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November 29, 2007
Transportation Services ready for winter
The equipment is ready, the salt reserves have been stockpiled and City staff is prepared as the City’s Transportation Services Division gets set to face another winter season.

The City’s 600 snow ploughs, 300 sidewalk ploughs, 200 salt trucks and more than 1,600 staff are ready for winter to begin.

“Our equipment and staff is ready again this year to keep Toronto’s streets clear of ice and snow,” said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “With the planning and preparations we have made, we’re ready for whatever Old Man Winter can dish out.”

The City’s main goal is to keep the main roads clear for emergency and TTC vehicles. “After we’re satisfied that the main roads are in good shape, then we can move on to the local roads,” said Gary Welsh, General Manager, Transportation Services. Welsh added that local roads will be completed between 14 and 16 hours after the storm ends.

The public can help the City’s efforts in clearing snow by doing a few simple things such as not pushing snow back onto the road after clearing snow from their sidewalks and driveways, avoid parking on city streets to help the crews do their work and by taking public transit whenever possible.

For more information about the City’s winter operations, visit the website at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Steve Johnston, Sr. Communications Co-ordinator, 416-392-4391,

Winter Operations Fact Sheet

Total kilometres of roads 5,556
Kilometres of expressways 124
Kilometres of main roads (arterials) 1,089
Kilometres of collector roads 814
Kilometres of local roads 3,236
Kilometres of laneways 293

Number of streets 9,500

Total kilometres of sidewalks 7,600

Total kilometres of ploughed sidewalks 6,000

Total number of opened driveways 262,000

Staff, materials and equipment used
Road ploughs 592
Sidewalk ploughs 296
Salt trucks 211

Personnel Involved:
City Staff 536
Contracted 1,068
Total 1,604

Average snowfall
Per year 130 cm
Number of de-icing events per year 40 to 50

Tonnes of salt used in one storm 10,220
Tonnes of salt used in an average year 146,275 (based on a 10-year average)
Tonnes of salt used in an average year 123,000 (based on a five-year average)

Reduction in salt usage
10% to 15%

Reduction as a result of:
- Improved routes for salt trucks
- Electronic controls on equipment
- Application rates (amounts of salt used vary depending on the road being salted)

Costs and budgets
2007 Winter Operations Budget $67 million

Approximate breakdown:
- 60% road ploughing
- 20% sidewalk ploughing/salting
- 20% road salting

Level of operations

Main roads ploughing initiated after 5 cm of snow and ploughed continuously until the end of the storm

Local roads ploughing initiated after 8 cm of snow and snowfall is completed

Local roads ploughing completed between 15 and 20 hours, after the end of the storm

Main road driveway windrow opening initiated after the last round of road ploughing has been completed

Local road driveway windrow opening is initiated in tandem with road ploughing, and to be completed within one hour of roads being ploughed
24-hour road patrols monitoring weather/pavement conditions

Expressway/Main Road salt trucks can be mobilized within minutes when required, 24 hours a day



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