It may look like a winter wonderland around the GTA this morning, but Toronto’s roads and highways are anything but idyllic for drivers.
Police are once again seeing the effects of this by way of spiking collision reports.
“The OPP have responded to approximately 180 crashes in the GTA over the past 12 hours,” announced the force’s Highway Safety Divisionjust before 6 a.m. on Thursday. “#SeeSnowGoSlow.”
Factoring in daytime numbers from Wednesday, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told The Star that there have been at least 250 collisions reported since the snow storm began.
“Keep in mind you’ve got to slow down… it’s slippery, it’s slick and you’ve got to drive appropriately,” said Schmidt on Periscope from the scene of a jack-knifed transport truck on the 401 near Avenue Road early Thursday morning.
“Please do your part and, when you wake up in the morning, give yourself lots of extra time. You’re going to need it.”
Among the many spinouts and fender-benders reported overnight were some serious, life-threatening crashes, including a head-on collision that ripped a car in half and ejected its driver on Highway 403.
The driver of that car was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to OPP while the eastbound 403 west of Garden Avenue in Brampton was closed for nearly 10 hours.
Across the city, a portion of the 401 near Leslie Street was blocked off when a full cattle hauler broke down on the highway. A replacement hauler was eventually brought in to recover the stranded cows, who were said to be getting restless.
Within the city, several mass collisions gummed up roads overnight — one of them, near Bathurst Street and Davenport Road, involved six cars.
At Yonge Street and Carlson Crescent, a two-vehicle collision resulted in one car smashing into a bus shelter. Another car is said to have crashed into a pole at Dundas and De Grassi Streets.
All of this — and so much more — took place within the span of just one hour on Wednesday evening.
Environment Canada has now called off a previous snowfall warning for the city, but problems could continue throughout the day as winds gust up to 60 km/h.
The federal weather agency cautions that more flurries are expected this afternoon in Toronto with a risk of snow squalls. We’ll see a moderate low of -4C today, but it’ll feel more like -13 C with the wind chill.