Snow service during winter storms

Winter storms are a reality for Torontonians. We know that winter storms will happen, snow banks will pile up, and we will have to adapt to the weather. Councillor McMahon is following up with Transportation Services to relay all of your snow complaints and comments to ensure that our snow clearing services are continually improved.

How snow clearing works

As soon as snowfall begins, Transportation Services sends out salt trucks to the expressways, major roads and roads with dangerous hills or curves first. This is done to ensure that emergency vehicles can travel safely across the city. After this, the trucks move onto local roads.

Plows are sent to expressways when snowfall reaches more than two centimetres. For heavier snowfall, plows will move onto main roads during the storm to alleviate unsafe driving conditions.

Plows will avoid blocking sidewalks, crosswalks or piling snow onto parked cars whenever possible. However, sometimes it physically has to occur due to narrow roads. The city will clear windrows (the piles of snow at the road side after a plough has passed) only where it is physically able to do so. In Ward 32, there are very few places where this can occur due to our narrow streets.

When snow clearing begins

Snow clearing on roads usually takes between 14-16 hours to be completed after the snow stops falling. Sidewalk clearing on major roads takes place after five centimetres of snow has fallen.

Property owners and residents are required to clear their sidewalks within 12 hours after a storm in the city core. Failure to do so can result in a fine of $125.00. Bus stops, crosswalks and school loading zones will be cleared within 1 – 3 days of the storm.

Where snow clearing takes place

Below is a map of where the snow clearing service takes place in Toronto:

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Side walk clearing for seniors

Please call (416) 392-7768 if you are 65 years and older, or have a disability and would like snow clearing services for your property. Or, if you wish to complain about property owners who have not cleared their snow and ice, or have pushed snow from their property onto their neighbours.

Who to contact 

Ploughing Information - Dial (416) 338-7669: Call this number to learn about the progress of snow ploughing across the city.

311 – Dial 311 or 416-392-CITY (2489) outside city limits: Call this number to report any concerns or unacceptable practices by snow plough operators or property owners.

Councillor McMahon – Dial 416-392-1376 or send us an email  with your concerns and comments.

For more info on snow management, visit

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