Toronto digs in for another day of bitter cold
Milder air mass expected to move in on Tuesday, ending period of intensely cold weather
Toronto's cold snap isn't over yet.
Monday will bring sunny skies and a high of -12 C, but with wind chill, that will feel more like -33 in the morning and -20 in the afternoon.
So far, the cold is prompting school bus cancellations around the Greater Toronto Area, with school boards concerned about students waiting outside for their buses.
Toronto police also issued a warning on Monday morning about taking care while warming up your car.
It is a cold winter morning in Toronto. Prevent warm-up thefts of your vehicle, by not leaving your vehicle running unattended with keys in the ignition. Bundle up to keep warm and stay with your vehicle. ^js—@TPSOperations
Meanwhile, the TTC warned about transit delays due to cold weather.
Some of our equipment has been impacted by the extremely cold temperatures. We thank you for your patience and understanding with any delays to your commute. We are working to get you to your destinations safely and as quickly as the weather allows—@TTCnotices
GO Transit also reported numerous delays and cancellations on several lines.
The overnight low Monday night is expected to be -20 C, but things will warm up over the course of the day on Tuesday, with a high of -4 C in the forecast.
By Wednesday, temperatures will have boomeranged to 3 C, with a mix of rain and snow in the forecast.
Homeless endure frigid night
Temperatures were at their lowest so far just after midnight on Monday, hitting -22 C, but felt like -35 with the wind chill.
The city issued extreme cold weather alerts over the weekend and on Monday, a move that has triggered extra services for people without somewhere to sleep.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CityofTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CityofTO</a> Street outreach workers check on homeless people and offer services to get people indoors. If you think someone needs this help, call 311, if it’s an emergency call 911. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CityofTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CityofTO</a> warming locations: <a href="https://t.co/dQhbSN2opW">https://t.co/dQhbSN2opW</a> Pets are welcome.—@cityoftoronto
Despite those extra services, CBC Toronto spotted numerous people sleeping on grates or on the sidewalk early Monday morning.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, who appeared on Metro Morning on Monday, said he was out at two shelters on Sunday evening, including a newly-opened women's shelter on Davenport Road.
"At the root of it, for many of the people that I sat and talked to last night, it is about mental health and it is about affordable housing," he said.
Tory declined to call Toronto's homelessness problem a crisis or commit to declaring a state of emergency.
"If I believed it would absolutely do something to alleviate the situation people find themselves in, with respect to being homeless and being displaced, I would consider it," he said
The mayor argued that the lack of mental health supports in the city for vulnerable populations is where the real crisis lies, and that his time is best spent advocating for more mental health services and affordable housing.
Those comments caught the attention of at least one Toronto city councillor:
Toronto IS facing a shelter and housing crisis! Rental vacancy is at 1.1%, we missed 1000 new shelter bed target, encampments all over, 4 people have died in January so far, est 9000 homeless nightly, 14000 on supportive housing waitlist, 181000 on affordable housing waitlist.—@kristynwongtam
Driving woes over the weekend
Snow associated with the cold weather system brought complaints over the weekend about slow snow removal by the city.
All that snow and ice made driving difficult, with Ontario Provincial Police saying that officers responded to more than 350 crashes in the GTA within 24 hours starting on Saturday afternoon.
How are you handling the cold? Let us know in the comments below: