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City of Toronto - Online Information and Services

Driveway - blocked by ploughed snow - windrow - snow clearing required

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A service request to report a residential driveway outside of the City core that has been blocked by a ploughed snowbank (windrow) can be submitted online at: http://www.toronto.ca/311/ , or call 311.

A service request will only be initiated if:

  • you live in an eligible area (mainly Etobicoke, North York or Scarborough); and
  • road ploughing has been completed in your neighbourhood.

The City will clear snow from local road driveway windrows only after windrow heights reach 25 cm.

Windrow clearing takes place less than 16-18 hours after the end of the storm and is normally completed within 2 hours following road ploughing, but may take longer.

Wards which receive driveway windrow clearing service:

  • North York District (Wards: 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34)

  • Scarborough District (Wards: 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44)

  • Etobicoke York Districts (Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17)
    Driveway windrows in these districts will be cleared on local roads within 1-2 hours after the road plough has passed. On main roads it may take up to 6 hours to complete.

  • Toronto & East York Districts (portions of wards 21 and 22):
    This service is provided only where physical conditions allow us to do so. On some streets it is not possible due to parking and lack of storage space for snow.
    The only area that receives this service is: generally bounded by Eglinton Avenue West, Avenue Road, St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street.

City Council, in establishing its harmonized program for winter services, directed that windrows (the banks of snow piled up at the roadside after the plough has passed through) be cleared from driveways in areas of the City where this activity can be achieved by mechanized means. Guidelines for assessing where windrow clearing was physically feasible included the following:


Driveway windrow clearing:

  1. local streets that are no less that 8.5 m in width; and/or
  2. adequate boulevard storage space is available; and
  3. long-term on-street parking is not permitted due to the dense urban form, narrow streets and prevalent on-street parking, the vast majority of streets in Toronto & East York District cannot be feasiblely accommodated for driveway windrow clearing. Often one street or block can be considered under the criteria, but several adjacent streets or blocks cannot. Given the severe constrains in Toronto & East York District, Transportation Services has developed a program to do windrow clearings in areas where there are several streets or blocks in one area that can be cleared at on time. (approx. 2,000 residential driveways in 2004) The area of Toronto & East York District where this activity will occur is bounded by Eglinton Avenue West, Avenue Rd., St. Clair Ave. W., and Bathurst St. In Toronto & East York District they must rely on a second piece of equipment (tractor, bobcat) following the main ploughing operation, unlike in the other districts where this operation is performed primarily by the use of a truck with two graders, the second one using a gate.
  4. The goal will be to clear a maximum of 3 metres (10 ft) width at the end of each driveway. Every effort will be made to clear the windrows in the above noted area this winter, however, if the operators encounter parked cars or other impediments, they may be prevented from clearing some driveways. The windrow clearing operation will commence following ploughing and will take up to 16 hours to complete.

Snow ploughing - priorities and requirements for snow clearing in the City of Toronto