Deep freeze closes schools, grounds planes in Ontario

Vehicles and pedestrians make their way through the snow on Ontario St. in Stratford, Ont., on...

Vehicles and pedestrians make their way through the snow on Ontario St. in Stratford, Ont., on January 6, 2014. (Scott Wishart/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:07 PM ET

On the last day of a deep freeze, Ontario residents woke up to cars that wouldn't start, school closures and travel delays at airports.

In southern Ontario, it was expected to feel like -30 C to -40 C during the day Tuesday. In northern Ontario, the very cold Arctic air combined with strong and gusty northwest winds to cause extreme wind chill values of near -45 C.

"The bitterly cold wind chills will slowly improve later on Wednesday," Environment Canada said in an alert, adding people should bundle up because exposed skin could freeze in less than five minutes.

Schools were closed in Waterloo Region and Guelph due to the extreme cold. In other areas, buses were cancelled because the forecast called for blizzard-like conditions.

At Pearson International Airport in Toronto, the extreme cold caused equipment to freeze overnight. A "ground stop" was in effect until about 10 a.m. Tuesday, the airport said on Twitter, meaning no planes were permitted to land.

At the Ottawa International Airport, staff advised travellers to expect "many delays."

Wind chill and blizzard warnings were in effect in northern Quebec, while the coastal areas of Newfoundland and Labrador were under rainfall and wind warnings. Parts of the province were expected to be hit with winds of up to 140 km/h Tuesday morning and as much as 55 mm of rain.

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