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Toronto Residents Concerned About Sidewalk Snow Removal

Toronto residents are concerned about snow removal in the city, Photo: Canva

TORONTO — The snow keeps on falling and building up on city streets and sidewalks. After Toronto was hit by multiple snow storms over the last week, many residents have taken to social media to share their concerns about the state of the city’s roads, sidewalks, and pathways. Photos show that many places have not been plowed since the snow started last week.

Councillor Josh Matlow is among the people concerned about the lack of snow removal in some areas of the city.

“I’ve advocated toward the former mayor, and his allies on council, to support raising snow clearing standards. They wouldn’t make this a priority. On some streets in our city, never mind raising standards, it seems that they haven’t cleared the snow at all. This must change,” Matlow tweeted Saturday. 

“Clearing snow, especially in a Canadian city, should be a basic winter service. It’s about being a functional, safe and accessible city. Waiting for the snow to eventually melt just isn’t acceptable,” Matlow said in a second tweet. 

“I lived in Toronto for over 20 years and could not understand why snow clearing was so slow. I have lived in 3 other cities in the province where snow clearing was finished with(in) 12 hours of a snowstorm. I once lost a day’s pay because I could not get out due to no plow,” tweeted one person. 

Many people are particularly concerned about the state of Toronto’s sidewalks, flagging the risks for pedestrians, particularly those using mobility aids and strollers. 

“Don’t care how much fell it’s how much that stayed on the ground… <3cm Should be an easy cleanup – a week in & sidewalks [are] blocked snow dumped in curb lane[s]. So Toronto,” said one person. 

City of Toronto on Sidewalk Snow Removal

The Brandon Gonez Show reached out to the City of Toronto to inquire about the city’s plan for snow removal on sidewalks and walkways.

“The City of Toronto’s sidewalk clearing program improves safety for residents in winter, provides more equitable snow clearing service to all areas of the city, and supports improved accessibility in winter. As part of this program, all public sidewalks are salted and cleared when 2 cm of snow accumulates. The City will also apply salt in response to icy/slippery conditions caused by freeze/thaw events,” City officials said in an email statement.

“Clearing snow from sidewalks often requires multiple passes of clearing equipment and continues after the snow stops falling. Residents are asked to wait approximately 16 hours after the snow stops falling to create a service request with 311,” officials continued, adding that once a service request has been created, city staff will look into the issue and plow the area as required. 

However, officials say that it’s not always their responsibility to clear pathways and sidewalks.

“If snowfall accumulation is less than 2 cm, it is up to residents and businesses to clear the sidewalks adjacent to their property of snow and ice within 12 hours of the end of a snowfall.”

City officials are also reminding Torontonians that property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from private property 24 hours after the snow stops falling in order to give people and vehicles safe access. This includes your driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings.

Let us know in the comments, do you think the city needs to come up with a better plan to clear the snow?



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