Blizzard Impacting City of Toronto Services – Closures: Roads, Vaccination Centres, Libraries and other venues

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Toronto Snowmageddon

TORONTO – NEWS – The City of Toronto says, “In response to today’s significant snowfall and ongoing winter storm, the City of Toronto is modifying and in some cases suspending delivery of some City services to prioritize the safety of staff and residents”.

Road Closures

The Toronto Police Service has temporarily closed all on-ramps to the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway to help move vehicles that may be stuck in the snow and to allow snow plows to clear the routes. Residents are asked to stay off city roads, unless absolutely necessary. First responders are doing their best to respond to emergency calls, prioritizing calls to ensure the city remains safe.

City-operated vaccination clinics

Earlier today, Toronto Public Health announced that the five City-run immunization clinics will not be operating today: https://www.toronto.ca/news/covid-19-vaccination-clinics-cancelled-today-due-to-winter-storm/. People with appointments for today will receive instructions on rescheduling appointments.

Libraries

AllToronto Public Library branches are closed. More information is available on the Toronto Public Library website: www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/.

Children’s Services

All City-operated centres that are currently open are experiencing some service impacts due to current weather conditions. Families that are affected are being contacted directly and may otherwise contact their centre directly for status updates. Before- and after-school services operating in schools are closed today. District offices continue to provide virtual services.

Shelters and Homeless Supports

The following Warming Centres are currently open:
• 129 Peter St.
• 5800 Yonge St.
• Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre, 195 Princes’ Blvd.
A fourth Warming Centre at Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr. will open at 7 p.m. tonight.
The City’s Streets to Homes program will continue to dispatch additional 24/7 teams to connect with people living outside and encourage them to come indoors. Throughout the winter, outreach staff hand out blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter clothing.
Toronto Employment & Social Services (TESS)
Due to today’s inclement weather, please note the following impacts to in-person services:
Metro Hall Employment & Social Services
– will remain open until 2 pm to issue emergency payments
Scarborough Village Employment & Social Services
– closed to the public
York Humber Employment & Social Services
– closed to the public
Clients can continue to access services today by phone and online. Service updates to the City website and TESS’ social media accounts are currently underway.

Garbage and Recycling Collection

Residents are reminded of the importance of proper waste set out in winter conditions. Improper set out can make it difficult for crews to collect bins and may result in items being missed. Residents must clear snow around bins, never place bins behind or on a snowbank, and ensure a clear path from the bin to the road.

Parks, Forestry and Recreation

Community centres that are regularly open for washroom and shower access are closed today. Outdoor skating rinks are closed and will not be supervised or maintained. Permits for outdoor rinks for today are being cancelled and permit holders are being contacted directly. The City’s Ski and Snowboard Centres at Earl Bales Parks and Centennial Park Ski are closed.The Toronto Island ferries are continuing to operate but there may be weather related delays. Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo are open. Regular snow clearing operations may be affected.

Municipal Licensing Services

– Bylaw enforcement: response times may be reduced and in-field inspections will be significantly lower because of inclement weather. Emergency responses for vital services will remain a priority and are not impacted.
– Animal Services: will respond to emergencies where absolutely required. People calling 311 will be advised as to whether a response can be made or not.
– Business licensing: No impact as all operations for the public can be conducted online.

Courts

The public who attend court locations for in-person services can expect longer than usual wait times.All court and tribunal remote hearings are proceeding.Our call centre and email channels are operating as normal at this time.
– Clerks: Staff are onsite and operational.Appointments have been modified to allow scheduled appointments to proceed while allowing time changes due to weather.
– Legal: Of counter services that are open in the Civic Centres, the Prosecutions counter at YCC is closed.  All prosecutions services are being conducted electronically.
All court remote hearings are proceeding

Snow Clearing

Anti-ice trucks applied salt brine to expressways, hills and bridges Sunday afternoon and all roads in the city were salted starting late Sunday evening. Plowing on roadways, sidewalks and bike lanes started Monday morning and is currently continuing across the city. Winter maintenance operations are expected to continue throughout the day and into Tuesday and Wednesday to ensure that roadways remain safe and accessible.
Due to the current weather conditions, both the Gardiner and the Don Valley Parkway expressways have been closed to vehicle traffic. This will allow City crews and the Toronto Police Service to clear the expressways from collisions and vehicles that have been stuck in the snow.
Residents are encouraged to stay home as much as possible. Road users who need to make essential travel should expect significant delays, slippery conditions and poor visibility. If driving, slow down, leave more space between you and vehicles in front and use gentle braking, steering and acceleration. Drivers should also keep a safe distance from snow clearing vehicles.