Snowfall Alert: Snow Clearing Service in Toronto

Snow Clearing Service in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Snow Clearing Service in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News Release

January 31, 2011

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

With a sizeable snowfall expected over the next few days, the City of Toronto is reminding residents and businesses about the levels of snow clearing 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 five centimetres of snow, the plows are sent to the expressways and main roads and plowing will take place for the duration of the storm.

When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, plows will be sent to the local roads. Normally, local road plowing will be completed between 14 and 16 hours after the storm has ended.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on local roads where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres (or after five centimetres in January and February) of snow has fallen. In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow within 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, visit

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

Residents who have questions about snow clearing efforts in their area can call 311.

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

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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