The day in (recent) weather history when Ottawa broke its one-day snow record

On February 16, 2016, Ottawa received 51.2 cm of fresh snow.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Feb. 16, 1954, Ottawa, Ontario received 39.6 cm of snow, making it the snowiest day in the city's history. Exactly 62 years later, to the day, that record was broken as Canada's capital received a generous 51.2 cm of snow.


On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, Ottawa awoke to a snowstorm. Though some school boards, government agencies, and other places of employment closed for the day, some institutions remained open. Whoever ended up braving the winter storm, found out if things were in operation, they were slow.


The driving conditions were terrible. Within twelve hours, there were 120 accidents reported.


There weren't too many good reasons to leave the house. Some devout hockey fans did what was necessary to get to an Ottawa Senators v. Buffalo Sabres game at the Canadian Tire Centre.

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Senators spokesperson Brian Morris made it clear that fans who could not make it to the game would be offered a free ticket. He also told fans who did make it that they could get 50 per cent off to some upcoming games.

For those who made it out that day, the best modes of transportation were walking, sledding, or skiing.


The city banned overnight street parking so plows could clear the roads. Drivers were given complimentary parking at city-owned garages.

To learn more about Ottawa's snowiest day, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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