Falling ice, slippery roads, outages reported across GTA after freezing rain
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, February 7, 2017 9:57AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 7, 2017 11:12PM EST
Slick surfaces and falling ice are causing problems for people getting around the GTA following a bout of freezing rain in the city.
Commuters continue to face delays as surfaces remain slippery around town.
Many bus and streetcar routes continue to see delays due to the weather, the TTC said Tuesday evening. Riders on several streetcar routes reported seeing streetcars backed up as iced overhead wires created problems for some vehicles.
TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said an abrasive bronze insert has been attached to some streetcars’ trolley poles to help clear overhead wires of ice. However not all vehicles have the devices. In response, extra bus service is being added on the 501 Queen, 504 King, 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton routes to supplement streetcar service, the TTC said.
Still, the transit agency advised riders to leave extra time to get around.
GO Transit said that some GO bus routes were also experiencing delays due to the weather.
In addition to transit troubles, slick sidewalks are making walking conditions hazardous for pedestrians. Paramedic services throughout the GTA said they were responding to dozens of calls for falls due to slippery surfaces and advised people to be careful on walkways.
Treacherous commute home
Drivers are facing some slippery road conditions on local roads and major highways as well and police and OPP are advising motorists to leave extra time and to use extra caution to avoid collisions.
Salt trucks started doing afternoon rounds on roads, bike lanes and sidewalks at around 2 p.m. and will continue to make rounds throughout the evening, the city said.
A stretch of Bay Street has been closed off after a chunk of ice fell on a car from a building above. The street has been closed both ways between Elm and Gerrard streets. No one was injured by the ice.
The hazardous weather followed a freezing rain warning Environment Canada issued for the Greater Toronto Area and much of southern Ontario on Monday. Periods of freezing rain began around noon and lasted into the evening.
The warning was cancelled for the GTA and much of southern Ontario at around 11 p.m. as temperatures warmed slightly above the freezing mark to around 1 C. However surfaces could remain slippery in the northern parts of the city and in areas north of the city as temperatures there hover at or slightly below zero.
Power outages around town
Toronto Hydro said it was working to restore power to customers affected by multiple outages around the city. It wasn’t clear how many of the outages were related to the weather.
However Toronto Hydro said earlier Tuesday that they were anticipating outages as a result of the freezing rain.
Most school buses cancelled
While the rain didn’t start until midday, school buses across most of the GTA were cancelled Tuesday in anticipation of the active weather.
A spokesperson for Peel District School Board told CP24 the decision was made to cancel buses to keep kids safe throughout the day.
"When we make these decisions, we take the safety of our students into consideration," said Manager of Communications Carla Pereira.
She said cancelling buses first thing in the morning helps parents who would otherwise find themselves in a panic in the middle of the afternoon trying to find a way for their child to come home.
The precipitation is expected to last into Tuesday evening before tapering off. The temperature is expected to hover around the freezing mark between -1 C and 2 C Tuesday.