News Release
May 11, 2021

Today, the City of Toronto recognizes the Provincial Day of Action on Litter to bring awareness to the impacts of waste on our environment and in our communities.

The Province of Ontario Stay-At-Home order remains in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the City will use its social media channels and website to help reinforce messages of the negative impacts of littering and to educate residents and the public about proper waste disposal when outdoors.

Litter can have harmful effects on the environment and pose risks to both animals and people. The City is asking the public to do their part today and everyday to help keep Toronto clean and safe by properly disposing items in available street and park bins and not leaving items on the ground. More information about litter.

The City also announced today the work that was completed by City crews during the planned, month-long spring cleanup efforts. Throughout the pandemic, the City has worked to keep public spaces clean and safe and taken action to protect the environment. During the month of April and into early May, approximately 1,400 workers across multiple City divisions participated in spring cleanup activities across Toronto.

Some of the accomplishments of the spring cleanup include:

  • 5,747 trucks collected more than 7,295 tonnes of garbage and debris cleared from public spaces such as streets, sidewalks, parks and ravines
  • 1,600 tonnes of garbage cleared from parks
  • 770 square metres of graffiti cleaned
  • 26 truck loads and 68 tonnes of woodchips removed
  • Snow fencing removed and fence-line litter cleared
  • Watercourses inspected, debris and blockages from storm outfalls and catch basins cleared, identified erosion issues around Toronto Water infrastructure and damage to retaining walls, grates and headwalls

This highly co-ordinated spring cleanup effort helps to:

  • create cleaner and safer green spaces for people and animals by removing litter, garbage or debris from illegal dumping that can negatively affect waterways, aquatic life, animals, soil, plants and trees
  • refresh parks, ravines and public spaces
  • enhance road and sidewalk safety by removing dangerous debris and dirt that may have built up over the winter and can impede people driving, those on bikes and pedestrians
  • improve air quality by reducing the opportunity for dirt and dust particulates to be dispersed into the air

Beginning in April and throughout the summer season, additional staff have been dedicated to improving litter clearing across Toronto’s waterfront including popular destination parks and beaches. Beach grooming will continue throughout the summer and the number of waste bins will be increased along the waterfront and those in high-traffic areas emptied more frequently.

In addition, road safety and maintenance repairs continued throughout April. This work included two weekend pothole repair blitzes and more than 13,000 pothole repairs from April 1 through May 2. City crews were also doing work such as repairing expressway guiderails, maintaining important roadway safety systems that help reduce vehicle impacts and save lives, and repairing roadside cameras.

Parks staff began preparing seasonal washrooms for opening in late March and all were opened by May 7 – much earlier than in a typical year to recognize that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the heavy use of parks.

More information on the Provincial Day of Action on Litter.


“Thank you to the City of Toronto staff who have worked tirelessly over the past several weeks to create clean and safe spaces for residents to get fresh air and exercise and to enjoy the outdoors safely this spring. They will be hard at work throughout the rest of the spring and summer keeping our city clean. I encourage all residents to help these efforts by avoiding littering and respecting our public green spaces.”

– Mayor John Tory

“Toronto’s parks and green spaces have never been more important to the residents and communities who use them. I encourage everyone to do their part by properly disposing of litter so we can protect our green spaces and keep Toronto clean.”
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee


Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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