On November 22, Environment Canada announced that heavy snowfall is expected to continue throughout the Greater Toronto Area. The snowfall has reached up to 14 centimeters in some areas, according to Winter Weather Travel Advisory. This weather pattern is expected to continue throughout the month of December. 

Residents are advised to take precautionary measures when heading outside. The excitement of the first snowstorm of the season has been undermined by the Covid-19 pandemic and recent lockdown measures.

The lockdown has especially impacted life in Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area. Residents are exhausted by the pandemic’s socio-economic effects, and many are unable to enjoy the typical outdoor activities this winter.

Meghna Parhar, a third-year Professional Writing and Communication student at UTM states that she is concerned for the potential impacts harsh weather conditions might have on the upcoming holiday season.

“While Covid-19 has resulted in the cancellation of the Christmas Market, which is one of the events me and my family and friends look forward to attending every year, we were hoping we could still be able celebrate the holidays by going to the Distillery District or the Nathan Phillips Square,” stated Parhar. “However, we might not be able to go downtown if another travel advisory is issued during the holiday season.”

Parhar’s concerns are shared by many residents in the Greater Toronto Area who were caught off guard by the harsh weather conditions observed last week.

“Environment Canada upgraded its snowfall advisory for Toronto on November 22, issuing a snowfall warning for the region,” reported CBC News. “Earlier in the afternoon, the weather agency also issued a travel advisory, warning of slippery roads and low visibility at times.” 

The City of Mississauga declared that they would extend their winter maintenance hours to assist the clean-up efforts. As stated on the City of Mississauga website, snow clearing will be given top priority on “the roads, sidewalks, on the street, bike-lanes, pedestrian crossing, and specific trails.”

In addition, crews will begin to clear up the snowfall within 12 to 24 hours after the snow stops and within 24 to 36 hours on residential roads. It may take some time to completely clear the roads this winter, especially if consecutive snowstorms are observed.

Vincent Sferrazza, director of operations for the city’s transportation, told CBC News that the city staff clean-up efforts were set up ahead of time on the night of November 21 to prepare for the snowfall ahead on Sunday.

Sferrazza continued his statement by discussing the inconsistent weather patterns observed throughout the province. 

“[We are] not seeing the same level of winter activity in downtown Toronto, or by the lakeshore,” said Sferrazza. “Nevertheless, we continue to monitor that area.” As a result, their clean-up crews will focus on salting the roads in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke because conditions are not as severe in Toronto’s downtown core.

Rain showers appear to have replaced the previous week’s heavy snowfall at the moment. However, this could change quickly as the week progresses. Residents are told they should prepare for the harsh weather conditions expected in the coming weeks.

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