Toronto remains under winter weather travel advisory as 1st snowfall of season blankets city

·2 min read
Buildings in downtown Toronto were dusted with snow as the city received its first snowfall of the season. (Ramna Shahzad/CBC - image credit)
Buildings in downtown Toronto were dusted with snow as the city received its first snowfall of the season. (Ramna Shahzad/CBC - image credit)

Toronto remained under a winter weather travel advisory as the city received its first snowfall of the season on Sunday, Environment Canada says.

Yoseph Mengesha, a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada, said total accumulations of snow for the day were expected to be between eight cm and 14 cm in Toronto, with greater amounts expected north of the city.

"It's a bit early but it's not uncommon," Mengesha said of the snowfall.

"Periods of snow will continue today. It will start to taper off later this evening. We still expect a couple of centimetres this evening."

Mengesha said a low pressure system that moved over southern Ontario and the upper Great Lake brought the snow to Toronto. That system is headed east, he added.

Another system that could bring more snow to Toronto is expected on Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Environment Canada said the wintry weather has affected road conditions and motorists should expect that roads not yet salted might be icy and slippery.

Crews were salting all roads in Toronto, according to the city.

OPP says drivers reporting crashes on GTA highways

Ontario Provincial Police said drivers reported crashes on Highways 401, 403, 404, 407 and 410 and Queen Elizabeth Way on Sunday.

Const. Timothy Dunnah of the OPP's Mississauga detachment said most crashes in the Toronto area were minor in nature. He said collision reporting centres have been available to motorists.

If involved in a crash and if it is safe to do so, motorists should move to the shoulder of the highway or a parking lot, he said.

"Right now, we have snow happening throughout the Greater Toronto Area. There is heavy accumulation on our roadways. We have multiple collisions across all of our highways," Dunnah said.

"We are asking motorists to take their time, leave earlier, drive slower to get their destinations. Drive according to weather conditions. Enjoy the nice weather. It's snow. It's our first big one for the year. But be responsible when operating a motor vehicle."

A crash in the northbound lanes of Highway 404 at Elgin Mills Road sent one person to a trauma centre with serious injuries. A section of Highway 404 closed due to the crash has since reopened.

Const. David Hopkinson, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, urged motorists to clear all ice and snow off their vehicles, slow down, ensure there is space between their vehicles and those in front of them, and give themselves lots of time to reach their destinations.

Hopkinson said there were 32 crashes reported on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Of that total, six involved injuries, while 26 involved damage to vehicles.