When will the City of Toronto plow my street?

As Toronto navigates significant snowfall, highway closures and hazardous travel conditions, many are wondering when they can expect to see their local roads plowed.

Depending on the number of centimetres of snow accumulated, the city has different projections for the length of time plowing will take.

The city defines a snowfall more than 25 cm as a “Storm Type 4” — an event that only occurs approximately once every ten years.

During this type of storm, waits for plows are at their longest.

On Monday afternoon, Brad Ross, Chief Communications Officer for the City of Toronto, said that ”multiple rounds of plowing across the city has occurred and will continue into tonight and tomorrow.”

Ross said that it can take the city 12 hours to plow all 5,600 km of sidewalks.

DVP has now reopened.

Multiple rounds of plowing across the city has occurred. Plowing will continue into tonight and tomorrow.

Sidewalk plowing continues, as well. It can take 12 hours to do all 5600km of sidewalks

— Brad Ross (@bradrossTO) January 17, 2022

EXPRESSWAYS

The roads prioritized first by the City in major snow events are the expressways — the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway — however, Toronto police announced Monday morning that both highways were temporarily closed due to hazardous travel conditions.

Just after noon on Monday, the city announced the Gardiner expressway was completely reopened. By 3 p.m., the Don Valley Parkway had also reopened.

Once reopened, the city says it could be two to three hours until the expressways are plowed.

ARTERIAL/COLLECTOR/TRANSIT ROUTES

For major arterial and collector roads, such as Lake Shore Blvd., Finch Ave. and Queen St., routes with streetcars or buses and roads with hills and bike lanes, the city says it can take 12 to 16 hours to complete plowing when there's more than 25 cm of accumulation.

LOCAL ROADS/CUL-DE-SACS

For all other neighbourhood roads, the city says residents can expect to wait for 24 to more than 36 hours for roads to be plowed. This estimate is longer for cul-de-sacs and dead-end roads.

Residents can expect laneways to be salted at least 24 hours from the end of the snow event, but the city does not provide plowing estimates for laneways.

SNOW REMOVAL

When city streets start accumulating more than 20 cm of snow, the city begins snow removal protocols.

At 20cm, snow removal begins for expressways, arterials routes and bus routes. At 30 cm, snow removal begins for local roads, including cul-de-sacs and dead ends.

Residents can expect the expressways to have snow removed with three days, while all other streets and routes may have to wait up to two weeks, according to the city.

In Toronto, snowfall accumulations of 30 to 60 centimetres of snow are expected by Monday evening.

The City of Toronto says it has 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows, 200 salt trucks and 1,500 personnel ready to tackle winter conditions. 

All roads are being plowed. #CityofTOWinterAlert @311Toronto

— TO Winter Operations (@TO_WinterOps) January 17, 2022