Ontario's Highway 401 Is Pure Chaos Thanks To The Storm & 'Up To 100 Vehicles' Have Crashed

"If you don't need to be on the roads, stay home."

OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt. Right: One of several crashes on Highway 401 on December 23, 2022.

OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt. Right: One of several crashes on Highway 401 on December 23, 2022.

Ontario drivers bold enough to get on the roads during the beginning of a major, multi-day snowstorm may have found themselves very quickly regretting their decision to try and tough things out.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said as of early Friday afternoon, there had responded to multiple collisions involving "up to 100 vehicles," and in some areas, the worst of this storm hasn't even arrived yet.

"The Road and weather conditions continue to deteriorate as a result of this massive winter storm that's hitting Ontario," said OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt in a video posted to Twitter. "Right now in southwestern Ontario between Tilbury and Colonel Talbot, out towards London, we have multiple vehicles — reports of up to 100 vehicles — involved in multiple collisions. Highway 401 is shut down in both directions in that area.”

According to Middlesex OPP, one crash on Highway 402 involved more than 50 vehicles and has left that entire stretch of highway from London to Sarnia shut down.

"That system is all coming towards the GTA as well," said Schmidt. "The wind and snow is blowing in and today is going to be a tough day for a lot of drivers. Please, if you don't even need to be on the roads, stay home. Wait until the system passes."

Later Friday and into Saturday, officials have snowfall will intensify for some areas and others that had been getting rain will be at risk of a dangerous flash-freeze as temperatures quickly drop to well below freezing.

Just after 1:00 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) said it was getting "many reports of slippery roads due to the winter weather," and advised drivers to slow down and to give themselves extra time to get to their destinations.

On top of the challenging road conditions, power outages are also becoming a bigger and bigger problem as the storm continues to intensify.

Hydro One's outage map showed roughly 65,000 people were without power as of 2:00 p.m., mostly in areas east of Toronto, north of Peterborough, and communities surrounding Ottawa.

As of 12:00 p.m., a notice on the Hydro Ottawa website said they were responding to several outages impacting roughly 11,500 customers after having restored power to nearly 100,000 customers since the storm first arrived on Thursday.

Anyone trying to fly their way out of this storm is also out of luck with hundreds of flights cancelled across Canada Friday.

Stuart McGinn
Stuart McGinn was the Money Editor for Narcity Media and focused mainly on covering topics ranging from personal finance, to real estate, and careers. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.