Winter Guide

Who's Responsible for What?

As your City Councillor, I wanted to take a moment to share some helpful tips on how to prepare for the winter season and make the most of the services our city provides.

Our winter maintenance crews are ready to respond to snowfall and slippery conditions, ensuring safety and mobility for all residents. There are 1,400 pieces of snow clearing equipment and staff are on standby 24/7 to tackle winter challenges head-on.

Road salt is our first line of defense against winter weather, with salting starting when snow first accumulates. Plowing starts when snow reaches 2.5 centimeters on expressways, five centimeters on major roads and transit roads and eight centimeters on residential streets. Laneways are not plowed by the City, but entrances to laneways are salted to promote melting. This is done one to two days from the end of a major snowfall.

The City supports clearing bike lanes to ensure cycling remains an essential mode of travel for Torontonians. Bicycle lanes are salted at about the same time as the adjacent road and are plowed based on the level of service for the road type. The city has prioritized designated winter bike routes, which you can also find here.

Property owners have an important role in maintaining safety. They are responsible within 12 hours of the end of a snow fall for clearing public sidewalks adjacent to their property when snow accumulates less than two centimeters. Clearing private property within 24 hours is essential for safe access to people and vehicles.

City crews will clear all public sidewalks once 2cm or more of snow accumulates. For sidewalks adjacent to City parks, clearing them of snow may be the responsibility of staff at Parks, Recreation and Forestry. If snow hasn't been cleared within 48 hours, please contact 311.

Seniors or persons with disabilities who may have difficulty clearing snow from sidewalks can submit an application for the sidewalk clearing program

It is also essential for us to plan extra travel time and use public transportation where possible, drive cautiously, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, dress warmly and keep pets indoors during extreme weather conditions.

Specific details about clearing timelines and service levels are available at and residents can track the location of plows and salt trucks and find out which streets have been recently cleared on the PlowTO map.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take action

Sign up for Updates
Invite Me To Your Event
Sign up to Volunteer