Thousands in eastern Canada remain in the dark Christmas morning
Tens of thousands of Canadians remained in the dark on Christmas Day.
In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford reiterated that he would not call a state of emergency despite the fact about 72,000 homes were on their fourth consecutive day without power Wednesday afternoon.
"We don't need it," he said. "What a state of emergency could do is put people in a panic. And we don't want to panic people right now. Things are progressing very well."
But the mayor also appealed for donations of non-perishable food items to address the food shortage at the city's warming centres, where about 1,000 people had stayed on Christmas Eve and an equal number, or more, were expected Wednesday night.
Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines had said it could be Thursday before electricity is restored.
Another 33,000 or so homes were still dealing with outages in other areas of the province serviced by Hydro One, Powerstream and Veridian Connections.
A freezing rain system on Sunday brought down tree branches and power lines all along the Hwy. 401 corridor.
Hydro crews have come from out of province and from the U.S. to help restore power.
Hydro-Quebec said its technicians would remain on the job until power was restored to every one of the approximately 16,000 customers still affected.
Meanwhile, progress was slow in New Brunswick, where NB Power reported more than 24,000 customers were still in the dark Wednesday afternoon.
The fallout from the sustained bad weather and power outages was more than just inconvenient - it was fatal.
An east-end Toronto man was found dead in his car Christmas morning after he reportedly climbed into the vehicle to stay warm and it caught on fire.
On Monday, a man and his mother died in Newcastle, Ont., after using a generator for power in a garage attached to his home.
Several people in Toronto were taken to hospital to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after burning charcoal inside their homes to keep warm.