A massive ice storm has hit Toronto, leaving roughly 250,000 without power and disrupting all streetcar service in the city and the Scarborough RT (as of 8:30 a.m.). Toronto hydro estimates up to a 72 hour wait for those currently without service, while the TTC has yet to determine when streetcars will once again return to the streets. Widespread delays and cancellations have also been reported at Pearson International, and travellers are advised to check all departures before heading to the airport. GO Transit is also struggling with service interruptions.
Air Canada announced a fee waiver to allow passengers to change flights. Via Rail, the country’s passenger rail service, said it was not expecting any cancellations, though delays were possible.
Toronto District School Board (TDSB) announced it will close some 300 child care centers in the city on Monday.
Ontario’s Premier Minister, Kathleen Wynne stated that icy roads were delaying crews from reaching some areas in the province.
“Each community seems to have been affected quite uniquely,” she said. “Christmas is just a few days away and we’re doing everything we can to restore power and ensure safety,” Wynne said.
Police in the meantime have urged residents to stay indoors, as roads were icy and slick Sunday, with several centimetres of accumulation even on the country’s highways.
“Driving conditions are hazardous. This is made worse by the fact that many traffic lights aren’t working. Please do not drive unless it is absolutely necessary,” police said in a statement.