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ESA, TFS and MLS inspect Toronto high-rises following electrical fires


August 19, 2019
By Peter Saunders


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Photo courtesy City of Toronto

Aug. 19, 2019 – Following two fires this summer, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), Toronto Fire Services (TFS) and Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) have initiated comprehensive electrical inspections of aging high-rise apartment buildings.

The fires struck 260 Wellesley Street East in June and 650 Parliament Street (already vacant since an electrical fire in 2018) in July. ESA, TFS and MLS have identified concerns about the reliability and fire risks of the electrical systems not only in these buildings, but also in others with similar designs and equipment (280 Wellesley Street is pictured).

Following up on these concerns, a first round of inspections has begun for the main electrical distribution systems in 14 buildings owned by Parwell Investments and Bleeman Holdings. Each inspection requires electrical power to be completely disconnected for each building for a minimum of 12 hours. Tenants will also have no water or elevator service during the inspections and any necessary repairs.

The buildings’ owners are responsible for notifying residents at least 24 hours in advance and communicating with them throughout any outages.