City of Toronto reminds residents about its level of snow clearing service

TORONTO, Dec. 28, 2015 /CNW/ - With a winter storm expected today, the City of Toronto is reminding residents and businesses about the levels of snow clearing service the City provides.

Large snowfalls require a coordinated approach by the City's staff and contractors to ensure that City streets and sidewalks are safe.  The City's general levels of service are as follows:

As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and the main roads.  After this, the salt trucks will then move on to the local roads.  If the City receives two centimetres of snow, the plows are sent to the expressways and, if five centimetres falls, plows go to the main roads and plowing will take place for the duration of the storm. 

When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight cm, plows will be sent to the local roads.  Residents are asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed.  We will clear the local roads between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. 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 where the service takes place, click on

The City will only open/clear driveway windrows where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres of snow have 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 three metres – not the full width of the driveway. This program does not take place in the central core of the city due to narrow road widths and on-street parking.

The City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists.

The City of Toronto's levels of service for snow clearing meet those set by the Province of Ontario for municipalities and road authorities.  These levels of service were adopted by Toronto City Council in 2009.  

The City has 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks ready to tackle the winter season.

SOURCE City of Toronto

For further information: Media contact: Steve Johnston, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4391,


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