News Release
November 17, 2022

Today, Mayor John Tory and senior City of Toronto staff outlined the City’s winter weather readiness plans for clearing roads, sidewalks and bicycle lanes and responding to watermain breaks.

Snow clearing equipment is at designated yards across the city, salt supplies have been replenished and snow response technology has been developed and installed, including GPS and communication technologies. Crews are prepared to respond to the effects of cold winter weather 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The City’s snow and ice response plan prioritizes safety and mobility above all else, particularly for emergency and transit vehicles as well as residents.

A fleet of more than 1,400 pieces of equipment will quickly mobilize when the weather changes. Salting is the first line of defence when snow begins to fall. Plowing begins when the snow is this deep:

  • 2.5 cm – expressways
  • 5 cm – major roads and transit routes
  • 8 cm – residential streets

The budget for winter maintenance is approximately $109 million this season.

The City’s plan is not all about the activity on the surface – City staff are also monitoring and dealing with infrastructure below the streets. Cold weather and rapid swings between thaw and freezing temperatures can cause an increase in watermain breaks. Staff are ready to respond to service calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cold weather can also cause pipes inside the home and on private property to freeze. Residents are reminded to prepare their pipes for winter by wrapping foam pipe insulation around pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, attics and garages. It is also important to seal air leaks around windows and doors, and to disconnect hoses and drain and shut the outdoor water supply. More tips can be found on the City’s frozen pipes webpage.

More information about the City’s snow clearing operations is available on the City’s Clearing Snow & Ice from Toronto’s Roads & Sidewalks.

Information on the City’s salt management plan is available on the City’s Salt Management webpage.

PlowTO, the City’s salt truck and snow plow tracker, is being upgraded and will launched in December.


“Winter can have a dramatic effect on our city but we are ready to take on the snow and colder temperatures. I want people to know our crews are ready to tackle the tough parts of winter and keep people moving safely around the city. Crews are on standby 24/7 and are ready to respond quickly to weather changes and watermain breaks caused by freeze thaw cycles.”
– Mayor John Tory

“We have a comprehensive snow and ice plan that will keep Toronto’s roads safe. There are new winter clearing contracts in place for this coming winter season that will improve service delivery and provide high value for residents.”
– Barbara Gray, General Manager, Transportation Services

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.

Media Relations