What is a “snow day”?

A snow day is when students or workers are allowed to stay home. A snow day is announced by schools and other institutions when there are unusually severe weather conditions that make it unsafe to travel.

In Ontario, some severe winter conditions can make it difficult or dangerous to drive, transit or walk to school or work. Always be prepared for unexpected road conditions or unforeseen delays along your route. You can check the weather forecast before leaving home by tuning into the radio, watching news channels, reading the newspaper, or checking online. For regular updates on highway conditions, you can check in with Ontario’s Traveller Information Services online or by calling 5-1-1.

If you are walking to school or work, be sure to dress warmly.

For Schools

School boards decide whether to call a snow day. The decision can vary from board to board. It is important to check with your child’s district school board for any cancellations.

Snow days are announced in the morning and local news stations broadcast the information. You can also visit the Ontario Ministry of Education’s School Board Directory to find your child’s school board. School board websites often post information on weather cancellations. 

If you are a post-secondary student, visit your college or university’s website for news on weather alerts and cancellations.

Many schools, colleges and university are turning to social media as another way of informing the public of cancellations.

For Work

Some employers implement snow days. Check in with your workplace to find out what are the policies for weather cancellations. The policies will differ between employers, so find out what the regulations are in your workplace. Some workplaces have policies on working from home when there is extreme weather.

For More Information

  • Local School Boards - A list of local school boards across Ontario. From Ministry of Education.
  • Be Prepared for Winter Weather - Information on how to be prepared for severe winter weather. From Environment and Climate Change Canada.
  • Severe Weather Conditions - Services, alerts, and updates provided. From Government of Canada.
  • Labour Relations - Information on labour relations in Ontario and services provided. From Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

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Last updated: November 15, 2023 4006084