Historic tree brought down by powerful storm

Friday night's powerful thunderstorms that blew across Toronto managed to bring down an historic tree associated with the iconic song, The Maple Leaf Forever.

Maple Leaf Forever gone

Historic maple

9 years ago
Duration 2:47
Historic maple tree victim of thunderstorm.

The roar of chainsaws could be heard across Toronto on Saturday as cleanup crews moved in after Friday night's thunderstorm.

The storm was mild compared with the July 8 downpour that flooded many homes and business across the city.  But Friday's  high winds snapped a lot of tree branches and caused a lot of damage to power lines.

By Saturday afternoon Toronto Hydro had managed to get most people reconnected but there were still a few thousand without power.

"We currently have 1,378 separate incidents in Ontario and that is affecting 98,000 customers.  We're about halfway there," said Hydro One spokesperson Tiziana Baccega-Rosa.

The utility says it expects everything will be back to normal by early evening.

Sadly, one of the victims of the storm was a  silver maple that stood on Laing Street in Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood for more than 100 years.

The tree is said to have been the inspiration for the song The Maple Leaf Forever.

An historical plaque says local schoolteacher Alexander Muir was inspired by the tree to write the song in 1867 — the same year as Confederation. 

Further west, in Burlington, many trees and limbs fell on power lines during the storm.

Residents have been told it may take hydro crews until Monday to restore service.