Winter plowing power

The City of Toronto has launched a web page that shows you the location of snow plows on local streets, as well as the location of sidewalk plows and salt trucks. It also indicates when streets have been serviced by the City’s winter operations crews.

This helpful web page makes use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) that has been installed on plows and salt trucks. Using a colour-coded system, the web page shows when a road was serviced. For example, if a road was serviced within the last four hours, the road will be shown with a green line. If serviced between four and 12 hours, the road will be shown with a blue line, and if serviced between 12 and 24 hours, the road will be coloured red.

To check on a specific street, you either type in an address or navigate to the street by clicking and dragging the map. (Please note that some winter operations equipment, such as bus stop plows, is not displayed on the web page.)

City Plowing Services
The City has a fleet of about 600 snowplows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks that are kept at facilities across Toronto. About 1,500 staff are ready to act during winter storms!

Before a snowstorm hits, the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services apply a layer of salt brine to hills and bridges throughout the city. Salt brine is used 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. The city’s policy is to begin clearing expressways after two centimetres of snowfall and main roads after five centimetres of snowfall. Local roads are only plowed after eight centimetres of snowfall.

Plowing on local roads is usually completed between 14 and 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 only to report urgent winter-related calls.

More Help for Dealing with Winter
Toronto Transportation Services aims to provide safe and passable road conditions at all times. Here is a link to some additional information from Toronto Transportation Services: Winter Safety Tips

Shovelling Sidewalks
“Please be a good neighbour and shovel your sidewalk soon after a snowfall,” urges Glenn. When you shovel snow at your home or business, please don’t push snow back onto the road. It hampers snow-clearing efforts, it’s dangerous for motorists, and it’s against the law.

If you’re a local senior citizen who needs help with shovelling your walk, you may want to look into the Home Maintenance Program offered by the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, at 629 Markham Rd. Fees apply. For further information, visit their website.

“Winter, and the snow that comes with it, is a part of what makes us Canadians,” says Glenn. “By working together, we can make sure that Scarborough continues to be a safe and accessible place to live, work and play.”