Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area are encouraged to leave plenty of time for travel on Monday as the region deals with intense snowfall and brisk winds.
Environment Canada issued a winter storm warning. It said 15 to 25 centimetres of snow, which is the result of an “Alberta Clipper,” is expected to hit the city by Tuesday morning.
“The evening commute will be very messy with snow and blowing snow,” Global News meteorologist Anthony Farnell said, adding temperatures will remain well below freezing.
Winds gusting to 50 km/h are blowing the snow around, making for treacherous driving conditions.
The City of Toronto said salting operations began just after 12 p.m. on Monday. Plowing will begin once the snow accumulation hits five centimetres.
The TTC issued a warning to commuters Monday to “plan ahead” for the conditions. Anti-icing efforts are underway, as well as heaters have been turned on across the TTC network.
Extra staff will also be working overnight to monitor signals and tracks.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said commuters who are driving should make sure snow is cleared off of vehicles, that emergency supplies are stocked and that washer fluid is topped up. He said to also make sure you are giving yourself extra time.
As of 10 p.m. on Monday, Schmidt said there were more than 100 collisions on GTA highways patrolled by OPP officers.
He said collisions that take place during events like these are often “preventable.”
“Drivers just going too fast, following too close, not paying attention — those are absolutely preventable and we just want people to do their part,” he said.
If you get into a collision, Schmidt said drivers involved should remove themselves from the highway to exchange information or get to a collision reporting centre.
After the storm hits, Farnell said temperatures will continue to plummet into the double-digits below freezing by late Tuesday.
He said Wednesday will be one of the coldest days of the entire winter season with temperatures hovering near -20 C, with wind chills below -30 C.
List of closures and delays
– George Brown College is set to close at 3 p.m.
– Centennial College is set to close at 3:30 p.m.
– University of Toronto Mississauga is set to close at 4 p.m.
– Sheridan College is set to close at 4 p.m.
– University of Toronto Scarborough is set to close at 5 p.m.
– Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber is set to close at 6 p.m.
– Ryerson University is set to close at 6 p.m.
– City of Brampton recreation programs are cancelled as of 3 p.m.
– City of Mississauga recreation programs, planning and road safety meetings cancelled as of 3 p.m.
– Toronto Pearson International and Billy Bishop airports are reporting cancellations and delays
– TTC Line 3 (Scarborough RT) is being replaced with shuttle buses due to weather-related issues
– GO Transit is reporting delays on bus routes in Mississauga, Brampton and Toronto, Route 16 Hamilton-Toronto buses are cancelled