Road conditions in Oakville, Ontario
December 22, 2013 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Toronto Mefites! I'm currently in balmy western Pennsylvania, with plans today (Sunday, December 22) to drive into Oakville, Ontario. Oakville is in Halton, about 38 miles southwest of Toronto. How difficult is that going to be in light of this weekend's ice storm?
posted by Ian A.T. to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (12 answers total)
Best answer: They're asking people to stay off the roads today. If you're on Twitter, @OakvilleMayor has been providing lots of updates and photos.

"More freezing rain expected by noon, followed by showers this afternoon followed by flurries tonight. Help vulnerable neighbours. Take care."

"Please stay off the streets. Crews are working to keep mains, secondaries working for police, fire, hydro crews. Side streets & walks later."

If you can wait until tomorrow, that would probably be a better plan. They're hoping to restore power in Oakville by noon today, but there are still lots of trees breaking.
posted by sadmadglad at 8:31 AM on December 22, 2013

Don't do it today if you can avoid it. It's not worth risking your safety.
posted by windykites at 8:37 AM on December 22, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, guys. Are the roads likely to be significantly better tomorrow?
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:44 AM on December 22, 2013

It's actually not that bad today. There is more freezing rain predicted for east of the city, but Oakville is to the west and presumably you would also be coming from that side (crossing at niagra falls?). The ice was bad last night and earlier this morning, but by now the main roads have been well salted and cleared.

There are still a lot of power outages though, so just make sure wherever you're going has power.
posted by dodecapus at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2013

(I'm in the car with Ian A.T.)

We're probably gonna head for Ottawa instead, where my family is, going below Lake Ontario and through Syracuse. The conditions there look much better than in Toronto and it's supposed to clear up by tonight, which works out for us since it'd take us longer to get to Ottawa anyway.

Does anyone have any thoughts on travel conditions there?
posted by Phire at 9:52 AM on December 22, 2013

We drove from Kingston to CT (through Syracuse) through the crossing near there, before the real storm hit and it was already iffy. Kingston roads are currently an ice rink - I would not feel comfortable driving towards Ottawa or anywhere in that area. Many of my friends are without power, and even just walking is bad, and an hour north of Kingston towards Ottawa is still very icy. (Poor horses had an inch of ice hanging off their fur.)

Not sure how the Niagara crossing is.
posted by aggyface at 10:11 AM on December 22, 2013

Ottawa is getting a constantly-changing mix of snow / freezing rain / ice pellets, though not much has accumulated in the couple of hours since I last shovelled. I hear that main roads aren't too bad, but our small residential street is in pretty bad shape. From twitter I'm seeing reports of minor accidents on the 417 and around the city, but with slowing down and driving safe you should be fine. It's supposed to taper off this afternoon and conditions should improve as plowing and salting gets done.
posted by valleys at 10:31 AM on December 22, 2013

Ottawa was just issued a freezing rain warning and the Maritime's weather advisory is continuing which means everything east is bad. The weather warnings seem to be off for southern Ontario but that doesn't mean the roads are any good (although they're fine in London, Ontario, pers obvs).
posted by hydrobatidae at 11:38 AM on December 22, 2013

Best answer: Online sources:
The Weather Network Current Road Conditions (southern Ontario)
The Weather Network Road Forecast (southern Ontario)
CP24 Traffic Resource Page
Ontario Ministry of Transportation Compass Cameras

Tomorrow is still technically a work day, so the roads should be better tomorrow, as the crews will have had time to plow, put down salt, etc. But that said, a lot of the above sources are showing clear and green (good) roads, so if you have to travel today, you'll probably be alright. Just take it easy and be careful.

(Note: this post was originally intended to show up hours and hours ago, but the power went out in this part of the city, and I had no way of going online, so I don't know if you've left or not.)
posted by sardonyx at 5:54 PM on December 22, 2013

The Weather Network and Ministry maps are able to show conditions around Ottawa and in the rest of the province.
posted by sardonyx at 5:59 PM on December 22, 2013

Not an answer, just a comment on the seriousness of the Toronto situation.

My elderly dad and his fiancee (awww!) are in her 12-story condo building in Toronto with no power or heat. Temperature was set to 80 when it went out, is now down to 68, and the building mgmt just informed everyone that the heat won't be back for three days. Yikes. Her daughter is on the way to rescue them.
posted by intermod at 6:46 PM on December 22, 2013

Response by poster: We arrived safely in Ottawa around midnight. Not my favorite journey, but it never felt unsafe and I don't believe we hit any ice. We crossed at Ogdensberg and took 416 up into the city. At least one lane was clear the whole way.

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I hope all of you and your loved ones (especially intermod's!) stay safe and warm throughout the aftermath.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:10 PM on December 22, 2013

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