Slushy southern Ontario storm causes closures, cancellations

A pedestrian copes with large puddles filled with slush in Kingston, Ont. (Michael Lea/QMI Agency...

A pedestrian copes with large puddles filled with slush in Kingston, Ont. (Michael Lea/QMI Agency Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:15 PM ET

The winter storm blasting southern Ontario and Quebec may have claimed its first victim.

A two-vehicle crash at 7:15 a.m. in northeast Toronto killed one driver and seriously injured another. The roadway is closed while officers investigate the collision.

A nasty storm of wet snow and rain closed schools and cancelled flights in southern Ontario, and wreaked havoc on the highways for Wednesday-morning commuters.

The Canadian Automobile Association's south central office had received more than 800 calls for service by 9 a.m.

"If you can arrange to stay off the roads during the storm, please do so. If you must drive, be sure to leave yourself extra time for the commute and extra space between vehicles," Scott Stewart, Burlington's general manager of development and infrastructure, said during a press conference Tuesday.

The system that previously plagued central U.S. moved into southwestern Ontario Tuesday night, bringing rain to some areas and ice pellets to others.

Quebec faces snowfall warnings in dozens of communities as the storm moves east, including an expected 15 cm in Montreal through Thursday.

Rain turned to snow overnight in the Greater Toronto Area, leaving the city covered in a thick layer of slush Wednesday morning. By 5 a.m., about 10 cm had fallen across the GTA.

The slushy blast of winter has forced the cancellation and delay of dozens of flights at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, including at least 80 arrivals from the U.S., where the weather has been blamed for three deaths.

Toronto's fire department reported several calls of downed trees and hydro wires.

About 3,000 customers in Toronto and 1,500 in Perth County were without power Wednesday. Smaller power outages were also reported Wednesday morning between Stratford and Mitchell, and just north of Shakespeare. As of 7:30 a.m., Toronto Hydro had restored power to all but 500 customers.

Heavy overnight rains may also have played a part in signal malfunctions along GO Transit lines from Aldershot to Oshawa.

Police shut down some ramps to Highway 401 and Highway 427 as vehicles stalled out in flooded low areas.

Schools remained open across the GTA, but most buses were cancelled. Same for Ottawa, Whitby and Peterborough.

The University of Toronto, Ryerson University and most colleges were open in the GTA.

All Via Rail trains are operating Wednesday.

-- With files from Mke Beitz


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