Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (2022)

Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (1)

Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (2)

OPP says there is no access on the 401 eastbound to the northbound 400 because of large transport trucks stuck in the snow. Some drivers have been there since 7 a.m. Monday.

By Dorcas MarfoStaff Reporter
Ivy MakToronto Star

Mon., Jan. 17, 2022timer6 min. read

updateArticle was updated Jan. 18, 2022

Snow fall has further postponed the return to in-person learning Tuesday morning.

Environment Canada has ended the winter storm warning Monday evening for Toronto.

Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (3)

As a result, Mayor John Tory has declared major snow storm condition to help the city clear the roads. The condition is slated for 72 hours but it can be shortened or extended if necessary but the city anticipates it will be extended. People are encouraged to stay home during and after the snow fall. People who must drive are warned to expect delays, slippery conditions and poor visibility. Drivers are also asked to keep a safe distance from snow clearing vehicles and other road users and to drive slow while using gentle braking, steering and acceleration. The condition means drivers can no longer park on snow routes during it and snow plows will remove snow into designated snow storage sites. Snow removal will begin once planned plowing operations conclude later this week.

In a live video posted to Twitter just after 2 p.m. Monday, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says the 401 eastbound to the northbound highway 400 is inaccessible because of transport trucks blocking lanes and stuck in the snow. As they await heavy tows, traffic behind the trucks is at a standstill. Schmidt says many of the drivers stuck in the lineups have been on the highway since before 7 a.m. Monday. Some vehicles were able to manoeuvre around the transport trucks, but most are stuck in line. Schmidt says it’s unclear how long the highway will be blocked. He said he is deeply concerned about what it means for the emergency vehicles trying to access the stretch of highway.

Eastbound 401 at Weston has one lane slowly moving Monday night due to several transport trucks stuck and blocking majority of the lanes. Westbound 401 at Islington express is currently at a standstill.


Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (4)

The Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner highways were closed temporarily on Monday to help with the removal of existing vehicles that have gotten stuck on the snowy roads. Both highways are now open, according to Toronto police in an updated tweet Monday afternoon.


Canada Post is suspending postal delivery for the day due to weather. This will impact service for eastern and southern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. “The safety of our employees is our number one priority,” reads the alert from the postal service. Delivery will resume once it’s safe to do so and weather conditions improve. Spokesman Paul Legault does not have any more information regarding when mail service will resume saying “We will evaluate the situation continually overnight and tomorrow until it’s safe for us to send our delivery agents out. We will update our delivery service alerts as soon as there is a change.”


Most GTA school boards have closed schools and cancelled school buses as regions face inclement weather conditions.

Toronto’s public and Catholic school boards will continue to utilize remote learning Monday. Both will cancel buses, in-person classes and virtual learning Tuesday.

York and Catholic boards also announced bus cancellations and that schools will remain closed. Students can participate in online asynchronous learning. Both boards will also cancel in-person classes and be replaced with online learning Tuesday.

Peel and Catholic boards closed all schools, including in-person and online classes. Peel announced that classes will move online and that buses will be cancelled Tuesday.

Toronto under major snow storm condition; Environment Canada ends winter storm warning (5)

Dufferin-Peel Catholic District Board said all schools and facilities are closed and students will switch to remote learning Monday. They are cancelling in-person learning and buses Tuesday as well.

Durham District School Board announced all its elementary schools remain closed and that secondary students will log on for virtual learning. Durham Catholic District School Board made a similar announcement shortly after. Durham school board has not made an announcement about Tuesday.

Halton public and Catholic and Hamilton Wentworth District and Catholic, Niagara public and Catholic school boards have also announced school closures and that in-person and virtual classes are cancelled.


Toronto’s public library branches are also closed Monday due to weather.

The city’s outdoor ice rinks are closed and will not be supervised or maintained. Community centres that were open for washroom and shower access are closed because of the storm.

A number of vaccine clinics across southern Ontario are closed due to weather; people are being encouraged to rebook their appointments for a later date.

Toronto public health has cancelled all vaccination clinics scheduled for Monday.


Environment Canada says people should expect blizzard conditions and heavy snow to fall throughout the day into the evening, with the worst conditions expected between now until 11 a.m. Peak snowfall rates of 6 to 10 cm. per hour.

Travel is expected to be extremely hazardous with near-zero visibility. Commuters who can’t avoid being on the roads should expect significant delays during rush hour.

Local and provincial police services have reminded motorists to exercise caution as driving conditions remain slippery with snow on major GTA roads and highways.

Toronto Winter Operations tweeted Monday morning that all roads were being plowed.

TTC service said all bus and streetcar routes are covered by snow and customers will experience delays in their commute. The transit service has been updating commuters with the latest information on Twitter. There are a large number of delays and route cancellations. TTC said service on Line 1 Yonge-University has no service between Yonge/Bloor and Lawrence stations and between St. Clair West and Sheppard West stations with shuttle buses taking over. They also announced the Scarborough RT is suspended with shuttle buses serving the area. Line 2 Bloor-Danforth between Kennedy and McCowan will also be replaced with shuttle buses and between Kipling and Jane was experiencing weather delays as well but is now clear.

Metrolinx is advising customers on its network to check ahead to see if there are severe delays or cancellations on their route.

A spokesperson for the Metrolinx told the Star that ridership is down considerably on GO transit, making it easier for rerouting and cancellations.

Among some of the cancelled GO Bus routes are: 16 Hamilton to Toronto and the 12, Niagara to Burlington.

Toronto police say eastbound Sheppard Ave W at Keele St. is blocked by cars and buses stuck in snow. Officers are on-site and advise people to find alternate routes.


If you had plans to fly today or were expecting to pick up someone from the airport, you’re probably going to be grounded today.

Nearly 30 per cent of Toronto Pearson International Airport’s 331 total scheduled departures today have been cancelled. Just over 32 per cent of the 345 total arrivals have been cancelled.

“Our crews continue to work throughout the evening to clear snow to ensure the continued safe operation of Toronto Pearson and an efficient startup of Tuesday morning operations ... we ask that those scheduled to travel tomorrow check their flight status with their airline or on and allow more time when heading to the airport,” said Rachel Bertone, a spokesperson for Pearson.

The federal government is still encouraging Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country due to the risk of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19.

Correction — Jan. 18, 2022: This file was updated to correct that Kerry Schmidt is a Sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police, not a Constable.


Ivy Mak is a team editor on the Star's breaking news desk, based in Toronto. Reach her via email:

Lloyd Quansah is a reporter for the Star's radio room based in Toronto. Reach Lloyd via email:



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