Winter Road Maintenance
During the winter, crews diligently to clear many roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks in Ward 13. This work can take time, and it may not be clear when someone will be around to shovel the snow. During a storm, residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.
When two centimetres of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimetres has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete. When the snow stops, and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will begin.
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. Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.
If you are a senior or person with a disability living in the city core and require the sidewalk snow clearing service, please download the application form and submit it along with the required documentation. If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact 311. If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact 311. (This service is available in some parts of Toronto, York and East York only).
During the winter season (November to April), Transportation Services staff patrol the expressways, arterial roads, and potential “trouble spots” like hills on collector or local roads, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Staff also monitors detailed weather forecasts supplied by various service providers. In this way, the appropriate response to any given condition can be activated in a timely manner.
Bike Lane Maintenance
The city will begin to plow designated cycling facilities once 5 cm of snow has fallen. Plowing on cycle tracks, arterial roads, and streetcar routes will take 6-8 hours once the snow has stopped falling. For cycling facilities on collector roads, bus routes and local streets with hills, plowing will typically take 8-10 hours once the snow has stopped falling. The city has prioritized designated winter bike routes, which you can also find here.
Unlike motor vehicles, it is more challenging to make cycling infrastructure safe through traditional salting and plowing. The intent with cycling facilities is to achieve a "bare pavement" condition through aggressive salting and the use of a "slusher" blade. Please note that this work can be challenging to perform in Ward 13 due to sidewalk and parking conditions. Typically, the city will have to "clean up" cycling facilities following a storm. This work can take from 48-72 hours to achieve, with a goal of having a minimum of 1m of bike lane open for use.
For sidewalks adjacent to City parks, clearing them of snow may be the responsibility of staff at Parks, Recreation and Forestry. If snow hasn't been cleared within 48 hours, please contact 311.
The City does not offer windrow service in Ward 13 due to many factors, including narrow street widths and existing on-street parking. Under the Residential Tenancy Act regulations, the responsibility for snow removal on private property is on the landlord. This responsibility cannot be transferred to a tenant without separate consideration given.
Under the city's by-laws, this snow removal to make access and egress to the property for tenants and vehicles must be done within 24 hours of a snowfall. This includes both residential and commercial properties. Click here for more information.
Winter Safety Tips
Winter weather brings cold temperatures and wet conditions to Toronto and can cause safety issues for cyclists, commuters and pedestrians. Review these tips to help you prepare for winter, as well as how the City braces for the winter weather.
Learn more about winter road maintenance efforts in the City.