The use of gift cards handed out on on first-come/first-served basis does not appear to the best (even adequate) way to assist residents who experienced a lengthy power outage. See this posting from HuffPost/Canada.
And less than a year ago, the city of Alberta used gift cards to compensate victims after major flooding, and that did not go well either.
The Toronto event did not get even a local declaration of emergency, which raises questions about how to do a better job of dealing with major power outages.
How would we deal with this in the U.S.?
On January 2, here is an article about the costs of the cleanup for the city of Toronto.