Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Toronto is Burning

Despite my trek in the painful blistery snow yesterday evening into a lonely warehouse district (perfect area to be murdered, actually) to pick up my new camera, upon arriving at work this morning, I was forced to take pictures with my cell phone. Had I known that the fire was so close, I would have thrown the Canon in my bag.

Many of you will have heard that Toronto's downtown core was hit with a six-alarm fire this morning. It was thisclose to where I work. My intersection. I had to take a strange route to get there, as my street and those surrounding it were closed. There was no power for the first hour and a half of my shift. And all day, I fought a smoke-inhalation headache. But I'm a subtitling trouper. I did not go home.

This was my view from work:

The fire was one street north of me, just beyond the homes in the pictures. I walked by those shops every day. There's nothing there anymore.

According to some news reports, my street was evacuated. Not quite accurate. I've never spent so much time glued to the window, watching my neighborhood collapse.

A section of downtown Toronto's historic Queen Street West neighbourhood was destroyed Wednesday morning as an intense blaze gutted several buildings, tearing through businesses and leaving dozens without shelter.

The fire remained a six-alarm blaze for hours but was eventually downgraded to a five-alarm incident by the late afternoon.

At its height, 150 firefighters and 56 fire trucks were on the scene battling the blaze as it burned out of control in frigid temperatures that hovered at about -20C with the wind chill.

Three addresses on Queen, just east of Bathurst Street, have collapsed, Toronto Fire Services spokesperson Capt. Adrian Ratushniak told The area is a popular shopping district.

Full article at

There are some good pics here. The gap between the buildings in the first two photos was an actual building yesterday. Now it's nothing.

1 comment:

mike said...

I was down at the cbc building today, teaching people how to do powerpoint circa 2000. Both when I arrived and left you could smell the burned wood in the air