Cancellation of Classes and or University Closure Due to Adverse Weather Conditions

PDAD&C #37, 2001-2002


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Adel Sedra, Vice-President and Provost
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources
DATE:   February 4, 2002
RE:   Cancellation of Classes and/or University Closure Due to Adverse Weather Conditions

We are writing to set out the procedure governing cancellation of classes and/or University closure owing to adverse weather conditions. There are separate procedures for each. Cancellation of classes may happen without closure of the University.

To assist with communication, snowstorm hotlines have been established on all three campuses and are advertised in the Bulletin and in various student newspapers. Please advise your faculty, staff and students to use the hotlines, which can deal with a large volume of calls. They should not be calling Simcoe Hall or the Human Resources Department.

In addition to the hotlines, in the event of cancellation of classes or closure of the University, the Provost's Office will FAX and e-mail a notice to the Principals and Deans who are in turn asked to notify their departments immediately. The Public Affairs Department will be responsible for all communications to the media. In the event that the decision to cancel classes or to close the University is taken overnight, this will be communicated to the University community through local radio stations by the Public Affairs office.

Cancellation of Classes

Classes should normally not be cancelled by individual instructors or by division heads. Responsibility for the cancellation of classes will be as follows:

Location Decision-Maker Snowstorm Hotline
St. George Campus
Day and Evening Classes
Provost and Vice-President and
Vice-President Human Resources, jointly
416-978-SNOW (7669)
U of T at Mississauga Office of the Principal 905-828-5399
U of T at Scarborough Office of the Principal 416-287-7026

In the event that an instructor does hold a class after notice of cancellation has been given, it should be viewed as supplementary and not part of the course requirement.

When adverse weather conditions are severe enough to force consideration of the need to close University of Toronto buildings and cease normal operations, the following procedures should be followed.


This document outlines the procedures to be followed when adverse weather conditions are severe enough to force consideration of the need to close University of Toronto buildings and cease normal operations. Normally, such action will be taken in conjunction with the decision to cancel classes, which is the joint responsibility of the Provost and the Vice-President - Human Resources. Until the decision to "close" all operations is announced, the University is to be considered open and normal non-teaching operations should continue even when classes have been cancelled.

Departments/divisions should note that the decision to reduce to a skeleton staff on stormy days rests with the Chair or division head. Please instruct your staff not to call Simcoe Hall or the Human Resources Department to ask if they can leave work.

In order to minimize misunderstandings when the University is to close, the following procedures will be implemented.

"Closing the University" is defined as a suspension of all activities with the exception of essential services. Essential services include campus security, certain physical plant operations, caring for laboratory animals, and services related to University students' residences. Arrangements for the provision of essential services shall be in place with all parties concerned. Because many facilities remain operational on weekends, these procedures may apply on any day of the week.

For the purposes of these procedures, the University shall be divided into the following units: St. George Campus, University of Toronto at Mississauga and Scarborough, the Institute for Aerospace Studies in Downsview, and the David Dunlap Observatory.

The decision to close the St. George Campus resides with the Vice-President - Human Resources. Responsibility for this decision at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Scarborough resides with the offices of the respective Principals. The respective Directors will make the decision to close the Institute for Aerospace Studies and the David Dunlap Observatory.

In each instance the office responsible for the decision will convey the decision to their staff and instruct the Public Affairs to notify the major Toronto radio and TV stations in precise terms of the specifics of the closure.

When closure occurs during normal office hours, notification of the decision will be recorded on the 416-978-SNOW line (416-978-7669), on the web site and will be faxed and e-mailed to Principals and Deans who are in turn asked to notify their departments.

In instances where there is a closure under these procedures, all staff are expected to leave with the exception of those engaged in essential services. Staff-appointed personnel will not suffer any reduction in salary for lost time incurred. Those who are required to work to maintain essential services during any period of closure will be paid in accordance with the overtime policy or given the equivalent time off.

The University or any location of the University that has been closed will be automatically re-opened on the day following the closure. Should it be necessary to continue closure beyond the first day, the above procedure would again be followed in its entirety.