Parts of southern Ontario see over 20 cm of snow, multiple school closures after heavy snowfall

Digging and plowing has commenced as people in southern Ontario woke up to more than 20 centimetres of snow in some regions after a heavy snowfall, resulting in multiple school closures across the province on Tuesday.

Some areas saw strong winds, gusting up to 60 km per hour during a heavy snowfall Monday night into Tuesday morning, Environment Canada said. 

The federal agency said snow is expected to continue early Tuesday morning, resulting in an additional two to four centimetres, and then taper off by mid or late morning. 

Brian Owsiak, a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the snowfall began around 7 p.m. ET last night and picked up in intensity later Monday night, but he said the heaviest snowfall has passed.

“The worst is over,” said Owsiak.

Multiple schools cancelled in-person learning and transportation services — the same day school boards in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region were expected to welcome students back into schools after a stretch of online learning that began in January.

Many schools remain open, but check with your board or school for more information.

Owsiak said travel conditions are “definitely difficult this morning given the snowfall amount” and drivers should expect to see drifting and blowing snow across the roads. 

“If people can stay home for at least part of the morning, it definitely would be easier for them,” he said, adding that it will take a few hours for the snow-covered roads to be cleared. 

Longer transit wait times, collisions in Toronto

Transportation systems have been affected by the winter storm, with the transit system in the province’s largest city telling customers to prepare for longer than normal wait times on all streetcar routes due to weather and operational issues. 

While Toronto saw 15 cm of snow overnight, its largest school board remains open for in-person learning. 

The Ontario Provincial Police say they’ve already seen multiple collisions on the province’s highways.

Toronto police are already dealing with one three-car collision and another issue where there were reports of a snow plow hitting a gas line.

A stay-at-home order remains in place in Toronto, although essential workers still have to make their way to their jobs.

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