City Hall News Releases

November 27, 2008

Transportation Services ready for winter

With 600 snowplows, 300 sidewalk plows, 200 salt trucks and more than 1,600 staff, the City of Toronto is ready to tackle another winter season.

“Winter is just around the corner and we are ready for it,” said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, chair of the City’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “Our equipment and staff are ready again this year to keep Toronto’s streets and sidewalks clear of ice and snow.”

“Again this year, our main goal is to keep the main roads clear for emergency and TTC vehicles. After we’re satisfied that they are in good shape, then we can move on to the local roads,” he added, noting 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, by avoiding parking on city streets to help the plows do their work, and by taking public transit whenever possible.

In addition, there will be an improved level of service for sidewalk snow clearing in 2008. This includes increasing service on main streets with high pedestrian volumes and frequent transit stops, streamlining the service so that it follows closely behind roadway plowing, and enhancing service to prevent ice build-up during prolonged cold periods.

Gary Welsh, General Manager of Transportation Services, noted that, as always, the City will investigate and implement new technological initiatives for the fleet this year, including plows with a retractable blade and global positioning system (GPS) units in more vehicles.

Transportation Services will also continue to reduce salt use as part of its Salt Management Plan. The City has improved its fleet of salt spreading trucks and provided better training for staff who operate salt trucks, as well as providing improved salt storage and handling techniques.

“We continue to minimize the amount of salt we use, but continue to balance that with keeping the streets safe for all road users,” said Welsh.

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

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