Snow, ice and high winds for Ontario, Quebec as storm sweeps in

As much as 40 centimetres of snow fell near the Ottawa region

Rafael Ravara, left, and Alano Silva, take advantage of the winter storm to build their first snowman at High Park in Toronto on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin)

A massive winter storm moving northeast from the United States pelted Ontario with snow, ice and high winds on Tuesday, with Canada’s weather agency warning residents to brace for worsening weather before the system moved east into Quebec.

Environment Canada issued widespread winter storm warnings across Ontario as a Colorado Low made its way into the province, promising everything from freezing rain in the southwestern part of the province to as much as 40 centimetres of snow near the Ottawa region.

READ MORE: Second snow warning calls for 15-25 centimetres for B.C.’s south coast

Schools and post-secondary institutions across the province called off classes and airlines cancelled flights by the dozens.

The closures in Ontario may be a sign of things to come for the rest of the country, said Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng, adding the system promises to make itself felt in Quebec and all points east in the coming days.

“It’s not just affecting parts of Ontario, it’s also affecting Quebec and eventually all the Atlantic provinces,” he said in a telephone interview. “Basically, a lot of people in eastern Canada will be affected by this storm.”

Cheng said moisture the storm system will have gathered on its way north will result in freezing rain falling on a large stretch of southwestern Ontario from Windsor to London. As it moves north, however, Cheng said the precipitation will shift to a combination of snow and ice pellets.

That mix is expected to fall on the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding regions, he said, bringing between 15 and 25 centimetres of combined precipitation.

Snowfall totals are expected to rise as the storm travels east, he said, adding the Ottawa area can brace for as much as 40 centimetres.

The storm is expected to hit Quebec overnight and into Wednesday morning, he added.

”This is a big storm, and not only are we talking about the precipitation … winds can gust up to 80 kilometres per hour,” he said, adding such high speeds increase the risk of downed power lines and damage from toppled trees.

As the storm escalated early Tuesday morning, closures and cancellations piled up across the province.

The Toronto District School Board was among many that cancelled all classes and bus routes for the day, an unusual move for an organization that said it had not implemented across-the-board closures since 2011. Ryerson and York Universities closed for the day, and two out of the University of Toronto’s three campuses also suspended classes.

Arrival and departure boards at Toronto airports were clogged with cancellations and delays, particularly at Billy Bishop airport in the city’s downtown where wind gusts were registered at more than 70 kilometres per hour.

Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Bear orphanage dealing with high number of cubs

Northern Lights Wildlife Society needs fruit and vegetables for orphans

Northwest Wave Riders return from Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

This was the first time in 25 years that northern B.C. teams competed

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read