Winter storm and freezing rain warnings have been issued for most of southern Ontario as a low pressure system moves across the province, bringing a mix of messy precipitation

Environment Canada says a "significant" winter storm will drop varying amounts of snow across the province on Saturday, before turning to rain or freezing rain as temperatures increase later in the day and into Sunday. 

The forecast is part of a wave of wintry weather expected to blast much of Canada this weekend. 


Fresh snow falls at Brimacombe Ski Hill near Clarington, Ont. (Alan Habbick/CBC)

Central and eastern Ontario will see the heaviest snowfall, at between 10 and 15 centimetres, while between two and five centimetres are expected to accumulate around and to the north of the Golden Horseshoe. Southwestern Ontario will see only trace amounts of snow, according to Environment Canada.

By early evening freezing rain warnings were in effect for much of southern Ontario and the Golden Horseshoe. Winter storm warning were issued for areas further north towards Ottawa and Algonquin. 

Temperatures will climb on Sunday, reaching the double digits in some areas, before a cold front is expected to arrive from the west, bringing strong winds and snow flurries. 

A special weather statement for Toronto warned of a "deep freeze" for the coming work week. 

Driving difficult

Environment Canada warns that driving will be difficult throughout the weekend, considering the many changes in the weather. 

The snow was falling in Toronto by 1 p.m. on Saturday, leading to a wave of mostly minor traffic accidents around the city and outlying areas. The OPP said at one point it was aware of more than 300 collisions, all relatively minor, on Toronto-area highways. 

By late afternoon the snow had turned to rain. 

Flights were delayed cancelled at both Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto. Travellers are advised to check with their airlines. 

GO Transit said several of its bus routes were slowed down by poor traffic and weather conditions, while GO trains were running with no significant delays by late afternoon.