Inclement Weather

Queen’s University has a procedure to assess the impact inclement weather might have on the operations of the university and to determine whether it is necessary to reduce the level of operations and cancel classes/exams.

Factors in the decision-making process include:

  • weather reports from Environment Canada
  • reports of road conditions in Kingston and surrounding areas
  • accessibility of campus roadways, sidewalks, and parking lots
  • status of public transportation
  • status of other local institutions, services, and businesses
Environment Canada 7-day forecast for Kingston

Reduced level of operation

As a residential university, Queen’s is responsible for maintaining some operations necessary for the care of students and university property.

A "reduced level of operation" means that university departments, other than those defined as being necessary, will be closed until the university returns to normal levels of operations.

Services/departments that will continue to function are:

  • Security and Emergency Services
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • Food Services, Residences and Community Housing
  • Facilities (including the Central Power Plant)
  • Animal Care Services
  • IT Services communications infrastructure (email, web pages, servers, network, telecommunications)
  • Research facilities (limited by the necessity of ongoing functions)

Status of university operations messages

In the event of inclement weather, information on the status of university operations will be:

  • available on the Queen's Gazette site (in the case of university closure, messaging will also appear on the Queen’s homepage and distributed to other administrative sites)
  • available as a message on the university status line: 613-533-3333

All efforts will be made to communicate the status of university operations by 6:30 am – or by 3:00 pm when it is necessary to change the operational level of the university during the day and cancel night classes.


When the university is closed due to adverse weather conditions and the official closure announcement has been posted on the Queen's homepage, all final exams scheduled for that particular day (or part thereof) will be cancelled.

When a final exam is cancelled, the instructor of the course is responsible for deciding how to deal with the cancellation and its effect on the course. Information will be posted on the department/faculty website as soon as possible after the cancellation.


Employees can familiarize themselves with the locations where information on the status of the university is posted, and understand how their departments will respond should inclement weather change the operational status of the university.

Department Heads and Supervisors

Preparing for the winter and the potential for inclement weather

For the departments/services required to continue to operate at a reduced level despite the weather, consider what services would need to be sustained and how many employees would be required. Communicate the expectations regarding the continued operations during inclement weather to potentially affected staff.

Departments that are not required to continue to operate need to establish a process to communicate to employees if inclement weather causes the university to move to a reduced level of operations.

Review the Human Resources Inclement Weather Policy, which outlines how time away from work in the event of inclement weather will be administered.


What to do in the event of inclement weather

If a change in operational status occurs during the day:

  • Determine the level of service that needs to be maintained and the staffing number required
  • Ask for volunteers to cover the services and operations that need to be maintained
  • Designate the staff needed to maintain the services and operations, if necessary due to a lack of volunteers

If a change in operational status occurs overnight:

  • Determine the level of service that needs to be maintained and the staffing number required
  • Use a call-in process or procedure to contact the staff needed
Contact FixIt
If there is an icy patch or snow patch on the sidewalks or pathways on Queen’s campus please report it to FixIt by calling 613-533-6757 (internal extension 77301) or email