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February 15, 2008
City launches major snow removal effort
The City of Toronto today announced additional plans to remove snow from some of Toronto’s residential streets.

Removal of the snow in specific areas is required to ensure public safety for pedestrians and the disabled, provide accessibility for emergency and waste collection vehicles, and the proper and safe movement of traffic in areas where narrow roads mean any further snowfall will make roads more difficult to travel. Given the forecast for more snow and continued cold temperatures, the removal of snow in some areas is now required.

Snow removal involves the physical removal of the snow from the side of the street after plowing has taken place.

“Keeping the City safe is the priority of this work,” said Mayor Miller. “We are asking residents to help us make this important operation a success. The nature of some of Toronto's older areas now makes removal of the snow a necessity,” the Mayor stated.

“The City has received significant amounts of snow in recent weeks and there hasn’t been a sufficient thaw to melt the snow,” said Gary Welsh, General Manager, Transportation Services. “Therefore, with more heavy snowfalls expected in the weeks ahead, some streets could become increasingly difficult to access and unsafe to travel if the snow isn’t physically removed.”

On residential streets that allow parking on one side of the street, the snow will be removed from the opposite side of the street. Residents are asked to move their vehicles to make the street easier for crews to access. Snow will be removed from the side of the street where parking is permitted if the cars are removed. However, moving cars from these streets is not mandatory and vehicles will not be towed.

On residential streets that allow parking on both sides of the street, residents will be asked to move their cars from the street to allow access to snow removal crews. Less than 5% of the streets where snow will be cleared, have parking on both sides of the street. On these streets, snow will be removed from both sides of the street. Residents will be given 48 hours notice to move their vehicles. Vehicles that remain on the street when crews arrive will be given a “friendly tow” (tow to a new location without a ticket or tow charge to the vehicle owner). Arrangements have been made with the Toronto Parking Authority to permit free parking from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the City’s “Green P” lots in areas where residents are required to move their vehicles.

Starting next week, flyers will be delivered to affected homes to alert residents that they live on a street where snow removal will take place.

The City of Toronto website will contain a regularly updated list of streets scheduled for snow removal. Please visit

The City anticipates this additional snow removal effort will be completed in 10-14 days, weather permitting. Almost 2,000 people and 600 dump trucks will make-up 83 crews (up from the usual 20) and will be working 24/7.

Should there be a significant snowfall during this additional snow removal effort, crews will be redeployed to plow and clear roads and sidewalks and, therefore, snow removal operations announced today, will be delayed. The City’s approach to road safety in the winter is focused on plowing and salting roads to allow for safe passage of vehicles and pedestrians. Large-scale snow removal is only used in extreme situations where public safety or the large scale movement of goods and services is compromised. The anticipated cost of this additional snow removal operation is approximately $20 million, which will come from the 2008 winter maintenance budget.

Also, through an agreement reached with Toronto Parking Enforcement, people with permit parking will be able to move to a different zone temporarily on the days where snow removal is being done on their street. Toronto Parking Enforcement will use discretion in the issuance of tickets during the times where snow removal operations are taking place.

The public is reminded that when shoveling their sidewalks to keep snow off the streets to help snow removal efforts. The public is also asked to clear snow from around fire hydrants.

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, Communications City of Toronto, 416-553-1076 (cell), 416-392-4391 (office)



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