Winter weather plan
You can plan your trip in advance on our website and stay up to date on TTC’s Service Alerts. You can also follow TTC Notices on Twitter for up-to-date information.
The TTC has established a plan to ensure bus, streetcar, subway and Wheel-Trans service is maintained during a significant snow storm.
Actions that will be put in place in advance of winter weather:
- Extra bus service may be added to some routes.
- Express bus routes that operate where there is local service may also be adjusted to serve all stops to ensure we do not leave any customers behind on these corridors. This applies to all express routes except the 900 Airport Express and the 927 Highway 27 Express.
- Forty-one bus stopsmay be taken out of service, due to weather. These stops are most impacted during severe weather, due to known icy trouble spots on hills.
- Line 3 Scarborough may be taken out of service, as a result of the weather.
- The entire streetcar overhead network will be treated with an anti-icing application.
- Anti-icing and snow clearing protocols will be put in place at all bus, streetcar and subway divisions.
- Subway trains will be stored in tunnels along the main lines to avoid issues getting out of the yards.
- Shovels and salt will be available at all stations.
- Private contractor tow trucks will be ready to assist with any trapped vehicles and the TTC’s fleet of snow-clearing equipment will be deployed as conditions progress.
- The TTC will communicate with the City to ensure crews are aware of issues on transit routes.
- Social media and web updates will be pushed out frequently to keep customers informed.
Check back here regularly or visit our Service Alerts page for more information.
In the event of freezing rain or an ice storm, storm trains will operate overnight to keep the power rail clear of ice. Anti-freeze will be applied to the power rails when it begins to rain to prevent ice build-up.
Crews keep switches clear in yards using switch heaters, but also manually ensure that the heaters are working effectively and take action if they are not. Work cars will act as storm trains in the yards to keep the power rails clear of ice.
If the subway is affected by a power outage, shuttle buses will be deployed.
Line 3 changes during a significant snow storm
When a significant snow storm is forecasted, the TTC will determine whether or not the trains on Line 3 should be in service. If the TTC decides that Line 3 trains will not be in service during this weather, shuttle buses will be put into service to replace Line 3 train service. These changes will be implemented approximately two hours before the expected storm.
If Line 3 trains are not running customers can also consider alternate TTC routes available, such as branches of the 16 McCowan, 21 Brimley, and 903 Kennedy-Scarborough Centre Express routes.
The TTC relies on City of Toronto crews to keep all roads clear of ice. We have adequate buses available in the event of a major power outage that knocks out our ability to operate streetcars. If the subway is affected by a power outage, shuttle buses will be deployed.
Some bus stops may temporarily be placed “Out of Service” in areas that are historically known to be impacted by icy conditions, snow buildup or flooding. This will prevent buses from becoming stuck or trapped, improving reliability for customers travelling on the affected bus routes during winter weather.
The affected bus stops may be taken out of service up to one hour before the weather event. A sign will be placed on the stops clearly indicating the nearest in-service stop.
In the event of freezing rain or an ice storm, anti-icing solution is applied to the overhead network to keep the overhead wires free from ice so streetcars can operate. Overhead crews are on standby, positioned around the city in the event of power loss or overhead wires coming down.
The same anti-icing solution used on the overheard is applied to all switches across the network. If it’s really cold or a snow/ice storm is forecasted TTC Storm Cars will run overnight, keeping switches free from any ice build-up that the de-icer was unable to prevent.
Buses may be used to supplement or replace service on some streetcar routes (and sections of streetcar routes) so we can keep more streetcars in the downtown core, which will help keep switches and overhead wires clear of ice. Buses will operate on the 506 Carlton, 511 Bathurst, and 512 St Clair routes (as well as sections of the 501 Queen and 504 King routes) to keep more streetcars in the downtown core on the 501, 504, 509, and 510 routes.
Important notice about parking on streetcar routes: Never block the tracks if you park on a streetcar route, even if snowbanks are preventing you from parking closer to the curb. Blocking streetcar tracks can lead to service delays and temporary route diversions. The parked vehicle will also be towed.
We recommend that you only take essential trips whenever there is winter weather or a major accumulation of snow. Same day service is restricted, and for all Family of Service trips, these will be converted to Door-to-door.
If by 3 p.m. the day before you are booked for Wheel-Trans service, the weather forecast calls for a snowfall of 8 cm or more, we encourage you to cancel non-essential rides. If it snows on the day of service, go to mywheel-trans.ttc.ca or call the RideLine at 416-397-8000 for further updates and instructions. Rides cancelled during a snow advisory will not be included in the Late Cancellation/No-Show Policy.