Ontario deep freeze won't last long

The bone-chilling temperatures across Ontario will be gone by Monday, according to Environment Canada.
Braving the blustery winter weather in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

As the snow moves out, the deep freeze moves in. Ontario is in the grip of a weekend freeze that is making it feel like -27 C, with the wind chill.

The rain, freezing rain, and snow that swept across the province late Thursday and Friday has headed further east, but following behind was an arctic air mass that brought chilling temperatures from Windsor, to Toronto, to Ottawa, and all parts in between.

Predictions of the arrival of the first cold snap of 2012 prompted the City of Toronto to issue its first cold weather alert of the year, advising homeless people to seek shelter, and adding extra city services for those in need.

Friday got off to a terrible start with police reporting hundreds of accidents across Ontario, most of them minor fender-benders, though one fatal accident was reported near Peterborough. 

Michael Bourne, 37, of Peterborough was killed when he lost control of his SUV on the icy road and collided head-on with a Hydro One pickup truck.

At one point the OPP said there was an accident every minute on the province's roads.

The chilly weather won't last for long, though.

Environment Canada says temperatures will start rising on Monday, when the high will reach a balmy 7 C in Windsor and parts of southwestern Ontario.  It will reach 4 C in Toronto — and Ottawa will move above the freezing mark on Tuesday. 

But the forecast for the early part of the week is also for more precipitation — flurries, snow and rain in every region.

For Alicia Dechico of Toronto the snow and ice and cold is just something we have to live with in Canada.

"If you don't like the snow, move," she laughed. 

And Laura Montero, who just moved to Toronto from Mexico, got out with her family for her first taste of tobogganing on Friday evening.

"I never imagined this: having fun, at this hour, with these temperatures.  It's great."