GTA residents facing messy commute home amid steady snowfall
People make their way through the snow at the University of Toronto's campus in Toronto on Monday, November 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Commuters are dealing with a slow and messy drive home as the GTA sees its first big blast of winter weather.
With steady snowfall throughout the day and no signs of the precipitation letting up, roads around the city are slick and messy and city officials are urging people to drive with extra caution.
“As the snow continues into the afternoon commute - drivers please slow down, be cautious and watch for pedestrians and cyclists,” the city said in a tweet Monday afternoon. “Please plan your travel ahead of time, leave extra time, be patient and consider using public transit.”
CP24 cameras caught a number of vehicles struggling to navigate the messy roads, many that had not yet switched over to snow tires.
York Regional Police said in a tweet that officers are responding to a number of collisions and urged drivers to slow down
The TTC reported Monday evening that most bus routes around the city and some streetcar lines are running about 15 minutes behind schedule because of the weather.
GO Transit and UP Express did not report any serious service interruptions.
Toronto area airports are advising passengers to check their flight status ahead of time due to the inclement weather.
Pearson International Airport said there have been a number of flight delays and cancellations today because of the weather.
“If flying from Pearson today, leave yourself lots of extra time as traffic may be impacted by snow. And before heading out, check your flight status with your airline, or on our website, as we’re seeing some delays and cancellations,” the airport said in a tweet.
Environment Canada issued winter weather travel advisories for much of southern Ontario ahead of the storm, and said Toronto could see up to 15 centimetres of snowfall today.
“Light snow will begin this morning and is expected to become heavy at times this afternoon and continue through the evening. Snowfall accumulations of 10 to 15 cm are possible by the time the snow ends,” the national weather agency said in its weather advisory.
“Travel will be impacted today due to accumulating snow, particularly during the afternoon commute.”
A snowfall warning is in effect for the regions of Halton and Peel. Hamilton and Niagara Region, which are expected to see greater levels of accumulation than Toronto, are currently under snowfall and winter storm warnings.
The heavy snow, Environment Canada said, is due to a low pressure system tracking south of the lower Great Lakes today.
Toronto will see a high of -2 C today but the temperature will feel closer to -11 with the wind chill.
The snow is expected to taper off overnight and more flurries are possible on Tuesday.
Vince Sferrazza, director of operations and maintenance for the City of Toronto, said crews were out last night preparing for today’s snowfall.
“As soon as we found out there was going to be a significant weather event today we began bringing in the crews and the equipment. So we are ready,” he told CP24 on Monday.
“Last night we actually began pre-treating the expressways, hills and some other significant areas…That allows the salting operations to be more effective.”
City to open warming centre at Metro Hall
The City of Toronto also said that while the temperature overnight Monday doesn't trigger an extreme cold weather alert, they are opening Metro Hall as a warming centre tonight starting at 7 p.m. out of an abundance of caution.
"Normally an extreme cold weather alert would be called before we would open up Metro Hall, which provides about 50 additional spaces, but given the weather... we felt it was important to provide as much additional shelter capacity as we could this evening," City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross said.
"The snow is blowing and it is only Nov. 11 so it will be some temporary respite at least for some people who need to come in from the cold tonight."