Although it's not winter just yet, we know that it won't be long before the snow starts to fly. And when that happens, it can affect how we get around.
Drivers and cyclists want to have roads cleared quickly and efficiently to allow for the movement of traffic. Pedestrians require sidewalks to be cleared in order to walk around the city safely.
While we can't stop it from snowing, we can take steps to prepare for the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. As winter nears, the City is getting ready for another year of keeping our streets and sidewalks safe, and the traffic moving.
Keeping Toronto's streets clear of snow is a major challenge. Toronto Council has established a level of service for plowing the snow from city streets following a storm. Here's what you can expect.
As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads. After this, the salt trucks will then move to the local roads.
If snow accumulates, plows are sent to the expressways and main roads and plowing takes place for the duration of the storm. After the snow has stopped, plows are sent to the local roads.
The City clears snow from sidewalks on local roads where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres (five centimetres in January and February) of snow has fallen. In the central core of the city, where the City is unable to mechanically clear the snow from sidewalks, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.
The City of Toronto's levels of service for snow clearing meet those set by the Province of Ontario for municipalities and road authorities. These levels of service were adopted by Toronto City Council in 2009.
Residents who have questions about snow clearing efforts in their area can call the City at 311.