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Toronto ends extreme heat alert after night of wild weather

After a night of wild weather, the City of Toronto has ended the extreme heat alert that kept the city in its sweltering grip for four consecutive days.

There are no alerts in effect, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. David McKeown said Saturday.

However, the city is still cleaning up from a storm system that blanketed much of southern Ontario, toppling trees and downing power lines in some parts.

About 1,700 customers were still without power Saturday morning, Toronto Hydro reported. On Sunday, only an estimated 100 remained without power.

Powerful thunderstorms hit Toronto at around 6 p.m. but quickly dispersed, with swirling, ominous clouds giving way to surreal sunsets.

But not before the damage was done — winds were clocked at 103 km/h at Pearson airport — resulting in numerous cancellations and delays. Porter Airlines was advising all travellers to check the status of their flights.

One of the casualties was the tree that was said to have inspired the song The Maple Leaf Forever.

The aged silver maple stood in front of a house in Leslieville. A plaque in front of the house says the tree’s falling leaves inspired Alexander Muir, the one-time principal of nearby Leslieville public school, to write the song.

Muir wrote The Maple Leaf Forever in 1867, the year of Confederation.

Across the province, Hydro One reported that over 154,000 customers were without power as of Friday night. About 40,000 were still without electricty overnight Saturday. Cottage country was among the hardest hit, with serious damage being reported in the Barrie and Gravenhurst areas.

With files from The Canadian Press