OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford says hes never seen more collisions in his 31 years as an officer than he did Saturday.
Every highway the OPP patrols has had some kind of accident on it today, he said. By late afternoon, there were collisions being reported every two minutes.
Miraculously, as of nightfall Saturday no one had been seriously injured in any of the crashes, including a 20-car pileup on Queen Elizabeth Way. The highway was closed westbound from Erin Mills Pkwy. to Winston Churchill Blvd. for approximately four hours, reopening in the early afternoon.
Many cars were skidding out of control and spinning, hitting guardrails or going into ditches on the major highways, causing minor injuries and delays.
A snowfall warning had been issued for Toronto and parts of Peel Region Saturday, as the regions first major winter storm struck.
Environment Canada warned of a potential snowfall of about 15 to 20 cm by Sunday morning for areas near the lakeshore in Toronto and Mississauga. By 5 p.m. Saturday, around 15 cm had already fallen near the lakeshore. North of Highway 401 saw significantly less snow only 2 to 3 cm.
Areas west of Toronto, including Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville are expected to see more than 25 cm of snow by Sunday.
Wind gusts are expected of 60 km/h by late Sunday, creating blowing snow. With wind chill, its expected to feel like -22 C. The snow is expected to taper off by early Sunday morning, with only about an additional centimetre falling throughout the day.
Those flying in or out of the city from both Billy Bishop Airport and Pearson International Airport are being advised to check their flight status before leaving home.
If possible, drivers are advised to stay off the roads or take transit.
Drivers across the GTA have been advised to leave plenty of time to get to their destination, give snowplows lots of room, to clear snow and ice from all windows and lights, ensure all fluids are topped up and to carry a roadside emergency kit.
With files from Paul Clarke and Sahar Fatima