'Major ice storm' hits Ontario
Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo could see 20 to 30 mm of ice accumulation
A “major ice storm” is expected to make life difficult across southern and eastern Ontario this weekend as the second winter storm in as many days moves up from the U.S.
Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings for much of southern Ontario on Saturday.
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Regions including Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo could see as much as 20 to 30 mm of ice accumulation. Much of the province saw a mix of snow, rain and other icy, inclement precipitation on Friday.
The ice will make driving hazardous and could cause “widespread” power outages due to downed trees and power lines, Environment Canada warned.
The weather front is expected to remain fairly stationary for Saturday and Sunday over Sarnia to near Hamilton and eastwards across Lake Ontario. Some areas north of the front are expected to get up to 20 mm of freezing rain, while others could get snow, ice pellets or rain.
Delays at Pearson
Pearson International Airport was reporting a significant number of delays and some cancellations, mostly among arriving flights, by Saturday afternoon. Travellers are advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport.
Air Canada has waived fees for passengers who change their flight plans due to weather.
"The next few days are not looking good for travel," said CBC meteorologist Claire Martin.
"It's not like you can avoid certain highways and hope that they'll be dry and fine," said Martin. "You're into snow to the north of this system and rain to the south. So it's going to be messy.”
The Ontario Provincial Police say travellers heading out on the highways will have to pay attention to road conditions, slow down and leave extra time to reach their destination.
One person was killed on Highway 27 near Third Line in Bradford West Gwillimbury at around 7 p.m. when a car collided head-on with a tractor trailer. Police said they believe the crash was weather-related, noting there was freezing rain in the area at the time. Roads were closed in the area pending investigation.
Saturday evening also saw power outages across the province, with HydroOne reporting 27,800 customers without electricity. In Aurora and Kleinburg, outages affected a total of some 4,000 people. In Brampton, an electrical pole snapped in half because of the ice, bringing down power lines which then caught fire. There were no reported injuries and emergency crews blocked off the area.
GO Transit has shut down train service between Pickering and Oshawa after a punctured fuel tank forced the evacuation of an eastbound train Saturday morning. The cause of the puncture is not known.
GO said all its buses are running on time, though minor delays may crop up due to bad road conditions.
TransHelp, the accessible transportation service for Peel Region, is recommending its clients cancel trips planned for today and tomorrow because of the weather. There will be no charge for cancelling trips.
TransHelp will still operate on a reduced service schedule for those who must travel for dialysis or other medical reasons.
The Peel District School Board said it has cancelled all recreational activities at its schools for Sunday.
Elsewhere, icy conditions made getting around tricky for drivers and pedestrians alike. Salting trucks were out on major routes, though many smaller streets in communities across the province remained treacherous because of ice left over from the first storm.