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Monday, January 28, 2019

Massive snowfall in Toronto causing widespread cancellations and messy commute

Toronto is suffering through this not-so-merry Monday under blizzard-like conditions that have health, weather and law enforcement officials telling everyone to stay off the roads.

You may not have that option, if you're already at work or school, but if there's somewhere you need to be this evening— a class, a meeting, an event, whatever— you may want to check that it hasn't been cancelled before you put on your boots.

I can tell you right now that U of T's Mississauga and Scarborough campuses are shutting down at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. The school is cancelling all classes, tutorials, labs, tests and academic activities "until further notice" due to severe weather.

George Brown College closed at 3 p.m. today for the same reason.

The Bentway Skate Trail and its free Monday rentals are out of comission too, as snow swirls violently on the winds of mighty Lake Ontario.

All sorts of meetings, lessons, practices and activities have been rescheduled, not to mention all the gigs and shows.

But what hurts the most for many in Toronto (I mean, aside from the actual snow) is our overcrowded public transit system.

The TTC is warning customers that they may experience longer than normal travel times as we head into the evening commute, which is pretty much a given when it's snowing cats and dogs.

It's not even 4 p.m. and Line 3 on the subway has already been shut down due to "operator visibility challenges" and "snow build-up significant enough to disrupt service."

Painful winds, service delays, detours-aplenty have commuters on edge across the city.

But, please be assured that the TTC is working hard to keep everyone moving safely.

"We have all available hands on deck, or on standby, to prepare for/deal with, what is going to be a slow, messy commute home this afternoon," says TTC spokesperson Stuart Green.

"We're taking preventative steps to avoid problems across the network and have contingency plans just in case."

The City of Toronto remains under a snowfall advisory as of 4 p.m. on Monday with as much as 20 cm of snow expected to accumulate this evening (or more, for neighbourhoods near the lake.)

Heavy snow should persist into Tuesday morning, according to Environment Canada, making Tuesday's commute just as messy and cold.

"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions," warns the federal weather agency. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow."

Yeah. We know.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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