The distance between Toronto and Montreal is 543 Kilometres (337 miles).
A BRZ (Subbaru BRZ) is a 2-door fastback coupé.
A blizzard is a a severe snowstorm with high winds and low visibility.
The plan was to drive from Toronto to Montreal for a meeting and visit friends, and although a bit of a drive, it is usually easy and scenic. I would leave Sunday morning and be back Tuesday night. On Saturday night it was pointed out to me that there was a big storm coming out of the west and there would be a fair bit of snow on the ground when it's all over. Toronto is notorious for the big storm that is about hit the city that never really materializes, so I said I would worry about it Sunday morning.
As I looked out my window the next day, big flakes filled the air and the sky looked like there was much more on the way. Checking the weather forecast it looked like there was a big storm heading east from the US Midwest and the front was just starting to hit the city; as I continued to understand the situation, it seemed that the storm was not going to start in Montreal until later in the day. Knowing this, I began to weigh my options. I could just cancel the trip "due to weather" and sit tight, although missing the meeting would push back some of the things I was doing and impact others. I also had to consider that my BRZ is a car build for dry roads, and although I had snow tires and extra weight in the trunk, it did not handle well in deep snow. As the clock ticked and the snow fell I decided I wouldn't cancel; if I could get ahead of the storm, I would get to Montreal before it did and all would be well. Besides, if it got really bad, I could always find a motel.
Time was now of the essence because for my plan to work I had to be faster than the storm.
As I made my way out of the city the roads became slippery, the snow was piling up, and I came across the odd car up against a guardrail. Making my way eastward visibility got better, the roads became clearer, and I was able increase my speed. I remember saying to myself, "I've gotten ahead of the storm".
For about an hour this seemed to be the case and then one of two things happened; either the storm caught up with me or a second storm came in from the south. I suspect it was a combination of both and soon enough I found myself slowing to a crawl, snow piled up on the highway, and poor visibility was the best I could hope for. As I continued to make my way towards Montreal the volume of traffic would ebb and flow, and there were times I was by myself crawling along an empty highway. Once in a while I would come across a snowplow that helped clear the way and make the driving a little better, and sometimes I would come across a car in the ditch. I would stop at the highway service centres along the way to stretch and I would meet other people who were making their way; when we spoke there were words of encourage and we always ended by saying, "Drive safely".
As I made my way, my resolve to make it to Montreal safe and sound hardened... honestly, I don't think I ever thought of pulling over and waiting the storm out. In the end it took me nine hours to get from Toronto to Montreal, and the last half hour was maybe the easiest and quickest.
That night Montreal got 29 Centimetres of snow (11 inches), but by then I was all settled in with a glass of wine and wonderful conversation.
Maybe I was ahead of the storm after all.