City of Toronto Winter Snow Operations

The City of Toronto is ready to tackle winter – both on city streets and beneath them – by managing snow and ice on city streets, and by responding to the effects of cold weather on the city's watermains and water service pipes.

Cold weather and rapid swings between thaw and freezing temperatures can cause an increase in watermain breaks. Toronto Water staff are ready to respond to service calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The City's first priority during a snowfall is to keep the main roads clear for emergency and TTC vehicles. After that, crews move on to the local roads and usually complete clearing those roads between 14 and 16 hours after the storm ends.

As soon as the snow begins to fall, salt trucks are deployed to the expressways and main roads. Local roads and laneways are salted soon after the main roads. When two centimetres of snow have accumulated, plowing begins on the expressways and, when five centimetres have accumulated, plowing begins on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads continues until the operation is complete.

Local road plowing begins when the snow stops falling and if the snow accumulation reaches at least eight centimetres. Residents are reminded that 311 only takes service requests for specific snow clearing after the crews have had a chance to go out and clear the snow. Please don't call when the storm is taking place to ask when a street with be plowed. Residents can track where plows and salt trucks are and which roads have been serviced using the http://www.toronto.ca/PlowTO online tracking map.