Here's a breakdown of Wednesday's freezing rain — and what to expect Thursday morning

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for Toronto, saying the icy precipitation is expected on Wednesday evening.

Icy precipitation was forecast to coat the city on Wednesday evening

A pedestrian waits to cross the street towards Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto. Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for the city. (Tijana Martin/Canadian Press)

Freezing rain is expected to fall across the Greater Toronto Area on Wednesday night, potentially creating icy and slippery conditions. 

Wednesday's high temperature was forecast to be –1 C, though it will feel closer to –8 in the evening.

Here's what you can expect, and how to deal with the worst of this situation.

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — The changeover begins

Evening rush hour promised to be a slippery affair Wednesday evening.

In this two hour window, flurries were expected to set in, and change over to ice pellets. 

"Untreated surfaces may become icy and slippery," Environment Canada said in a freezing rain warning for Toronto.  


7 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Hello, freezing rain 

Between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, flurries and ice pellets were expected to change to freezing rain, making the evening commute even more difficult. 


Surfaces, including highways, roads, walkways, parking lots and sidewalks, were expected to become ice and slippery.

Motorists were urged to take it slow.

Freezing rain mixed with ice pellets began around 5 p.m. in Toronto, according to Environment Canada. (Laura Green/CBC)

9 p.m. to midnight — Bye bye freezing rain 

As temperatures rose above the freezing mark around 11 p.m., the freezing rain was expected to end, at which point rain was expected to set in for those living between Toronto's lakeshore area and south of Highway 407. 

After midnight, the rain is expected to turn to light and scattered showers. 

For those living north of the highway, the freezing rain will last until around midnight. After 12 a.m. Thursday, northern areas can expect a mix of drizzle and freezing rain. 

5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Thursday — Morning drizzle 

The temperature is expected to rise to 3 C in Toronto by Thursday morning.

There will be a light mix of snow and drizzle for morning commuters. 

7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday — Welcome back, flurries

Say goodbye to the drizzle and rain by 7 a.m. Thursday, as scattered flurries make their way back to the GTA. 

A layer of ice coats a vehicle in the east end of Toronto. (Alan Habbick/CBC)

Evening courses in Peel region cancelled 

The Peel District School Board has cancelled all evening permits, continuing education courses, night school, adult ESL programs and adult credit classes for Wednesday night due to the forecast.

Child care programs remain open, the board said.

Environment Canada said a low pressure system from Colorado that is tracking over the Great Lakes is bringing a "wintry mix of precipitation" to Toronto.


Media relations officers at both Toronto's Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Airport are urging fliers to check with airlines for flight status updates ahead of their trips. 


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