Snow Clearing Tips

A Canadian winter can sometimes mean a lot of snow, and the City of Toronto is ready.Here is some information to help you gear up for winter weather in Toronto.Before the Snow FallsPrior to the onset of a storm, Transportation Services will be applying a layer of salt brine to hills and bridges throughout the city. The application of salt brine is intended to prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement and to make it easier to plow the snow to the side of the road.How Does the City Decide What Roads to Clean First?As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads. Local roads and laneways are salted soon after this. When 2 centimeters of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when 5 centimeters has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete.What about Local Roads?When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches 8 centimeters, local road plowing will begin. Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling.Will the City Clear My Driveway? The City will only open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimeters of snow has fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed. The service is meant to only open up a width of about 3metres – not the full width of the driveway.When Do Sidewalks Get Cleared?The City will clear snow from sidewalks on local roads where it is mechanically possible to do so after 8 centimetres (5 centimetres in January and February) of snow has fallen. If the snowfall is less than 8 centimeters, it’s your responsibility to clear the snow. You know what they say, be nice and clear your ice!Once the Snow has Stopped How Long Do I Have to Clear My Sidewalk?In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and to view a map of the areas where the service is provided, click on Do I Call for More Information, or If My Curb Has Been Damaged by a Snow Plow?While it snows, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. Residents are also asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed. Residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only. If you need more information about the city’s plans for snow clearing, visit Transportation Services are very careful while clearing roads, but in rare instances damage of curbs or grass can occur, if this happens please report the incident to 311. The city will repair the damage in the Spring once the weather improves.Is There Snow Clearing Help for Seniors and People with Disabilities? Seniors and people with disabilities living in areas where the city does not clear sidewalks can contact the City at 311 to register for the program. The service applies to the sidewalk in front of the home only. It does not include driveways or walkways leading to homes. All participants in the program must renew annually to continue to receive the service.Snow Shoveling TipPlease don’t push snow back onto the road. It’s against the law, hampers snow clearing efforts and is very dangerous for motorists.

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