiring a heavy duty cord from a generator to a furnace was relatively easy and made the ice storm much easier to handle. We also had on hand about 600 feet of extension cords which made accessing neighboring homes possible.

ice storm toronto 2013
Ice storm Toronto 2013. So beautiful!

A 5000 watt generator gives ample power and worked well. It burned around $75.00 per 24 hours of runtime.

generator in eavestrough trailer
Trailers make good shelters for generators.

A power inverter and battery bank was able to power our furnace through the night so we did not have to run the generator as much. The batteries were recharged via the generator and or solar panels on the roof of the trailer during the day.

Power inverter in eavestrough trailer
Solar powered eavestrough trailer.
Some of the holidays were spent helping neighbors clear trees that had fallen or were badly damaged from the weight of the ice.
Cutting damaged trees from ice storm toronto 2013
Many trees were lost to the ice storm,

Some news report told of people getting hurt using chainsaws during the clean up. Chainsaws require proper safety gear to prevent injury. See below proper cut resistant boots and pants. Even the occasional operator should consider wearing if using a chainsaw.

cut proof safety pants and boots
Safety gear for chainsaw operation is a must.
Things I learned/experienced during the 6 day power outage in my community:
1. Driving any distance when most lights are 4 way stops is very slow and somewhat crazy as some cars seem to motor right on through like there was no stop required.
2. The gas stations that had power were very busy and had line ups. Gas cans were impossible to find for sale.
3. Our kerosene heater was handy to have but was only good to us because I had a stock pile of kerosene by chance. Also sold out of most places like Lowes, Rona and the Depot.
4. After about 3 cold nights with no power, some homes had ice forming in their sinks. Most people on our street left their home for hotels and friends.
5. Finding a new generator to purchase around Toronto was tough.
6. Not every furnace will start easily with a generator and its best to plan ahead with an electrician to ensure a generator is hooked up safely.
6. Toronto’s electricity system is very much vulnerable to a harsh ice storm. A study by Toronto Hydro in 2012 predicted more power outages due to freak storms due to climate change:
7. An ice storm/power outage is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors better! Its a chance to come together as a community and help those who could use a hand.
We hope that we can help you with any repair or replacement work you may need performed to your eavestrough system. Just as a rough idea of cost: a 35 to 40 foot section of eavestrough replaced will cost on average $675.00. This of course depends on ease of access and height.
We will come by to assess the damage, determine the matching color and give a free quote. For an immediate quote feel free to send along a few pictures and often we provide a quote on the spot.
Our office number is 416 615 0443 and our email is or you can fill out an estimate form on our website:

One thought on “Toronto Ice Storm 2013

  1. We have the privilege of living next door to Darren, Angela, and Baby Dawson, the owners of North Shore Eavestroughing. They have always been great, friendly and courteous neighbours but they were remarkable to my family and other neighbours during the ice storm.

    Our street was without power and heat for 7 days. They offered us shelter during the middle of the first night out of concern for our safety. They ran an extension cord providing power to our home from their generator, enabling us to continue to stay in our home during the ice storm. They also ran extension cords with power to 2 additional homes helping them to heat their homes plus provided a kerosene heater to another family that were huddled around a fireplace.

    Darren went door to door checking on the neighbours and offered his assistance wherever possible plus purchased a chainsaw to help neighbours cut and clean yards of their fallen tree limbs.

    They are an incredibly genuine, caring and resourceful couple. We are very grateful for their help. Thank you.

    We are also a very satisfied client of North Shore Eavestroughing and would highly recommend them.

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