|Tuesday, July 25, 1916||The Toronto Daily Star (Toronto)||Page 2, col. 5|
Ice famine threatens city, may be averted.
(Continued from Page One.)
capacity of the line both in engines, train crews, and equipment. It is also stated that some of the officials at Allandale have not been using good judgment in the distribution of engines and in moving trains. Just at present Allandale is the busiest centre in Ontario with four branch lines converging into Allandale, and the enormous Camp Borden traffic.
Situation without precedent.
"It is a situation without precedent," said an official of the Toronto Ice Exchange to The Star to-day. "Ordinarily we have 10 to 12 cars of ice coming in every day from Lake Simcoe. Twice within the last few days that service has broken down. To-day the train has not left Lake Simcoe at the time it should be in Toronto. We have sent a telegram to the Dominion Railway Board asking that they do something to relieve the situation quickly. Meanwhile, with people clamoring for ice and more of it, and with such a limited quantity available, we are doing our best to let them know exactly what is wrong."
Belle Ewart Co. declines orders.
"When to hot weather conditions are added a punk railway service, it makes the situation pretty bad," said an official of the Belle Ewart Ice Co. "Here is an illustration of what we are up against. Six tons of ice which left Belle Ewart at noon yesterday and should have been in Toronto last night, were no further than Lefroy at 10 o'clock. If those conditions continue present stock in the city will last only about two weeks. We are already turning down all heavy-weight business and many small orders."
"What relief do you see?" asked The Star.
"Cool weather," he replied. "Three or four days with the thermometer at 60 would re-adjust the whole situation."
Every ice company in the city is "up against it" in a similar manner. They all depend on the supply from Lake Simcoe, supplement by reserve stocks kept in storage here. These reserve stocks are replenished from time to time and are ordinarily equal to 25 per cent. of the normal demand. They serve as a sort of balance wheel or storage battery to the city delivery system. When the demand for ice is slack they absorb surplus stocks and keep labor employed. When the demand increases as it does every summer, they maintain the proportion between supply and demand.
But even were their capacity greater, another unusual condition prevails this year—scarcity of labor. "We simply cannot get the ice out of storage fast enough," said an official of the Lake Simcoe Ice Co. " We can not get men and teams enough. We are doing our best to supplement delivery service by motor trucks and other means, but, in spite of everything deliveries will be delayed and people in the outskirts, I am afraid, will be among the first to suffer."
The same official states that scarcity of labor coupled with an enormously increased demand for rolling stock, is responsible for delayed railway deliveries. Ordinarily this service has been one of the best.
City uses 15 cars daily.
The average hot weather ice requirements of Toronto are 15 cars daily, amounting to about 500 tons. For the past week Toronto has been using 1,000 tons daily and crying for more. To cope with the situation one of the four big companies in the city has increased the number of delivery horses by 60 per cent. "But even now they cannot stand up under the strain," said an official of the company. "We have lost an average of one horse every day for the past week." Another company lost three horses from sunstroke in the same time.
Ice exchange meets to-day.
"What about your artificial ice plant at Lake Simcoe," asked The Star of an official of the Lake Simcoe Ice Co. "Is it capable of coping with the demand?"
"It cannot do so, and it is not intended to do so," he replied. Its capacity is 27,000 tons yearly. Under average conditions this quantity supplements an equal quantity taken from lake to meet average demand. Greater production would mean unprofitable surplus production. Ordinarily we hold the artificial ice in reserve for period of abnormal demand. But the present demand is so much in excess of anything ever known before that we are forced to fall back more and more on our storage supplies in the city, and, as I said before, we simply cannot get this out fast enough to satisfy the people."
A meeting of the Toronto Ice Exchange will be held to-day to consider the situation and device measures of relief. Meanwhile, so far as ice is concerned, it is simply a case of first come first served, and no one person or institution is favored more than another.
Stations: Allandale, Camp Borden