NEW! Winter Road Maintenance & Salting Operations website enables residents to see the location of plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and when their street was serviced by the City's winter operations crews.

Winter levels of service:

  • 24 hour patrols continuously check road conditions and staff monitor weather forecasts and pavement temperatures.
  • Prior to a storm, anti-icing trucks are sent out to apply a layer of "brine" (salt and water) on hills and bridges. When the snow starts falling, salt trucks begin de-icing main roads and expressways and then continue their rounds throughout all City streets.
  • Expressway ploughing begins when snow has accumulated to a depth of 2.5 cm to 5 cm of snow has fallen.
  • Main roads (Red - major & minor arterials) and Blue (collector) roads) ploughing initiated after 5 cm of snow has fallen
  • Local roads (green roads) ploughing initiated after 8 cm of snow and snowfall is completed
  • Local roads ploughing completed between 14 and 16 hours, after the end of the storm
  • Sidewalks:
    • The City will clear snow from high volume pedestrian sidewalks (arterial roads, school zones, transit areas) after 8 cm of snow has fallen during the months of November and April
    • 2 cm or more on high and low volume sidewalks (December to March).
  • Windrow clearing will commence on local roads at the same time as roadway ploughing only when a windrow height exceeds 25cms and is to be completed within 2 hours of roadway ploughing. Collector and arterial roads will commence at the final round of the roadway ploughing when windrow height exceeds 25 cm
  • Laneways de-ice as necessary to maintain passable conditions
  • Expressway/main road salt trucks can be mobilized within minutes when required, 24 hours a day.

It's important to remember that the City's first priority is keeping the main roads clear.

Once roads have been ploughed and are in a passable condition, smaller ploughs and hand crews clear sidewalks, bus stops, crosswalks, bus shelters and seniors sidewalks.

Every effort will be made to keep the expressways and main roads open during a snowstorm.
Manual clearing of snow from sidewalks of seniors and disabled residents (only in areas where the City doesn't clear the sidewalks mechanically) is also performed where residents register for the service.

Windrows created by sidewalk ploughing operations are not part of the windrow removal program.


Mechanical sidewalk clearing is performed in high volume pedestrian routes (arterial roads, school zones, transit areas) after 8 cm (Nov, & April) and on high and low volume pedestrian routes after 2 cm (December to March). Multiple rounds of clearing may be necessary for heavy snowfalls, or to address icy conditions in subsequent days. Sidewalk Snow clearing: Map

Bus stops

After the main roads are ploughed, crews begin the task of clearing snow from transit stops and crosswalks. They will generally be ploughed within 48 hours after a snowstorm.


Where applicable, residential driveway windrows will be opened after a side street is plowed. Please note that our intent is to only plough a sufficient amount of snow from the windrow to permit a vehicle to easily drive across. Windrow clearing is not provided on narrow streets with no boulevards or where on-street parking is permitted.

Cycling Infrastructure

Aggressive salting operations are subject to temperature constraints
Plowing will be initiated when snow has accumulated to a depth of 5cm
It will take 6-8 hours to complete plowing for priority lanes and those located on arterial roads

  • Cycling facilities include:
    • Priority bike lanes
    • Cycle tracks
    • contra-flow - sharrows

Multi-use trails

Two multi-use trails will be de-iced and ploughed when necessary

  • Humber Bay Shore Trail
  • Martin Goodman Trail - between Windermere Ave to Stadium Rd

Accumulations of less than 5 cm:

  • It is hoped that all property owners will further open up the path where practical and deal with minor accumulations less than 5 cm where sidewalk ploughs may not be called out and/or icing conditions that may develop as a result of freeze/thaw cycles, after City sidewalk ploughing has been completed.
  • If you live in an area where the City is unable to mechanically clear snow from sidewalks, you will be required to clear the snow as per a City bylaw" (some parts of Etobicoke, and almost all of Toronto, East York, York) (see new City bylaw)  
    Sidewalk Snow clearing: Map  
  • If possible, keep parked cars off the street and use public transit whenever possible. Fewer cars on the street can help us plough the snow more effectively.

Snow ploughing, level of service

  • Expressways/main roads - bare pavement
  • Collector roads - centre bare pavement
  • Local roads - safe and passable

Further information on Transportation Services Winter maintenance can be found on the City of Toronto website.

For information about the City of Toronto road classification system see: City of Toronto road classification system

Related Information: