Ice storm leaves power outages, slippery streets

An overnight ice storm brought freezing rain, gusty winds and isolated power outages across the Greater Toronto Area early Friday.

Freezing rain warning ends for Toronto


  • Freezing rain warning lifted for Toronto
  • Some boats in Toronto harbour set adrift by high winds
  • Power restored after earlier outage in Bathurst/Keele/Sheppard area
  • Some school bus service closures, none at TDSB schools

An overnight ice storm brought freezing rain, gusty winds and power outages across the Greater Toronto Area on Friday morning.

"Wind, rain and ice are making for a messy commute this morning," said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

"This is definitely a ‘two hands on the steering wheel kind of day’ with wind gusts in the 60 to 80 km/h range being reported across the GTA."

The storm, which began late Thursday, led to about 50 flight cancellations at Toronto’s Pearson airport, with conditions worst in areas outside city.

A Via train travelling from Toronto to Montreal was delayed this morning after an ice-covered tree toppled over onto its engine. 

The CBC's Travis Dhanraj said rolling waves helped several boats along Toronto's waterfront break free, including a 23-metre tour boat docked near the Habourfront Centre.

A power outage affected about 5,600 customers in Toronto in an area bordered by Bathurst Street to Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue West to Wilson Avenue early Friday. Power was restored to the area just before 8:30 a.m.

Outages are more widespread outside the Greater Toronto area. About 100,000 homes were without power across southern Ontario as of early afternoon.

In Hamilton ice-laden trees snapped, taking down power lines. At one point more than 4,000 residents in the Ancaster, Dundas and Hamilton area were without power. CBC overnight reporter Tony Smyth found parked cars and sidewalks in Orangeville coated by a thick layer of ice.

There were no school or bus cancellations in the Toronto District School Board with both public and catholic schools and buses running on a normal schedule.

There were, however, some school bus cancellations in other areas, including:

  • In the Peel Region all buses in Caledon and Dufferin cancelled for the day.
  • North of Steeles, Halton public and Catholic buses cancelled all day.
  • In Durham public and Catholic all buses North of Highway 7 are not operating.

  • Cancellations were also reported in Peterborough, Northumberland County and Clarington.

This isn't a complete list and parents are asked to contact their local school board before heading out this morning.

On the TTC, the weather shut down service on the Scarborough RT between Kennedy and McCowan stations. Shuttle buses were operating along the route.

A freezing rain warning for Toronto was in effect for early Friday before being lifted just before 8:30 a.m.

Scotland said temperatures will rise as the morning continues, and are expected to reach 7 C by mid-morning.

"The good news is that the temperature will start to warm through the morning hours and that will mitigate that freezing rain risk," said Scotland. "The rain will linger as we edge into the early afternoon, drier air will start to build and we'll actually things begin to clear out later today."