12/22/2012 12:01 EST | Updated 02/21/2013 05:12 EST

Winter storm leaves thousands without power in Quebec and Ontario

MONTREAL - A powerful winter storm left thousands without electricity in Ontario and Quebec on the last weekend before Christmas.

Hydro-Quebec said it was gradually restoring power on Saturday after more than 120,000 clients were put in the dark when heavy snow slammed parts of the province on Friday.

The Laurentians and the Lanaudiere region north of Montreal were particularly hard hit. Some residents haven't had electricity since Friday afternoon.

Montreal was spared the worst, though some flights at Trudeau International Airport were delayed.

About 79,000 homes were still without power on Saturday afternoon after more snow and strong winds overnight.

"Wind, trees and branches and the snow that was very heavy on the power lines are all causing problems," said Danielle Chabot, a spokeswoman for Hydro-Quebec.

"It's all sorts of conditions that made things more complicated."

The public utility issued a statement asking residents to be patient with repair crews given the poor conditions.

The storm hasn't caused headaches for everyone.

Ski lovers had something to look forward to after steady snow over the past few days. Le Massif, a popular ski hill north of Quebec City, reported getting 63 cm of snow in 24 hours.

Thousands in Ontario have also been affected by the snow.

Poor driving conditions were blamed for a fatal crash near Bowmanville east of Toronto. Another man was rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries after he was hit by a snow plow in Newmarket.

Hydro One customers in the eastern part of the province who lost power were gradually getting it back on Saturday.