Here comes the snow

It's that time of the year again-winter!

Here are a few things that you can expect as we gear up for another winter in Etobicoke.

Prior to the onset of a storm, Transportation Services will be applying a layer of salt brine to hills and bridges throughout the city.  The application of salt brine is intended to prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement and to make it easier to plow the snow to the side of the road.

As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads.  Local roads are salted soon after this.  When two centimetres of snow has accumulated then plowing will being on the expressways and, when five centimetres has accumulated, plowing will being on the main roads.  Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete.

When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will being.  Plowing on the local roads is usually completed between 14-16 hours after the snow stops falling.  During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. Residents are also asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed.  Residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.

The City will only open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimeters of snow has fallen.  Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed.  The service is meant to only open up a width of about three meters-not the full width of the driveway.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen.  

If you need more information about the city's plans for snow clearing, please visit

And, the City of Toronto has created a webpage that enables residents to see the location of city plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and when their street was serviced by the city's winter operations crews.

The new webpage uses Global Positioning Systems (GPS) installed on plows and salt trucks to determine when a road was serviced by crews, by using a colour coded system.  If a road was serviced within the last four hours, then the road is shown with a green line.  If a road was serviced within the last four to 12 hours, the road will be shown with a blue line and is serviced between 12-24 hours, then the colour would be red.

The webpage can be accessed at