Wintry weather makes for messy driving as more snow blankets Toronto

A police officer at Front and John streets as snow falls in Toronto on March 10, 2023. (Michael Wilson/CBC - image credit)
A police officer at Front and John streets as snow falls in Toronto on March 10, 2023. (Michael Wilson/CBC - image credit)

Winter weather made for messy driving in Toronto on Friday as more snow blanketed the city.

Environment Canada, however, ended the winter weather travel advisory for Toronto at about 9:15 p.m. The federal weather agency had warned of "hazardous" driving conditions and had said that visibility could be reduced at times while the snow fell.

Kelly Hobelman, meteorologist for Environment Canada, said Friday night that between five and nine centimetres of snow fell in the Greater Toronto Area.

Toronto's Pearson Airport received nine centimetres of snow, but eight centimetres was recorded in both Scarborough and North York. The snow, which began falling before noon, tapered off in the evening.

A total of 20 centimetres was measured at Hamilton Mountain. Hamilton had been under a snowfall warning earlier on Friday.

"It was a typical snowfall," Hobelman said. "It was pretty steady throughout the day."

Friday's blast of winter comes a week after Toronto saw and heard thunder snow in a storm that dumped 24 to 32 centimetres of wet, heavy snow on the city.

'Patience is key,' meteorologist says

In an interview earlier on Friday, Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng said driving conditions were "messy" in the city.

"Patience is key," he said. "The visibility on the roads is not ideal."

Michael Wilson/CBC
Michael Wilson/CBC

Ontario Provincial Police responded to collisions reported throughout regions hit by the snow, including a five-vehicle crash involving a jackknifed truck on Highway 401 west near Milton, west of Toronto.

'A skating rink on many highways': OPP

"Roads are super slick," OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt had said in a video posted to Twitter. "This is not the way we wanted to kick off March break."

Schmidt had urged people to stay home if they could during the storm.

"Wait for the system to pass and wait for the plows and salters to clear the (roads)," he said. "It is absolutely a skating rink on many highways right now."

Toronto's Pearson International Airport advised travellers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

GO Transit, which serves the Greater Golden Horseshoe, cancelled and suspended various buses in the region due to weather conditions.

"We are experiencing delays across most of our GO bus network. Please consider not travelling unless it is necessary," the regional public transit operator said in a statement.

The TTC had said transit services were running as scheduled, but it was monitoring the weather to see if conditions were going to get worse.

For live TTC updates, go to the TTC service alerts page.

City had 2,727 snow-related calls to 311 after last storm

Frustratingly for many Toronto residents, the city is still cleaning up some areas after last Friday's winter storm dumped up to 30 centimetres of snow.

Torontonians have filed some 2,727 complaints to 311 since the March 5 snowfall. Online, many have posted pictures of sidewalks that haven't been cleared since the storm, or thick snow blocking off TTC stops.

Evan Mitsui/CBC
Evan Mitsui/CBC

"Crews are being dispatched to inspect and clear the areas, as required," the city said in an email statement. 
The city continued to say those numbers have been declining this winter.

At this point, the city doesn't appear to be seeking any penalties in connection with the snow-clearing work this winter.

"We are confident that our contractors are making every effort possible to adequately deliver winter road operations in an efficient manner," a spokesperson said.

"During a storm and clean up period, our focus is on dealing with any identified safety and accessibility issues as quickly as possible."

This is the first year new contractors are controlling the bulk of snow-clearing in the city, something CBC Toronto has covered extensively. Here are some stories you may have missed: