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Messy winter storm begins in Toronto

The Greater Toronto Area is expecting a winter storm Tuesday, with a mix of messy weather expected. Follow along here for all the latest details on the storm.

 

11:45

The city says that it will open walk-in warming centres today at 5 p.m. for anyone experiencing homelessness who needs relief from the weather. The centres offer a warm place to rest and access to snacks, washrooms and referrals to emergency shelters.

The warming centres are located at:

  • 136 Spadina Rd. (south of Dupont St.)
  • 75 Elizabeth St. (behind City Hall; west of Bay St., south of Dundas St. W.)
  • North York Warming Centre, 15 Olive Ave. (east of Yonge St., south of Finch Ave. E.)
  • 885 Scarborough Golf Club Rd. (east of Markham Rd., South of Ellesmere Rd.)

More information on information on drop-ins and warming centres can be found on the city’s website.

 

 

11:30 a.m.

The TTC says that it is adding extra staff and maintenance vehicles across the transit system in order to make sure that its vehicles keep running today.

The transit agency also says that it will be actively monitoring 56 bus stops in areas where heavy snow and freezing rain might make it difficult for vehicles to operate. Riders are being advised to check if their stop is in service before they travel.

Wheel-Trans service is operating today but the TTC says that customers may experience longer wait times and delays.

Meanwhile, the OPP are offering some further tips for drivers:

 

10:30 a.m.

Toronto police are urging drivers to use extra caution on the roads as the storm begins.

“Toronto is expecting a winter storm today. Please use caution if you must venture outside,” the force said in a statement on X. “Drivers: slow down and drive to the weather conditions. Stay safe, everyone.”

 

9:45 a.m.

Snow has begun to fall in downtown Toronto. According to CP24 Meteorologist Bill Coulter, heavier wet snow will continue to fall until around 2 p.m. in the early afternoon.

“Then the heavier wet snow changes over along the lake shore to rain,” Coulter said. “It takes a little longer at Pearson, probably closer to 4 p.m., to change the rain. And then we all see the temperature rise to about 4 C at Pearson and then we get the rain up until about midnight.”

A pigeon gets warm atop a chimney as snow falls in downtown Toronto Tuesday January 9, 2024. (Joshua Freeman /CP24)

 

9:30 a.m.

Environment Canada issued a significant rainfall warning mid-Tuesday morning, saying that between 20 and 35 mm of water is expected to fall in the Toronto area.

Precipitation is expected to change from snow to rain in the afternoon or early evening, according to the warning.

“The frozen ground has a reduced ability to absorb this rainfall,” the weather agency said. “Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.”

 

7:45 a.m.

Ontario Provincial Police are urging people to be mindful of the weather today as they set out on the roads.

Speaking with CP24, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the mix of rain and snow that’s expected could be deceiving for some drivers in terms of what to expect.

“We’re also expecting potentially heavy rain which could result in ponding and that can also have hydroplaning effects and obviously loss of control if you start skipping across the water,” Schmidt said.  “So make sure you’re driving according to those conditions. You see open water, you see ponding or you see snow and ice on the roads, just as slow down, give yourself time.”

Snow is seen falling in Mississauga on Jan. 9 as a messy mix of winter weather began to hit the GTA.

He also noted that weather conditions are expected to vary across the GTA, so people should be prepared for changing road conditions as well and exercise caution.

“If you’re driving across the region, you may be driving from rain to ice to snow and you never know what the roads gonna look like when you have to hit the brakes,” Schmidt said.

 

7 a.m.

Toronto Pearson International Airport says it is monitoring the developments around the storm. The airport is advising people to leave extra time to get to the airport and to check their flight status online before leaving.

 

6:15 a.m.

A number of school bus cancellations have been announced in some parts of the GTA and southern Ontario. In most cases, schools remain open for learning, even if buses are cancelled. The TDSB says cancellations are not expected in Toronto. You can find a full list of school bus cancellations here.

 

6 a.m.

Conditions remain clear in Toronto early this morning and no weather problems are anticipated for the morning rush. However a winter weather travel advisory is in effect for today.

Environment Canada says Toronto could see snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 cm and hazardous travel conditions are possible beginning late this morning in the GTA and lasting through this evening.

The agency says the GTA could see heavy snow at times as the storm system moves through Southern Ontario. Snow is expected to change to rain later in the day, with as much as 20-30 mm expected.

Snowfall amounts could be significantly lower closer to Lake Ontario.

“Difficult travel conditions will be likely once the snow arrives. At this point, it appears that the heaviest snow will arrive after the morning commute, but that the afternoon commute could be significantly impacted,” the agency said in its statement. “Motorists should expect hazardous winter driving conditions and adjust travel plans accordingly. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.”

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