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Toronto Storm Hurts Retailers, Helps Hotels

An ice storm that left more than 300,000 homes without power in Toronto curbed retail sales on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, while providing a boost to the city’s hotels.

The weekend storm led to an 18 percent decline in shoppers at the downtown Eaton’s Centre mall, while some stores in other regional centers were closed for lack of power. About 111,000 people bought something from one of the Eaton Centre stores yesterday, compared with about 136,000 on the same day last year, according to a mall survey. Even with the power outages at homes across the city, it was the busiest day of the year for the mall, which didn’t lose power.