Hamilton Daystarter: Everything you need to know Friday

Here's all your news, weather and traffic for Friday, March 7.
The above-zero temperatures and sunny weather on Friday won't last long. Expect double-digit, below-zero lows over the weekend. (CBC)

After two weeks of break, it's time to showcase your Olympic spirit again as the Paralympic Games get underway in Sochi.

Canadian Paralympic team finished third in Vancouver in 2010 with 10 gold, behind Russia and Germany. This year, a top-three finish in the medal standing is definitely within the reach, said Ossie Sawicki, Canada's Paralympic chef de mission.

The opening ceremony begins at 10:55 a.m. ET. Wheelchair curling, which starts at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, will kick off the competition.

One thing will help you adjust your biological clock for the late-night Olympic programs: daylight saving time takes effect this Sunday, as we spring forward an hour. The time change will take place at 2 a.m. on Sunday. 

Friday is also an unpaid day for public teachers at elementary and secondary schools across Ontario, due to a cost-cutting measure by the provincial government. 

Today in Hamilton history: on March 7, 2009, Hamilton MPP Andrea Horwath was elected as the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Horwath became the first woman to lead the party after winning the four-candidate race on the third ballot. She succeeded Howard Hampton, who stepped down after 13 years as the leader. 

The March break exodus is underway. Before you get to your sunny destination, however, you have to get past the gridlock first.

If you are driving across the border, click here for a list of border wait times compiled by Canada Border Services Agency. You can also follow each port of entry on Twitter and receive updates when wait time changes. 

Pearson Airport is expecting more than 114,000 travellers on Friday, 20,000 more than usual. To accommodate the extra traffic, the airport will be providing kids-friendly activities. There will be arts and craft stations, colouring walls and giveaways once you get past security. Pan Am game mascot Pachi will also be greeting travellers in the lounges.

The airport says operations are running well Friday morning, but advises travellers to allow extra time and check flight status before heading to the airport. 

On the major highways:

  • Highway 401 eastbound at Martin Grove Road: two-vehicle collision on the right shoulder. No injuries were reported (7:47 a.m.).
  • Highway 407 westbound ramp to Highway 10: right lane is closed to remove a vehicle from the right ditch. No injuries reported (7:28 a.m.).
  • Highway 401 eastbound at Highway 410 in Mississauga: disabled vehicle on the right shoulder (7:11 a.m.).

A balmy high of 3 C is expected today. Environment Canada says it will be mainly sunny today with increasing cloudiness tonight. There is, however, a 60 per cent chance of snow overnight with risk of freezing drizzle. The overnight low is expected to be –3 C.

The cloudy weather continues into Saturday, with 60 per cent chance of snow early in the morning, followed by 30 per cent chance of flurries in the afternoon. There will also be a risk of freezing drizzle early in the morning.

Temperatures are expected to rise to 1 C on Saturday, but then drop to –12 C again at night, Environment Canada says.

A mix of sun and cloud is in the forecast for Sunday with a high of – 3 C.

A protest is scheduled to take place at city hall at noon to protest the National Energy Board's decision to approve Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline proposal. The energy giant received a green light on Thursday to reverse the flow and increase the capacity of a pipeline that has been running between southern Ontario and Montreal for years.

Stoney Creek photographer @mudinspired​ snapped this shot at the Royal Botanical Garden.