Salting process begins amid messy commute as major snowfall hits GTA
Salting trucks were out on Toronto roads in full force in response to the city’s first major storm of the season Monday.
The accumulating snowfall, which prompted a weather warning by Environment Canada for the Greater Toronto Area, made for a messy commute with various police agencies reporting collisions across the city.
As a result, the city of Toronto urged drivers to slow down and to use caution, escpecially around pedestrians and cyclists.
At Around 11:30 a.m., city officials said that salt trucks were heading to Toronto’s expressways and that “spot salting” had started on main roads, hills and bridges.
The trucks started to sprinkle salt on local roads around 1 p.m.
Environment Canada said that Hamilton is likely to be hardest hit, with up to 30cm of snow forecast. The Niagara region could also see 25cm of snow accumulate.
Toronto is forecast to receive between 10cm and 15cm of snow. Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, Vaughan, Milton, Caledon, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Oshawa are also under a weather advisory.
"This snowfall is due to a developing low pressure system which will track south of the lower Great Lakes on today," Environment Canada said Monday morning.
The snow is expected to fall heaviest during the afternoon commute and through the evening. Drivers are being warned of hazardous conditions that could deteriorate rapidly.
Vince Sferrazza, director of operations and maintenance for the City of Toronto, said that crews were working Sunday night in preparation for the 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.”
School buses were cancelled in Niagara and Halton regions. The schools remained open.
Meanwhile, the City of Toronto is opening a warming centre at Metro Hall at 7 p.m. today.
"While the threshold for an extreme cold weather alert won't be reached until tomorrow, out of an abundance of caution, staff are opening it tonight," city spokesperson Brad Ross tweeted.
"Additional shelter beds have also opened up, with more opening up tomorrow."
Air travellers are being advised to check on the status of their flights before heading out the airport.