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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Winter weather campus operation guidelines and FAQ

Polonsky Commons, Ontario Tech University north Oshawa location.
Polonsky Commons, Ontario Tech University north Oshawa location.

With most university activities operating in an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and fewer members of the university community travelling to and from campus, the operational impact of inclement winter weather in 2020-2021 may be different from previous years.

Each winter in Ontario, inclement weather conditions such as heavy snow, freezing rain and/or ice pellets can make basic travel difficult. During such situations, questions often arise about whether the campus is open or closed.

During most winter weather, the campus remains open and activities remain unaffected. If operational changes are implemented due to weather conditions, the university will communicate these through its official communication channels (i.e. email, mobile app, social media). It’s important to keep in mind that different organizations—public and private—follow their own protocols and best practices. The fact they decide to cancel operations or to close doesn’t necessarily mean the university will do the same.

How does Ontario Tech communicate weather-related operational changes?

The university will post full information about the campus status on the Service Disruptions page on as quickly as possible. 

Depending on the situation, the university will also:

  • Issue information on social media channels and the Ontario Tech mobile app, and on the university’s home page.
  • Forward official university messages to regional newspapers and radio/television stations.
  • Communicate via other means as needed, including campuswide emails to faculty and staff; emails to students’ accounts; and on-campus digital signage.

The Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) will do its best to provide information as quickly as possible.

Please monitor the university’s mobile app and official website for late-evening and early-morning updates on severe winter weather days or for class cancellations.

What if I still need to get to campus?

If you are travelling to or from campus, please allow for plenty of time, and travel with due caution and care, especially if you are in an area heavily affected by the weather. If you are in an area heavily affected by the weather and cannot get to campus, contact your supervisor or professor regarding your absence.

Students, faculty and staff are reminded they are responsible for determining when weather conditions make their travel unsafe.

How are decisions to cancel classes and/or university operations made?

The EMRT will consider such factors as the ability to operate the campus safely (e.g. utility disruptions, and for the university community to get to and from campus safely). The EMRT also assesses the status of regional transit operations, primary road conditions in Durham Region, and Environment Canada forecasts, warnings and advisories.

If the campus can be operated safely, if regional roads are passable, if Durham Region Transit and GO Transit are operational, and if those conditions are not expected to change significantly, the university will operate as usual.

Helpful internal links:

Helpful external links:


Please note: Winter weather information is not intended to cover all possible eventualities. Decision-making and relevant communications regarding service changes will be adapted, as appropriate, to suit the circumstances. It cannot be assumed that all individuals who may be coming to campus or on campus at the time of a weather emergency can be notified of a cancellation.