TORONTO, Aug 12 ― Power was restored in downtown Toronto yesterday after an outage left the offices of Canada's top businesses in the dark, forced the evacuation of one of the city's biggest shopping malls and trapped people in elevators.

Hydro One, Ontario's biggest electricity distribution company, has been investigating reports that a barge carrying a crane came into contact with high-voltage transmission lines as it tried to reroute power to Toronto Hydro, which distributes electricity in downtown Toronto.

In an update yesterday, Toronto Hydro said power had been restored to the remaining customers in the area.

Toronto is Canada's biggest city and its financial capital, and the central business district is home to the biggest banks, insurers and stock exchange operator.

The power failure saw workers from downtown towers spill onto the streets, taking to sidewalks and parks, while shutting down many cafes and restaurants during the peak business hours. ― Reuters