Strong winds blow over Leslieville house under construction

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Strong winds blow over Leslieville house under construction

The wind huffed, and puffed, and just about blew over a house that was under construction in Leslieville late last night, as wintry weather returned to the city.

Emergency responders were called to the home on Leslie Street, just south of Queen Street, around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday for a report that a house under construction was swaying in the wind.

The wood frame was "swaying back and forth," Toronto Fire District Chief Stephan Powell told CBC Toronto.

Toronto was hammered by high winds overnight. By 5 a.m., the winds were out of the west-northwest at 45 km/h, but were gusting up to 56 km/h.

Residents voluntarily evacuated the adjacent house because the frame was leaning against their home, Powell said. It remained unclear early Thursday whether that neighbouring home was damaged.

Police closed the affected portion of Leslie Street to cars and TTC vehicles. By morning, however, the northbound lanes remained closed, but TTC vehicles were being allowed through.

A building inspector also went to the home, Powell said.

Asked whether such an incident was common, Powell noted that he's seen homes under construction blow over in high winds outside the city, "when they've got 10 houses going up.

"When one falls, it's like dominoes. It's not uncommon. Usually contractors brace the walls accordingly, but Mother Nature is what it is. Even fully built structures can succumb to winds."

The high winds blowing through the city Thursday are part of a cold front that has moved through after another record-breaking warm day. Toronto broke yet another temperature record on Wednesday – the high of 13.5 C set a new daytime high record for Mar. 1.

But as of 5 a.m. Thursday, the temperature had dipped to -7 C, but it felt more like -17 with the wind chill.

The day's forecast calls for wind gusts of up to 60 km/h in the morning, with a high of -1 C under mainly cloudy skies. The temperature will drop to -9 C overnight with wind gusts of up to 40 km/h.

On Friday, skies are expected to clear but winds will remain high at 40 km/h, with gusts up to 60 km/h. The high will reach -3 C, but the temperature will drop to -9 C in the afternoon.

The overnight low into Saturday will be -11 C.

Temperatures will return to above the freezing mark by Sunday.