Several public events and facilities are beginning to hunker down in anticipation of a winter storm expected to start Tuesday and continue into Wednesday.
Ottawa city council, Ottawa police, Ottawa public health and even post-secondary schools have all postponed or outright cancelled events and are urging people to avoid going out as much as possible.
All schools in both the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa Carleton District School board are also going to be closed on Wednesday. This includes before and after school programs and community use of the schools. The French Public and French Catholic schools will also be closed.
“The closure of schools and buildings is an unusual step and has been made for the safety of students, staff and the community,” said the public board in an email. “The school district has been monitoring weather forecasts and has been in communication with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police, OSTA and our coterminous school boards over the course of the day.”
“Given the large accumulation of snow and concerns about road safety, we recognize that travel during peak hours could be hazardous and should be limited.”
WATCH: Winter Storm Warning in place for Southern Ontario
The city council meeting for Wednesday has been postponed until Feb. 27 due to the weather. The city has also issued an overnight parking ban that runs Wednesday from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. and will continue until the city says it’s over.
The University of Ottawa, Carleton University and Algonquin College have cancelled all classes for a 24-hour period. The uOttawa will close at 4 p.m. but facilities will remain open, albeit in a limited capacity. Algonquin will close at 5 p.m. and reopen Wednesday at 5 p.m. and Carleton will close at 5:30 p.m.
Ottawa public health has cancelled two parenting drop-in courses for Wednesday in anticipation of the weather and is asking people to dress warmly for the weather.
The Ottawa police have even cancelled a recruitment session that was scheduled and are asking people to avoid unnecessary travel.
The city says plows will be out in force Wednesday to plow and salt roads and sidewalks and is reminding those who do need to drive to be patient as there is expected to be heavy delays on the roads.
Drivers are also being reminded to keep a safe distan ce from working snow plows. Those who use OC Transpo can also expect delays and are asked to leave extra time for their trip.
The city has also elected to close all recreational facilities in the city until noon on Wednesday in order to facilitate the removal of snow from the parking lots.
School boards in the city will announce by 5 p.m. this evening whether or not they will be closing schools in the city on Wednesday.
According to Environment Canada, it’s anticipated that 40 cm of snow will fall in the capital between Tuesday evening and Wednesday night with winds gusting up to 60 km/h.
“Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult,” the agency says in its weather advisory. “If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for taillights ahead and be prepared to stop.”
“If you must travel, keep others informed of your schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit and mobile phone.”
So far this year, the largest amount of snow to fall on Ottawa is 25 cm.
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