Sidewalk plows clear about 5,800 km of Toronto’s 7,029 km of sidewalk. In older parts of Toronto, narrow sidewalks, obstructions and obstacles prevent plows from working safely.

View a map of sidewalk snow clearing in the City.

A detailed Sidewalk and Transit Snow Clearing Level of Service table is available for viewing.

The following district maps show what streets have their sidewalks mechanically cleared:

Here is a brief description of what you can expect and some helpful numbers to call if you require assistance.

  • The City clears snow and ice from sidewalks in most areas of Toronto, where it is physically possible to clear snow mechanically (i.e. using a small plow).
  • Sidewalks are plowed when there is 2 cm of accumulation and the snow has stopped falling, or when icy conditions dictate.  Sidewalks with high pedestrian volume (arterial roads, school zones, transit areas, and accessibility locations) will be cleared first.
  • Sidewalk clearing after a snowfall takes approximately 13 hours to complete and, depending on the amount of snow or ice, clearing may occur more than once. Sidewalk clearing can continue up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped falling.
  • The service does not include the clearing of snow from driveways or private approaches (private sidewalks) leading to a residence.
  • If your property is a corner lot, the sidewalk on the flank will not necessarily be cleared at the same time as the sidewalk at the front. This work is sometimes performed by different equipment.
  • While every attempt is made to clear all the residences on the service within 72 hours, if your sidewalk has not been cleared after 72 hours after the end of a snowfall, please call 311 and staff will place your address on our “missed list” and crews will be scheduled to attend and clear the sidewalk.

Clearing snow from sidewalk

Clearing ice and snow from the sidewalk in front/adjacent your home, property or business helps keep neighbours and communities safer for everyone when it snows.

All home, property and business owners must clear the adjacent sidewalk of snow or ice within 12 hours of the end of a snowfall as per the Snow and Ice Clearing Bylaw.

The fine for not clearing snow from public property is $105 plus $30 surcharge, total of $135.

Clearing snow from private property

According to the Property Standards Bylaw, home owners and property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from private property – including driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings – within 24 hours after snowfall ends to provide safe access for people and vehicles.

Please contact 311 to report a property owner who did not clear their sidewalk or private property.

The City offers a sidewalk clearing service for seniors and people with a disability who live in any area where sidewalks cannot be plowed.

Please download and complete the application form (below) and submit it to us along with the required documentation.

Already registered for the program? You will be automatically renewed.

If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact 311.

Download the Snow Removal Application

Background

Toronto has about 7,029 km of sidewalks and the City mechanically clears approximately 5,800 km of snow and ice on our sidewalks (that’s about 82%).

Under the current program, the City does not provide mechanical sidewalk clearing if:

  • The sidewalk is too narrow for current equipment or contains obstacles, such as utility poles;
  • There is limited space to store snow cleared from the sidewalk (such as the presence of parked cars immediately adjacent the sidewalk); or
  • There are encroachments from private properties (such as retaining walls or fences) that could be damaged by sidewalk plows.

The City is conducting a trial, using new technology and smaller plows, to test the feasibility and effectiveness of using new equipment to clear narrower sidewalks.


Sidewalk Snow Clearing Trial

The City will continue a trial to test smaller plows in areas that serve seniors and people with disabilities and do not currently get mechanical snow clearing services.

The City purchased nine smaller sidewalk plows which will plow approximately 230 km of sidewalks in these areas. Each of these plows will be assigned two routes ranging from 9-15 km of sidewalk. These plows will be deployed whenever 2 cm of snow accumulates, which is the same threshold to activate our sidewalk plows on the existing routes. When deployed, each plow will complete one route per day, which means that in response to a winter event it will take two days to complete one full round of snow clearing on the trial sidewalks.

  • Route 1: St. Clair, Rogers, Dufferin, Keele
  • Route 2: Bloor, Jane, Runnymeade, Annette, Dundas
  • Route 3: Yonge, Avenue, Lawrence, Eglinton
  • Route 4: Bloor, Roncesvalles, Parkside, Queensway
  • Route 5: Bloor, Landsdowne, Ossington, Dufferin, Queen
  • Route 6: Bloor, Dupont, Ossington, Christie, Bathurst
  • Route 7: Danforth, Gerrard, Broadview, Carlaw, Greenwood
  • Route 8: Gerrard, Kingston, Woodbine, Main, Victoria Park
  • Route 9: Winona, Davenport, Yonge, St. Clair

Sidewalk Selection

Currently, seniors or persons with disabilities who live in a part of the city without mechanical sidewalk clearing can apply for inclusion in a program that brings City workers to clear their sidewalks manually. This trial will bring mechanical clearing to 1,443 houses enrolled in that program, making the program more efficient while also providing a large enough area to effectively evaluate the equipment. Transportation Services will continue manually clearing sidewalks for seniors or persons with disabilities whose households were not included in this trial.

The routes have been designed to capture the most houses possible enrolled in the seniors or people with disabilities snow clearing program. Although the trial is focused on clearing houses enrolled in that program, operators will clear the entire length of sidewalk on that block, where possible. This means a greater length of sidewalk will be cleared, and snow clearing will be continuous on each block. This will allow a better evaluation of the effectiveness of the new plows.


Next Steps

In addition to evaluating new equipment, staff are also working to complete a full inventory of sidewalk widths, obstructions and other obstacles, such as utility poles, planters, retaining walls and on-street parking adjacent to the sidewalk. Staff will use this inventory, the results of the sidewalk snow clearing trial, and other analysis to determine whether it is possible to bring mechanical sidewalk clearing to parts of the city that do not currently receive it, and if possible, what resources would be required.