Police in Toronto say a woman was killed by a falling sign as high winds from the approaching superstorm Sandy whip Canada's largest city.

A Toronto police spokesman said Monday that winds were about 40 mph (65 kph) in the area at the time the woman was hit by flying debris while walking along a street.

People across central and eastern Canada are bracing for the storm which is set to arrive early Tuesday with powerful winds and a deluge of rain.

Officials have warned residents in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces to prepare, though the East Coast of the United States will bear the brunt of the unusually large storm.

The storm is expected to continue to churn north and northwest, lashing parts of Canada.