Closure Due to Weather


PDAD&C #30, 2006-07

Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Professional and Managerial Staff
Decentralized HR Offices

From: Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
Date: November 30, 2006
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, and on the website

In addition to the hotlines, in the event of cancellation of classes or closure of the University, the office of the Vice-President and Provost will send a notice to the Principals and Deans who are in turn asked to notify their departments immediately. The Strategic Communications 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 and television stations by the Strategic Communications Department and by broadcast message via telephone to campus voice mails.

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:                                  



Snowstorm Hotline

St. George Campus
Day & Evening classes

Vice-President and Provost, and Vice-President Human Resources  and Equity, jointly

416-978-SNOW (7669)

U of T at Mississauga

Office of the Vice-President and Principal


U of T at Scarborough

Office of the Vice-President and Principal



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 responsibility of the Vice-President and Provost.   Until the decision to “close” all operations is announced, the University is to be considered open and 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.   Departments and divisions have the right to accommodate staff, and should take into consideration family/childcare responsibilities.

“Closing the University” is defined as 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.

The decision to close the St. George Campus resides with the Vice-President – Human Resources and Equity.  Responsibility for this decision at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Scarborough resides with 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 responsible office will convey the decision to their staff and instruct Strategic Communications to notify the major Toronto radio and TV stations in precise terms of the specifics of the closure.  The decision will also be recorded on the snow lines:

St. George Campus

416-978-SNOW (7669)

Uof T Mississauga


U of T Scarborough


Information will also be available on the university’s website and a broadcast message will be issued via telephone to campus voice mails.

When closure occurs during normal office hours, notification of the decision via media, Snow Line, website and broadcast message recordings will proceed as above.  Notification will also be sent out via e-mail to Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs, and Professional and Managerial staff.

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.

Events being held on campus will be cancelled when the University is closed, and the Office of Space Management will be responsible for contacting the organizers.

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.