Much of southern Ontario dug out from a major winter storm on Thursday as the weather system moved on to the easternmost parts of the province, bringing heavy snow to some areas.
The Ottawa region, along with the Cornwall area and Brockville-Leeds, saw significant snow on Thursday morning but weather warnings issued by Environment Canada ended late in the afternoon.
The storm hit a large stretch of southern Ontario a day earlier, disrupting travel plans for thousands as Toronto’s Pearson International Airport saw hundreds of flights cancelled, and authorities reported dozens of crashes on the roads.
“It was a significant snowfall for a good part of southern Ontario,” Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson said in an interview.
“We looked at accumulations between roughly 15 and 20 centimetres along the 401 corridor from the Windsor area up through London, Kitchener, Toronto and eastwards.”
The wintry blast prompted many school boards – including those in Toronto, York Region and Peel Region – to cancel buses on Thursday as communities worked on cleaning up from the storm, although schools remained open. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board closed schools.
“I think many areas in southwestern and south-central Ontario were flirting with the freezing mark,” said Coulson. “As you went further east, the temperatures did tend to stay below freezing, especially as you got towards the Ottawa area.”
Coulson said the Ottawa region saw the most snow, with between 25 and 30 centimetres dumped on the area.
Ontario Provincial Police reported multiple minor collisions throughout southern Ontario on Thursday and asked the public to avoid any unnecessary travel.
Pearson and Ottawa International Airport warned travellers to check their flight status before heading out, and some flights departing earlier in the day were delayed or cancelled.
The Toronto Transit Commission said all its service routes experienced general delays related to inclement weather, while GO Transit, which serves the Greater Golden Horseshoe, said it had cancelled some buses.
In Ottawa, OC Transpo said it was making necessary service adjustments as well.
Coulson said snowfall from the storm is unlikely to quickly melt away as temperatures are forecast to stay below freezing.
“Temperatures are turning colder right across the province,” he said.
“The colder-than-normal weather is likely to continue at least into the first week of February.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.