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What Terrible Things Has the Storm Done So Far?

A roundup of storm-related weirdness.

Royal York Station, earlier today. Photo by {a href=""}Gary J Wood{/a}, from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

Royal York Station, earlier today. Photo by {a href=""}Gary J Wood{/a}, from the {a href=""}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

A giant snowstorm is currently turning Toronto into a frozen hellscape, and yes, the internet is full of people complaining about it. Here’s a rundown of some of this morning’s weather-related lowlights, from unicycles, to Twitter slip-ups, to school non-cancellations.

The Worst Commute


Instagram user jaredsales took this photo of a guy riding his unicycle through the snow. There are some people who wouldn’t even brave this weather on four wheels. Clearly, they are weaklings.

The City of Vaughan Calls People “Fucknuts”


One of the more bizarre casualties of today’s storm was the City of Vaughan’s official Twitter account. The trouble started at 7:23 a.m., when the tweet above somehow found its way into the feed. Within a few hours, Vaughan had deleted the account. Now, they’re in the midst of some damage control.

But Public Schools Are Still Open

One of the more puzzling aspects of the response to today’s storm is that Toronto public schools (Catholic and non-) are still open, even though classes at Ryerson, OCAD U, and U of T’s two suburban campuses are cancelled. In other words, the educational institutions with the most vulnerable student populations are also the ones most willing to take their chances with the snow. Weird.

They did cancel bus service, though. So, face winter’s wrath on your own, kids.

The Twitter response to this has been predictably hilarious:


  • OgtheDIm

    I note how the great journalists of this city are more focused on the army jokes then on that rather serious question of why the TCDSB and the TDSB expected people to get their kids in when the adults at the unis were not.

    Mind you, they are all right now just running twitter feeds as against doing basic reporting.

    • David Wencer

      I went through the TBE/TDSB from JK to OAC and never once had a snow day growing up, as nearly all the kids at my schools lived within a 20 minute walk. Other schools, particularly those outside the downtown core, presumably have kids (and teachers!) coming a much greater distance, but I’m not sure why they’d have to close schools in higher density areas, where kids live close by. Isn’t the decision up to the individual schools, rather than the boards?

      • Melanie Ching

        It’s not just the schools, the children or the boards. It’s the people who have to clean out their driveways, the city who has to clean off the streets, the heavens for creating snow that just keeps coming down making everyone have to do all of the stuff over again. It’s businesses who require that their workers come into their jobs even though the traffic is bad and transit is stuck. I can go on…

  • johnny

    This is crazy! In toronto is really bad. my car got stuck in snow like 10 times till i got to work and i only work 5 mins away from home. my car is junk and old but i have winter tires so…

    • Mark

      If you only work 5 minutes away, it begs the question, why are you driving in the first place!? Walk. Take public transportation. It’s beautiful out.

      • Melanie Ching


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    I’m hearing the hill on Yonge south of St Clair is nearly impassible for cars.

  • Janine Love

    I don’t understand the big deal. I recall when I was in public school the buses would be canceled, but the schools would be open. Buses being canceled was the definition of a snow day.

    People need to stop freaking out. We live in Canada where it snows. People just need to be more careful!

  • Eric S. Smith

    “In other words, the educational institutions with the most vulnerable
    student populations are also the ones most willing to take their chances
    with the snow. Weird.”

    I suspect that’s because school is free day-care for working parents who can’t afford to stay home and go sledding. University students, on the other hand, aren’t going to be making any angry deputations at the next school board meeting.

    • Melanie Ching

      Hear hear.

    • SteveKupferman

      You could very well be right.

    • st_indrigo

      Free day care? Just like health care is free?

  • CheeritonSam

    They have to keep schools open because parents still have to go to work. You can’t expect people to come up with daycare in the middle of a snowstorm at the last minute. They need somewhere to drop off their kids.

    • OgtheDim

      I get needing the money. But if you get fired because you didn’t go into work on a day like today, best out of there. And, sorry, but given the rest of the country pretty much can figure out what to do with kids on a day like today, I don’t think the parents of this city are THAT precious.

      • PlantinMoretus

        “best out of there”?????? But then you have no job! And it may be a while before you find another one. ANd EI doesn’t kick in right away.

        What a stupid thing to say.

  • Melanie Ching

    I lol’d. I grew up on the prairies. When it snowed we cancelled school because lots of kids had to travel over an hour by bus just to get into town. We make army jokes because we really don’t have too much to complain about in our beautiful city.

    • stopitman

      That’s the main reason why schools in the outer ‘burbs get cancelled more often (part of it is Halton/Hamilton and west get hit harder than Toronto) is that there are buses that pick kids up at 7-730 for an 8:30 class start. And if you thought the Yonge/St Clair hill was bad, try going down a 180 degree switchback down the Escarpment.

      In fairness though, people from outside of the GTA don’t really get it… more than the whole population of Alberta moves around just for work, not to mention the fact that there’s massive truck traffic that no other province can come close to.

      • Melanie Ching

        I agree completely.

  • Conor Anderson

    I grew up in Barrie, and while the Simcoe-Muskoka board is different than the TDSB I suspect that the reality is similar: for us, a day when buses were cancelled was a ‘snow day’ – even for those of us who walked to school. The school stayed open and classes remained ‘scheduled’, but we’d usually just do review work. The school remains open *because* that age group are the most vulnerable – that way they have a safe place to spend the day when their parents are at work. A university is a different reality: universities are attended by independent adults who it is assumed can stay at home ok.

    • Melanie Ching

      This makes a lot of sense. School isn’t just there to “teach” us stuff, it’s there to help us grow up while our parents work so they can pay for our clothes and stuff. So when we grow up, we can have reasoned discussions on the Torontoist.

  • wklis

    “Service excellence, guaranteed!” That’s what Rob Ford said during his campaign. WRONG!

    Our street has still not been plowed of snow, as of 8:30 AM Feb. 9th. The sidewalk plow did go through, once.

    Under Lastman and Miller, our street would have been plowed by morning light. Even the big storm of 1999, when 100 cm of snow fell, our street was plowed (no army personal on our street).

  • Tammy MacLean

    Responses to the TDSB’s decision to keep schools open are surprisingly negative. Yet tweeters don’t realize that parents with work obligations and no childcare would be leaving children stranded. This decision is responsible. If you don’t want to go, nobody is forcing you.