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Toronto hammered by cold spell, air travel & roads affected

CityNews | posted Monday, Jan 6th, 2014

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Toronto is being hammered by a spell of cold weather that is affecting air travel and roads – and it’s going to get colder and snowier on Monday night.

With the wind, it will feel like -35 C to -40 C on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, and similar temperatures are expected across the region, CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said.

Those working outdoors should take extreme caution, as exposed skin may freeze in 10-30 minutes.

The wind chill will improve slowly late Tuesday, Ramsahai said.

But before it does, parts of the GTA will get into snow squalls with reduced visibility and near whiteout conditions on Monday afternoon and evening. Road conditions in the city are expected to worsen Monday night, Ramsahai said.

Snow squall warnings are in effect for parts of the GTA including northern York and Durham regions where 15-30 cm may accumulate by Tuesday morning with near whiteout conditions.

For motorists that find themselves stuck on a snow-blocked highway or in an accident, they could potentially face dangerous wind chills if they have to leave their vehicle.

Travellers are advised to make sure they have an emergency kit in their cars, and enough fuel for their journey.

Weather alerts and warnings

The city is also under an extreme cold weather alert and a wind chill warning.

An extreme cold weather alert is triggered when temperatures are expected to fall below – 15 C. The city makes extra shelter spaces available and overnight street outreach is increased in the downtown core to get the homeless in from the cold.

TTC tokens are also offered so that people can use public transit to get to shelters.

Click here for the full forecast.

A flash freeze warning that was issued earlier Monday, warning of a messy morning commute, has since ended.

Travel advisories

GO Transit advised all passengers to leave extra time for their morning commute, as delays were expected.

Dozens of flights have already been cancelled at Pearson airport. Click here to see if yours was affected.

A Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) spokeswoman said nine flights have been diverted from Montreal and Ottawa to Toronto, which has affected deplaning, but most of the cancellations are weather related.

There were about 1,600 scheduled flights Monday and so far, 163 have been cancelled – about 10 per cent.

“It has been a busy day,” Silvana Aceto of the southern Ontario CAA told CityNews.

“As of 10 a.m. we had over 2,000 calls for service [and] we expect volumes to continue to rise as the temperature drops.”

Aceto noted that on an average winter day, the CAA deals with approximately 3,000 calls. That number can double during severe weather.

OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford said that since midnight, the OPP has received 960 calls for service.

Visit our Storm Centre for live updates on closures and cancellations.

Outside Toronto

Meanwhile, a blizzard warning has been issued for the following places in southern Ontario:

  • Caledon
  • Huron-Perth
  • Waterloo-Wellington
  • Dufferin-Innisfil
  • Grey-Bruce
  • Barrie-Orillia-Midland
  • Port Carling-Port Severn
  • Bracebridge-Gravenhurst

Blizzard-like conditions including near zero visibility and gusty winds over 40 km/h are expected to last for many hours on Monday night.

With files from Erin Criger, CityNews.ca

IN PHOTOS: The Chevrolet City New Year’s Celebration 2014

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, Jan 1st, 2014

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Tens of thousands packed into Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square to ring in the new year with Cityline‘s Tracy Moore and Entertainment City‘s Brad Smith.

Take a look at some fun shots of the celebrations below:

New Year’s Eve parties for families in Toronto

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013

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There are plenty of events to keep the kids busy on Tuesday as the city prepares to ring in 2014.

Nathan Phillips Square
City’s New Year’s Eve party
8 p.m. to midnight

  • skating
  • food trucks
  • musical performances from KiSS 92.5 DJ Clymaxxx, R&B band Fathead and funk band God Made Me Funky
  • fireworks show

Toronto Zoo
Special animals and entertainment
5-8 p.m.
Tickets:

  • General (includes Adults & Seniors) $20.00
  • Children (3-12) $12.00
  • Children (2 & under) free

Natrel Rink (Harbourfront Centre)
Skating Party
10 a.m. – 2 a.m.

  • Two-for-one skate rentals after 10pm
  • DJ spinning music from 8pm-1am
  • $22.50 for a pitcher of beer and 1lb of wings

TIFF Bell Lightbox
Art workshops
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • Japanese animation workshop (ages 9-11)
  • Comedy workshop (ages 12-14)

Colbourne Lodge
Tour
Adults $7.07
Seniors/Youths/Children $4.42 + tax

On Wednesday, Jan. 1, Mayor Rob Ford and city councillors will be hosting a levee at City Hall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion will host hers at the Mississauga Civic Centre from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.

What’s open and closed over New Year’s Eve and Day

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Dec 31st, 2013

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be the busiest on the roads and at the malls. Here’s a look at all of the information you need to know about what’s open and closed during the New Year’s period.

Shopping:

Bramalea City Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Eaton Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: noon – 5 p.m.

Dufferin Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Fairview Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Pacific Mall
The mall is open 365 days a year.

The Promenade
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Scarborough Town Centre
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Sherway Gardens
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Shops at Don Mills
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Square One
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vaughan Mills
Dec. 31: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Yorkdale Mall
Dec. 31: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

LCBO/Beer Stores

LCBO:
Dec. 31: Closed at 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

The Beer Store:
Dec. 31: Closed at 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Government offices:
Dec. 31: Most banks and other government offices open until the early afternoon
Jan. 1: Closed

Libraries:
Dec. 31: Most libraries open until 1 p.m.
Jan. 1: Closed

Toronto garbage collection:
Click here for more information on local pickup schedules.

Transit:

TTC:
Jan. 1: Sunday service schedule

Click here for more.

GO Transit:
On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, holidays known for shorter work days, some regular afternoon train and bus trips will be replaced by earlier ones.

And on Dec. 31, GO service will be free after 8 p.m. Jan. 1 will operate as a Sunday schedule.

Click here for more.

Click on the following links for more information on other GTA transit systems:
VIVA/YRT

Mississauga Transit

Brampton Transit

Durham Transit

Halton Transit

Thousands remain without power after ice storm

Winston Sih | posted Sunday, Dec 22nd, 2013

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Hydro crews continue to work around the clock to restore power in the Toronto area after the weekend’s ice storm left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark.

Toronto Hydro said 115,000 customers were without power as of early Tuesday morning, which is down from the 300,000 who were in the dark at the height of the storm.

The utility said now that critical customers have been addressed, it is working to fix feeder lines to restore power to “large numbers of customers.”

Click here for Toronto Hydro’s power outage map.

Click here for real-time updates.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and hydro officials provided an update on Tuesday morning.

Ford emphasized that the power outage will not be fully resolved by Christmas Day.

“That’s not going to happen, folks,” he said, explaining that the last 50,000 homes without power will take the most time to restore, since in most cases it’s just one house per street without power.

Scarborough is the hardest-hit area.

Meanwhile, Emergency Medical Services has attended to 3,100 calls in the last 24 hours, four times more than average, Ford said.

The Sheppard TTC subway line, which has been out of service due to a power outage since the storm, should be back up and running by noon, according to the mayor. Shuttle buses are being used in the meantime.

At a news conference on Monday, officials said the situation was still dicey as the temperature was expected to drop to the -10 C range on Tuesday without the wind chill. There is concern that frozen trees limbs could fall as winds pick up and break more power lines.

Ford said repair crews will stay on the job as long as it takes, even through Christmas. Crews from Windsor and Ottawa are arriving on Tuesday to help out and crews from Manitoba and Michigan are arriving on Wednesday.

He also said declaring a state of emergency is not necessary because he said conditions are improving.

Utilities in the Toronto area are warning that some residents may not get their power back until Boxing Day or later.

The city opened nine community centres on Sunday where people can get food and warmth. More warming centres were opened on Monday including 13 police buildings and another four community centres. Click here for a list of warming centres. Ford said that 750 people using the warming centres.

Power outages outside of Toronto
Meanwhile, outside of the GTA, Hydro One said around 56,000 customers are still waiting for their electricity to be restored.

In York Region, Powerstream said 6,400 customers are still without power in Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. Veridian Connections reports 13,000 customers in the Durham area are still affected.

In Mississauga, Enersource said 275 customers don’t have power, while in Brampton, Hydro One Brampton said 1,600 customers are still in the dark.

With files from The Canadian Press

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With files from CityNews.ca and The Canadian Press

Featured image sent in courtesy of @cdnangel73 on Twitter

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