Toronto preparing for severe winter storm

Dominic Gagliese walks his daughter's dog on Carlaw Avenue on Thursday as the snow began to fall (Bernard Toney/ Toronto Observer)  

Get ready Toronto, it’s going to get a bit chilly!

Environment Canada has set out a severe winter waning for today and Friday.

The city of Toronto will experience significant snowfall from 15 to 25 cm for the next two days.

The storm has spread into Southern Ontario from Michigan. As the evening progresses, the light snowfall might intensify and it will get worse by Friday morning.

“The heaviest snow will occur during the Friday morning rush hour along the Highway 401 corridor from London to the Greater Toronto area to Kingston and through the Golden Horseshoe,” Environment Canada posted on its website.

Areas close to Lake Ontario will receive close to 25 cm of snow.

Air Canada also posted alerts about plane cancellations for flights leaving Toronto due to the storm. Prior to leaving for the airport, check your flight status or call Air Canada.

Air Canada and Air Canada Express advise that flights to, from or connecting through the airport(s) listed may be delayed or cancelled due to the event described,” Air Canada posted on their website.

The TTC is also preparing. These are the ways they intend to get through the storm:

• In the subway system, 50 per cent of trains will be kept in tunnels to prevent delays running out of the subway yards.

• In open-cut areas of the subway, including the SRT, “storm trains” will apply glycol to the power rail as trains run back and forth to prevent the build-up of snow and ice.

• On streetcar routes, “storm cars” run throughout the city, crossing every switch, track and loop to prevent potential freezing of switches or ice on overhead wires.

• TTC bus and most streetcar routes operate in mixed traffic, so delays can be expected to your trip.

Snow falling on the street of Carlaw Avenue. (Bernard Toney/Toronto Observer)

Snow falling on the street of Carlaw Avenue. (Bernard Toney/Toronto Observer)

The TDSB says that the storm may force the cancellation of student transportation and schools may be closed in extreme conditions. The decision will be made early Friday morning.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board says they’ll make their decision by 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. The board advises parents of “medically fragile” students to keep their children home if they live far away from school, if the buses are cancelled.

Ryerson University also alerted students Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m.

“Weather forecast calls for snow, but the university is open and classes are being held as scheduled. Please continue to check this site and @RyersonU for updates.”

Centennial College recommends that you monitor media reports in the evening and Friday morning prior to leaving for the college. “Centennial’s Communications department will advise local media outlets as soon as a decision has been made to close the college, although it can take up to an hour for the closure information to be broadcast (so listen at 7 am or 4 pm or later),” a college official said in an email to staff and students.

The City of Toronto has issued a statement online calling an “Extreme Weather Alert to make vulnerable homeless people aware of the dangers of staying outside too long in cold and extreme weather and to ensure they have safe and warm places to go.” The alert will stay effective until further notice.

The city has 600 snowplows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks ready to tackle the winter storm.

About this article

By: Erika Marucci and Bernard Toney
Posted: Feb 8 2013 7:41 am
Filed under: News