Morning traffic rush met with freezing rain, slippery roads
A risk of freezing rain on Thursday afternoon could make for hazardous road conditions. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)
Chris Herhalt, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:04AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 24, 2016 9:26AM EDT
Thursday morning's commute was tricky for drivers who were met with icy roads and freezing rain.
Several hours of continuous freezing rain overnight led to a power outage covering a large swath of Vaughan and Brampton.
PowerStream Inc. said 26,000 customers in an area roughly bounded by Keele Street, Kirby Side Road, Huntington Road and Highway 7 lost power this morning.
Power was restored to most customers by 7:20 a.m.
In Brampton, 270 customers are without power in the area of Dixie Road and Steeles Avenue.
Police services across the GTA warned motorists to slow down due to the road conditions, however there were several reports of crashes on every major highway throughout the morning.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a tractor trailer crashed in Kitchener and cars spun out on the QEW.
Two cars collided on the eastbound lanes of Highway 403, west of Erin Mills, Schmidt said. A woman in one of the vehicles needed to be extricated from the vehicle.
He said, as of 9:30 a.m., there had been more than 600 calls for service and more than 225 collisions since midnight throughout the GTA.
Toronto Police Const. Clint Stibbe said they had seen several collisions, mostly single vehicles that have spun out on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.
Some streetcars in Toronto also experienced delays this morning due to ice buildup on overhead power lines affecting power supply. The 505 Dundas line was the most seriously affected.
In Toronto, Hector Moreno of Transportation Services said all expressways and main roads in the city were covered by salters by 6 a.m., and even minor side streets will be completely salted by 11 a.m. or so.
At Pearson International Airport, about seven per cent of all departures and arriving flights have already been cancelled due to the freezing rain conditions.
The weather prompted Meals on Wheels to cancel its deliveries for the day in the City of Brampton. It also prompted Humber College to close its doors and cancel all classes for the day.
Classes at York University, Sheridan College, Centennial College and the University of Toronto at Mississauga campus have also been cancelled and all of those schools are closed.
Click here for a full list of bus cancellations and closures.