The icy hand gripping British Columbia's south coast is expected to loosen its grip by the end of the week, bringing warmer temperatures and a high chance of flurries.

Environment Canada predicts a 40 per cent chance of snow in Vancouver for both Friday and Saturday with temperatures expected to reach a high of 0 Celsius and a low of -5.

The warmer temperatures could mean the white stuff may turn to rain as the weekend continues.

A flow of warmer air coming from the Pacific Northwest is expected to send in clouds and moist air. The weather system puts an end to the arctic outflow from the Interior that has resulted in dry and cold systems across the coast for nearly a week.

New snow comes as great news to local North Shore ski hills, which haven't seen any fresh accumulation in days.

Julie Mulligan, director of sales and marketing at Mount Seymour, told a heavy snowfall early in the season has made it easier to coast through snow-free days. All of the runs on the mountain are open and machine groomed, with night skiing to open Friday.

"More snow would be perfect," Mulligan said. "Everyone loves fresh powder."

A spokesperson at Vancouver International Airport said the facility is ready for any and all new snow thanks to a $30 million investment in aircraft de-icing systems and snow plows.

Last winter, record snowfall crippled YVR, causing chaos and delays for thousands of travellers.

"Passengers will get in and out of there. They're going to get home for the holidays," Brett Patterson, manager of airside operations, said last month.

Back east

Ontario residents woke up to their first blast of winter Wednesday morning.

A major low pressure system pushing towards Quebec dropped a significant snowfall on the southern and eastern area of the province, with easterly winds of up to 60 kilometres an hour expected.

Almost 50 flights were cancelled at Toronto's Pearson International Airport by early morning.

The storm will likely hit parts of Atlantic Canada by Wednesday evening.