Toronto celebrates the blackout’s 19th anniversary

Hundreds of people blocked the intersection of Bathurst and Queen during the Blackout Anniversary Party


On August 14, 2003, a software bug plunged 55 million people into darkness east from New York City, west to Windsor, Ontario. In Toronto, over 4 million people were affected by the mid-afternoon outage. As the sun went down and Toronto truly went dark, neighbourhoods came alive with bonfires, conversations, cookouts and music. Neighbours meeting for the first time pooled resources and rode out the blackout together.

In 2005, people began coming together to relive that magic at the super-secret Blackout Party. The tradition continued until the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the yearly celebration. This year, on the blackout’s 19th anniversary, hundreds of Torontonians marched from Trinity Bellwoods to Alexandra Park drumming, dancing and breathing fire to celebrate the community spirit revealed by the blackout.

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

A picnic and jam session started off the evening’s festivities!

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

The Neon Riders led a mass bike ride through the streets as the remainder of the party began to march.

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

Travelling down Queen Street, hundreds of people drummed and danced their way east.

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

The parade paused at Bathurst and Queen for some light fire breathing.

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

The parade wove down residential streets on its way to Alexandra park.

Nick Lachance

As the party settled around the baseball diamond, park lamps were blacked-out to recreated the experience of August 14, 2003.

Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance
Nick Lachance

@lachancephoto

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