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Toronto board’s child-care centres to stay closed amid post-storm power problems

Enwin Utilities employee Mitch Prier helps repair damaged power lines in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough on Dec. 26, 2013.

KEVIN VAN PAASSEN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Canada's largest school board will keep its child-care centres closed as it continues to assess damage caused by Ontario's widespread ice storm.

The Toronto District School Board had hoped to reopen the child-care facilities Friday, when many parents return to work after the holidays. But with one-third of its roughly 600 schools having experienced power outages, the board has decided to keep the doors closed until its schools are deemed safe.

"There is still intermittent power problems in many of our schools and there is varying levels of damage," said Shari Schwartz-Maltz, a spokeswoman with the school board. "They all have to be professionally inspected by professional electricians before we will allow kids to go back into the schools."

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There about 300 independently operated child-care centres on TDSB sites. Around 180 of those centres were supposed to be open during the December holidays, but they have been closed since the ice storm knocked down myriad power lines and trees throughout Toronto on Sunday.

Ms. Schwartz-Maltz did not know how many children and parents would be affected by the shutdown Friday.

The extent of the damage to Toronto's schools also remains unclear. Ms. Schwartz-Maltz said she has received reports about some damaged roofs and flooding.

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About the Author
National news reporter

Renata joined The Globe and Mail's Toronto newsroom in March of 2011. Raised in the Greater Toronto Area, Renata spent nine years reporting in Alberta for the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal, covering crime, environment and political affairs. More

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