The Don Valley Parkway and a piece of the Gardiner Expressway were closed this morning as a result of the heavy snowfall that covered the GTA this morning, postponing the resumption to in-person learning for many students across the province.
Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning for the GTA this morning, which is now experiencing one of the region’s worst winter storms in years. Due to hazardous conditions, Toronto police temporarily stopped the Gardiner and DVP at 10:15 a.m. The eastbound lanes of the Gardiner were entirely reopened by 12:40 p.m., while the westbound lanes at Jarvis Street were still closed. The Don Valley Parkway, on the other hand, is still closed.
The national weather agency has now downgraded the weather event to a winter storm warning but says snowfall amounts of up to 60 centimetres could fall in parts of the GTA before the end of the storm, which is expected to taper off this evening. During the peak this morning, about eight to 10 centimetres of snow fell each hour.
Wind gusts of up to 60 kilometres an hour are also causing blowing snow across the region.
Speaking to Newstalk 1010 on Monday morning, Premier Doug Ford, who resides in Etobicoke, called the situation on Toronto roads “an absolute disaster.”
“I’m just in my four-by-four pickup, trying to help people out. I just picked some gentleman up, dropped him off at home but I just encourage everyone to stay at home. We have buses sideways up on Dixon Road,” Ford said.
“If you can give someone a lift, they are stuck in their car, pull over… give them a lift somewhere and get them home safely.”
In an interview with CP24, Ford said he is driving around his neighbourhood trying to make sure people aren’t stranded in their cars.
“I’ve dropped off a few people at their homes. You just do what you have to do. Everyone is doing it. I’m no different. Premier or no premier, you are there to help your neighbours right now,” he said.
Environment Canada is warning of “very difficult or impossible” travel conditions with “near-zero visibility.”
“If you become stranded in a vehicle do not leave. The vehicle offers a form of protection from the cold. A single person walking through the snow is harder to find than a stranded car or truck,” the weather agency said in its advisory.
“If you do travel and become lost, remain where you are until the blizzard has passed. Protect yourself from wind, cold and disorientation by staying sheltered, indoors or with your vehicle.”