Prepare for slushy, slippery Monday commute as 'significant' snowfall expected for Toronto

Plowing is underway on Toronto main roads as snow continues to fall in the city, with a "significant snowfall" of 15 centimetres expected before the Monday commute.

A total of 15 centimetres is expected to fall by Monday morning

The first round of plowing on main roads began at 8 p.m. and the city says it will continue overnight. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Plowing is underway on Toronto main roads as snow continues to fall in the city, with a "significant snowfall" of 15 centimetres expected before the morning commute.

The first round of plowing on main roads began at 8 p.m. and the city says it will continue overnight. But prepare for slippery roads as the snow continues to fall Sunday night. 

"Commuters can expect a slow go of it Monday morning, as roads are expected to be snow-covered or slushy," Environment Canada said in a snowfall warning Sunday evening.

The agency says snow,  heavy at times, will fall throughout the evening into the overnight, tapering off around dawn around the Golden Horsehoe and a little later in the morning farther east. 

Drivers should prepare for changing road conditions, the agency said, and brace for a potentially significant impact on rush-hour traffic.

"This will be the first general snowfall, I think, for the entire city. Up until now, we've had snow across the more northern parts of the city," Arnold Ashton, severe weather meteorologist for Environment Canada, based in Toronto said.

So far, none the major school boards have posted cancellations of buses or classes. Peel District School Board said it will update its Facebook page by 6:15 a.m. if any cancellations are called for.

The York Region District School Board said it will update its transportation website by 6:30 a.m. Durham's student transportation service will decide on any cancellations by 6 a.m. and will notify the public and Catholic school boards accordingly, its website says.

The Toronto District School Board said any cancellations will be posted to its website by 6 a.m., quipping on Twitter that snow days aren't decided on by request. 

Toronto's Pearson Airport said Sunday the wintry weather was causing some delays and cancellations and that travellers should check to see if their flights might be affected. 

Meanwhile, Mayor John Tory said in a tweet that city trucks are salting Toronto streets. The city said salt brine was applied to hills and bridges on Saturday.

The city has a webpage that allows residents to see the location of city plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks, and that indicates when streets are serviced by its winter operations crews. 
This graphic is the city's winter road salting and plowing operations map that shows the location of its plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks. (City of Toronto)

Six hundred snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks at the ready this winter, the city said.

Environment Canada says the snowfall is due to a low pressure system from Colorado is tracking towards the Great Lakes. 

The snow is expected to stick around for a few days, then will be followed by colder temperatures.

"The coldest air of the season is on our doorstep," he said.
Colder temperatures are expected to follow the snow, Environment Canada says. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

With files from Muriel Draaisma