Winter Snow Clearing

When winter arrives, our office gets many inquiries about when and where the City clears ice and snow. During the peak season, the City operates 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks, with a crew of 1,500 operators to keep Toronto moving.

Responses are determined by the amount of accumulation during each snowfall. On major roads, snow is cleared at 5 cm within 6-8 hours of a storm. On local roads, plowing begins at 8 cm within 14-16 hours.

Windrows – the accumulated pile of snow at the end of driveways – are also cleared by the City if more than 25 cm high. Sometimes these are cleared at the time of plowing, but often by a second plow equipped with a special blade within two hours of the initial plowing.

City sidewalk plowing takes place after 2 cm of snowfall or when icy conditions dictate. However, owners are responsible for ensuring snow and ice has been cleared from sidewalks in front of, or adjacent to all properties, as well as any driveways, parking spaces, stairs or ramps on the property. Sidewalks that have not been cleared within 12 hours of a snowfall can be reported to 311.

More information on winter snow clearing, including real-time tracking of snow plows deployed in your neighbourhood are available online here.