City begins clean-up of ice storm tree debris

The City announced its plan today for cleaning up the thousands of downed tree limbs that fell as a result of the ice storm on Dec. 21 and 22. While City forestry crews continue to tend to overhead branches that are a safety hazard, Solid Waste Management will lead the collection and chipping of wood debris piled on city streets.

Click here to read the

href="" >Debris Clean-up Plan and Map

The clean-up operation, which is expected to take approximately eight weeks, will begin simultaneously in wards across the city.  Up to 125 three-person crews made up of both City staff and contractors will clear tree debris from roadsides using chain saws and chippers while another 120 two-person forestry crews will focus on removing hanging branches that threaten power lines and walking areas. "The tremendous work done by everyone to date speaks to the calibre of people who make up this great city. We will pull together again as we move into this next phase of clean-up operations and help Toronto residents return to their everyday lives," said Mayor Rob Ford. "We are relieved to be moving from an emergency phase to one of restoring people's ability to move around their neighbourhoods," said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough Agincourt). "As crews are released from assisting with hydro, they are being reassigned to making sure that roads are open and debris is collected." "This coordinated activity involving several divisions will put all the City's available resources toward cleaning up our streets while we continue to ensure both the public's safety and the viability of our precious tree canopy," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East), Chair, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. "The City has committed more than 600 people including contractors to this effort." The City will haul away all tree branches from front yards and roadsides and will include those that have fallen on private property if they are less than 15 cm (six inches) in diameter and have been taken to the curb. Residents should neatly stack limbs/branches at the front edge of their properties without blocking either sidewalks or roads and with the butt ends of branches towards the road. City crews will not collect large limbs (more than 15 cm or six inches in diameter) from private trees that have fallen on private property. Property owners should contact a private contractor for this. A City permit is not required to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous, however many trees can be saved with proper care and pruning. For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle (ALHB) quarantine area in Etobicoke, City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in an appropriate manner. Residents are advised not to take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area. Check for more information. Residents may monitor the debris removal progress by checking a detailed map on the City’s web site at

Latest posts

Take action

Sign up for Updates
News and Updates
Upcoming Events