Schools, some programs closed today in Hamilton, Niagara, Brantford, after icy winter storm

Brock University says it is open. Meanwhile, a freezing drizzle advisory remains in effect for the region

Schools and some programs and offices in Hamilton and surrounding regions are closed Thursday following a winter storm that began Wednesday and blanketed much of the area with snow and ice.

Environment Canada meteorologist Steven Flisfeder said about eight centimetres of snow was recorded at the Hamilton airport overnight. 

“They were reporting snow mixed with ice pellets throughout the evening and overnight and they had some fairly gusty winds as well,” Flisfeder told CBC Hamilton.

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) says schools and administration buildings are closed due to the inclement weather and as a result of cancelled transportation.

In a tweet HWDSB said buses are not running. It said all remote, e-learning, child care, and in-person learning have been cancelled.

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) says student transportation is cancelled, and all of its schools, administration buildings, adult education centres and child-care centres are also closed.

HWCDSB says students will have the opportunity to participate in asynchronous, virtual learning. 

“Work will be posted on the myClass LMS by 10 a.m. Staff from administration buildings will transition to work from home,” HWCDSB said.

French Catholic school board Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir said its schools in Niagara, Hamilton, Brant and Norfolk were closed. 

All City of Hamilton facilities open

The City of Hamilton says it’s received approximately 10 centimetres of localized snow and ice so far, with one to two millimetres freezing drizzle expected to continue on and off today.

The city says all of its facilities including Municipal Service Centres, Hamilton Civic Museums, Community Recycling Centres, Provincial Offences Administration Office, Red Hill Family Centre and Recreation Centres will open today.

A full list of city service impacts due to the storm is available on the city’s website.

The city also said no cold alert had been issued for Thursday, but told CBC Hamilton “the Office of the Medical Officer is monitoring the forecast.”

Library branches, several post-secondary campuses closed

The Hamilton Public Library and Burlington Public Library said all its branches would be closed. 

DARTS, the accessible transit service in Hamilton, said it was running but there may be delays. Hamilton Street Railway said most bus service was on time, with some delays.

Most flights out of Hamilton International Airport were arriving and departing on time, with some exceptions, according to the airport. 

Some offices and programs, such as Neighbour to Neighbour centres and all YMCA child care centres and EarlyON Centres in Hamilton, Burlington and Brantford, said they were closed. 

Niagara Catholic District School Board says there’s a glitch with its website and it’s not showing the change made to show schools and sites are closed today.

But the board said parents and guardians can “rest assured, it is a snow day.”

The District School Board of Niagara also posted that it was a snow day, meaning all schools are closed. 

McMaster University says is closing today because of the weather conditions.

“All scheduled classes, labs, studios and events — in-person and remote — are cancelled. Any examinations scheduled for today will be rescheduled for the same time on Friday,” the university said on its website.

McMaster University says is closing Thursday because of the weather conditions. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

“In the event of a scheduling conflict, please contact Most academic activities are not running this week due to the university’s mid-term recess or reading week.”

All McMaster facilities that are currently open will be closed. All eateries are closed except for those in residence.

Under the university’s storm closure policy, employees, unless deemed essential under the policy, will not work the day of a closure.

Mohawk College says all of its campuses will be closed due to weather.

“All in-person classes and on-campus events are cancelled. Virtual classes and services will continue,” a tweet from the college said.

Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., said it was open for all events and activities but “those attending campus should exercise caution while travelling to, around and from Brock today.” 

All Mohawk College campuses will be closed Thursday due to weather.
Mohawk College says all of its campuses will be closed Thursday due to weather. (Mohawk College/Twitter)

All Halton District and Halton Catholic District schools and administrative centres are closed.

David Colley, general manager of the Halton Student Transportation Services said transportation services are also cancelled for Zones 1, 2  and 3.

The Grand Erie District School Board, which includes schools in Brantford, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, is advising parents and guardians that “it’s a snow day.”

The board says All student transportation and schools are closed today due to safety concerns. It says learning opportunities will be available online for students.

‘Significantly better situation’ than expected

Meanwhile, Flisfeder said while the forecast was for freezing rain Wednesday and Thursday morning, the warmer air didn’t come into play quite as much as expected, so it remained as a snow and ice pellet event for the Hamilton area, “which is a significantly better situation than what was expected.”

A street has a layer of snow and someone shovelling in the distance.
Residential streets near Ottawa Street North in Hamilton were covered with snow on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, following a winter storm that began the previous day. (Eva Salinas/CBC)

Flisfeder said the main portion of the storm has passed but Hamilton airport is still reporting snow at this stage.

“The surrounding areas, especially higher elevations on the escarpment could see some slippery surfaces with freezing drizzle through the morning, but that risk should diminish through the latter half of the morning,” he said.

Freezing drizzle advisory remains

Freezing drizzle is expected for some areas Thursday morning and a freezing drizzle advisory remains in effect for Hamilton, Niagara and Brantford.

Environment Canada says there will be periods of freezing drizzle with icy and slippery conditions throughout the morning.

“A mix of snow, freezing rain and ice pellets have tapered off; however, temperatures are still near the freezing mark and periods of freezing drizzle are expected this morning and possibly early this afternoon,” the federal weather agency said.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Freezing drizzle can produce thin, hard-to-detect layers of ice. Take extra care when walking or driving in affected areas.”

Freezing drizzle advisories are issued when drizzle falling in sub-zero temperatures is expected to freeze on contact, and over time create icy surfaces.

Temperatures will be around 1 C Thursday and a high of –7 C is expected Thursday night.