For the first time in recorded history, downtown Toronto did not have a trace of snow in the month of March.

Environment Canada climatologist Dave Phillips said that's never happened since record-keeping began in 1845.

There were several other normally snowy cities that had a similar March. Ottawa, which usually averages 40 centimetres in March, was also snowless.

Calgary had its second-lowest snowfall amount in March, and Edmonton had its third-lowest amount.

Phillips says the weather phenomenon El Nino is to blame.

"Since El Nino arrived at the end of 2009, it really has stayed the course - there's been no relaxing," he told The Canadian Press.

"Typically, you get maybe two weeks of El Nino, then it kind of takes a hike, it peters out and the Arctic air sweeps down and freezes us, then El Nino will make another appearance."

He said the phenomenon won't affect the summer in Canada.

Some people may have observed some flurries in Toronto in March. For example, there were flurries outside CTV's studios in Agincourt on March 23.

CTV Toronto weather anchor Tom Brown said the issue is accumulation.

With files from The Canadian Press