How much you can be fined in Toronto for not clearing snow on private property

Dec 1 2020, 11:04 am

It is winter in Toronto.

And that means snow.

While the City of Toronto has active plows and snow removing services throughout snowstorms, residents have the responsibility to clear snow on their properties.

According to the City, “sidewalk plows clear about 6,400 km of Toronto’s 7,900 km of sidewalk. In older parts of Toronto, narrow sidewalks, obstructions and obstacles prevent plows from working safely.”

And 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.”

Clearing the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your home or business will make it safer for everyone and will help you avoid a hefty fine.

The City of Toronto told Daily Hive that according to the Property Standards bylaw, “homeowners and property owners are responsible for clearing ice and snow from private property – including driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings — within 24 hours of snowfall to provide safe access for people and vehicles. If snow isn’t cleared within the prescribed period of time, the City may issue an Order to comply.”

And if home/property owners do not comply with this order, “then the City may lay a charge. The set fine for failure to comply with an order is $455 + surcharge ($115).”

That’s a total of $570.

As well, the fine for not clearing snow from public property is $105 plus a $30 surcharge, for a total of $135, as per the city’s Snow and Ice Clearing Bylaw.

“When the city is not able to clear public sidewalks within 12 hours of snowfall, property owners are responsible to clear public sidewalks adjacent to their property within 12 hours of snowfall,” the city states on its website.

So be a good neighbour and get that shovel out.

And if you can help out others, the City offers a sidewalk clearing service for seniors and people with a disability who live in any area where sidewalks cannot be plowed. You can find the application on the City of Toronto’s website.

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