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Record-breaking heat taxes Toronto's power grid

Toronto’s power grid struggled to deal with the hot weather and increased demand as the mercury climbed to a record-breaking 36.3 C on Friday afternoon – tying Wednesday’s record for the hottest day of the year.

Toronto Hydro reported four small outages across the city, affecting about 1,000 customers. One was in the Beaches area in the east end, another in the Regent Park area and a third in the Liberty Village area in the west end. There was also an outage in Scarborough. Click here for updates.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Link told CityNews the outages were likely heat-related and that crews would be able to restore power quickly as they weren’t like Thursday night’s outage in the downtown core that lasted hours and affected some 6,500 customers after a circuit breaker overheated and caught on fire.

“This outage isn’t similar to last night’s outage. This outage is really quite isolated and it’s not a big piece of equipment that’s damaged and requires replacing,” she said. “Crews will be restoring power as quickly as possible.”

The temperature at Pearson airport hit 35. 1 C on Friday afternoon surpassing the record high of 34.7 C set on July 6, 1988.

Check the full forecast here.

A temperature record was also broken on Wednesday when the city reached a high of 36.3 C, shattering the old record of 36.1 C set on that day in 1955.

The hottest July day on record was July 7, 1988, when the mercury hit 37.6 C.

An extreme heat alert issued by Toronto’s chief medical officer and a humidex advisory issued by Environment Canada remain in effect.

Those without air conditioning can visit one of several cooling areas around the city.  Click here to see a full list.

During an extreme heat alert, some city pools have extended hours. Click here for the full list.

GO Transit has warned customers that the heat could affect commute times Friday afternoon. Temperatures above 30 C can cause the steel rails to expand and possibly buckle, so as a precaution GO is applying speed restrictions in certain areas.

The hot and dry conditions prompted York Region to issue an advisory reminding residents about its outdoor water bylaws. The rules stipulate even-numbered houses can water their lawns on even days and odd-numbered houses can put out the sprinkler on odd days.

That rule is in effect until Sept. 30.

York officials are also asking people not to waste water by cleaning their driveways with the hose and are urging residents to use rain barrels to collect water for gardens.

The heat has also prompted several Ontario communities, including Barrie, Bradford, Innisfil, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, among others, to implement outdoor fire bans.

There is some relief in store. Forecast showers on Saturday morning are expected to cut some of the humidity.