Winter has not officially started yet in Toronto, but that doesn’t matter because it generally snows during “fall” as evident by today’s snowy weather.
While some residents are working from home, for anyone who needs to be outside, you can keep up with the City of Toronto’s snow removal efforts in real-time.
The city created Plow TO — which includes snow removal updates and a real-time map of Toronto — in 2016. The page enables users to enter a specific address in Toronto, and follow the winter road maintenance of the area.
And since then, it has made several updates. For the 2019/20 winter season, new features include:
- ESRI based mapping and design enhancements
- Real-time location of sidewalk equipment
- New map layers (wards, traffic cameras and cycling network)
- Enhanced search functionality by ward, address and intersection
According to the city, as soon as snow begins to fall, salt trucks are sent to expressways and main roads.
If the city receives 2.5 cm of snow, the plows are sent to the expressways and, if 5 cm fall, plows also go to the main roads, with plowing taking place intermittently for the duration of the storm.
It is only when the snow stops, and if the snow accumulation has reached 8 cm, that plows are sent to local roads.
The city will clear the local roads between 14 and 16 hours after the snow stops falling.
According to the City of Toronto, it has 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks and 1,500 personnel ready to tackle the winter season, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
Additionally, it spends about $90 million annually to deliver the winter operations program.
And for residents, “where sidewalk plowing is not available, homeowners and property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from nearby/adjacent sidewalks, driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings within 12 hours of snowfall to provide safe access for people and vehicles,” states the city.