You may have heard reports of dramatic goings on downtown yesterday. First, a broken water main at the corner of Argyle and Prince Streets flooded the basements of neighbouring businesses and paved adjascent streets with ice and debris. Then, a fire broke out in a historic building on South Street.  Dozens of  firefighters worked for much of the day to contain and extiguish the blaze.

On my way to The Loop today, I dropped in on Sydney Hansen at The Jade W.  This lovely bookshop was at the epicentre of yesterday’s flood: the sheared-off hydrant that started it all was  at the store’s doorstep. Happily–miraculously, even!–flooding at the Jade W was minimal, and limited to the basement.  Sydney was happy to inform me that the situation at the Jade’s sister store, John W.  Doull, down the hill on Barrington, was similarly good.

City crews did a remarkable job of restoring the intersection to working order, and both The Jade and John Doull are open for business.

Meanwhile, on South Street, there were no casualties reported, but a number of residents have lost their homes. The three affected restaurants–The Taj Mahal, Cafe Chianti, and Tomasino’s, will remain closed until further notice, while they assess damage and undertake repairs .  Kudos to the staff of the Westin Nova Scotian for the support they offered to evacuees and emergency responders throughout the crisis.