Blackout Anniversary Party in Toronto
Last night at around 9:45 I saw a strange gathering at Bloor and Spadina. Stranger than normal. At first, I heard folks yelling and the sound of horns- I knew it was Critical Mass, but there didn't seem to be too many bicycles. I hastily finished my pint of Guinness and made my way to the source of the noise.
I heard passersby musing over the gathering, as well, with a few saying that it was to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the 2003 blackout, which left millions of people without power, in some instances for days.
Sure enough, that's what it was: an ad-hoc parade had met up with the Critical Mass cyclists in a small outdoor rave, with cop cars standing by. I shot a bit of video and got a few photos before (in the spirit of the blackout) my camera's battery went flat.
I lived in NYC at the time of the blackout, and have rather fond memories of it. Neighbors came together and hung out, and Brooklyn was illuminated by stars and candlelight. Apparently the same took place in Toronto, once the confusion died down and the traffic began to flow, thanks to citizen traffic wardens (same in NYC).
Citizens seemed to be celebrating, though in the sphere of infrastructure there are still questions of whether or not we learned anything from the outage, whilst London (no, the other London) has made the event into an annual conservation contest.