Cancellation of Classes and/or Closures Due to Adverse Weather

The following outlines the procedures to be followed in the event of cancellation of classes, closures of University of Toronto campuses, and communications related to adverse weather conditions.

The University of Toronto makes all decisions with the safety of students, faculty, and staff in mind. Decisions to cancel classes or close the University are based on information from University Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Environment Canada, TTC, city and provincial police, and other relevant agencies and institutions, including TDSB, Ryerson University, George Brown College and Sheridan College.


Cancellation of Classes

The following are the procedures to be followed in the event of adverse weather conditions that are severe enough to impact the regular operation of classes, but not severe enough for a full University or Campus closure. The decision to cancel all classes at a University location is to be made by the parties set out in the chart below.

In the event of the cancellation of classes, non-class related events may continue if appropriate. It is at the discretion of the event organizer(s) and Department/Divisional representatives whether or not to cancel an event if the University has not been closed.

In the event that a faculty member cancels an individual class due to adverse weather, they should inform their students as soon as possible by whatever means is appropriate (announcement on curse homepage, email, etc.)

Location Decision Maker(s) Based on Advice From
U of T St. George Vice-President & Provost
and Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity
Campus Police;
Vice-President, University Operations
U of T Mississauga Vice-President & Principal CAO (or delegate); Campus Police
U of T Scarborough Vice-President & Principal CAO (or delegate);
Director, Campus Safety & Security
Downsview (UTL and UTIAS) Respective Directors Vice-President, University Operations
Koffler Scientific Reserve Respective Directors Faculty of Arts & Science

Closure of the University, a Campus, or Other Site

The following are the procedures to be followed when adverse weather conditions are severe enough to consider closure of University of Toronto buildings and cessation of normal operations. The decision to close the University, a Campus, or other site where University operations take place is to be made by the parties set out in the chart below. Normally, a closure will be considered in conjunction with the decision to cancel classes (see above). In the event of a closure, all events being held at that location will be cancelled and all activities will be cancelled.

Because many facilities remain operational on weekends, a closure could take place on any day of the week. Normally, on weekdays, such action would be taken in conjunction with the decision to cancel classes (see above).

Until the decision to “close” all operations is announced, the University is to be considered open and operations should continue as usual (if classes have been cancelled, then only non-teaching operations should continue as usual).

The closed site 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 will be followed again in its entirety.

Location Decision Maker(s) Based on Advice From
U of T St. George Vice-President & Provost and
Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity
Campus Police; Vice-President, University Operations
U of T Mississauga Vice-President & Principal (in consultation with the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity) CAO (or delegate); Campus Police
U of T Scarborough Vice-President & Principal (in consultation with the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity) CAO (or delegate); Director, Campus Safety & Security
Downsview (UTL and UTIAS) Respective Directors Vice-President, University Operations
Koffler Scientific Reserve Respective Directors Faculty of Arts & Science

Workforce Management in the Event of Adverse Weather Conditions

In adverse weather conditions where classes are cancelled but there is no closure, flexibility may be provided to employees if operationally feasible (e.g., allowing staff to work from home or to work flexible hours). Such decisions may be made for a Unit by the Unit Head, a Department by the Chair, for a Division by the Division Head, and for individual employees by their manager.

In instances where there is a closure under these procedures, most faculty and staff will be directed to leave. Employees who are required to work in order to maintain operations that the University deems necessary will be notified by their manager. Such operations will depend on the circumstances, and may include the examples set out below:

  • Campus security;
  • Certain physical plant operations;
  • Grounds operations;
  • Caring for laboratory animals;
  • Services related to University students’ residences; and
  • Robarts Library.

In the event of a closure, staff-appointed personnel will not suffer any reduction in salary for lost time incurred. Employees who are required to work to maintain operations that the University deems necessary will be paid in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective agreement or employment agreement.


Campus Safety and Accessibility

When the University remains open in adverse weather, the University will strive to ensure the safety and accessibility of the campus. Entranceways to all buildings and all accessibility paths will be cleared, on a priority basis. Please refer to U of T’s Facilities & Services’ Winter Weather Response Plan for priority snow clearance paths. Individual circumstances vary widely and, when a campus remains open in adverse weather, those students who judge that it may be unsafe to come to campus should discuss alternate arrangements with their instructor or supervisor. In the event that adverse weather results in students missing examinations or graded coursework, faculty members may elect to reschedule or provide accommodations.


Communications of Cancellations and/or Closures

In each instance, the responsible decision-making office will convey the decision to University of Toronto Communications (UTC) or, in the case of cancellations/closure at UTM or UTSC, to the campus’ communications department. Efforts will be made to announce any cancellations/closures by 6:30 am.

UTM, UTSC, and University of Toronto Communications (UTC) are responsible for notifying the tri-campus community through various communication channels, including:

Online
The campus status button on the main U of T website will signal the cancellations and/or closures, and will link to the campus status page, which provides more detail for all three campuses.

Email
For class cancellations or campus closure on the St. George campus, the U of T community will receive an email from the U of T Alert System (UTAlert). For those who opted to also receive a text message, members of the community will receive a text message from “UTAlert” as well.

Notification will also be sent out from the Vice-President & Provost and Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity via email to Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs (PDAD&C) and Professional and Managerial staff (who are to distribute such notices widely).

Social Media

U of T:
Facebook

U of T News:
Twitter

U of T Mississauga:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

U of T Scarborough:
Twitter
Facebook

Media
Local radio and television stations