Blog by Shandel Haché

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Clear sidewalks make for safe journeys

With the first signs of winter upon us, it came to my attention that many, including myself, were still struggling along some sidewalks. It was this morning when I witnessed an elderly man trying to walk his granddaughter to school and decided the street was safer than the sidewalk that I knew what this blog should be about!

Imagine, when you realize walking on the street is safer than on the sidewalk!
Why? Because the street  is somewhat clear from all of the traffic. But no one has taken to responsibility to clear their walk....


The City of Toronto has a policy on sidewalk clearing to prevent skips and falls, injuries, and pedestrians on the streets. 

Please review the policy from the City of Toronto website as copied below and keep your sidewalks clear this winter season! Its in all of our best interests!


All residents and business owners in the core areas of Toronto are responsible to clear the ice and snow from sidewalks adjacent to their properties within 12 hours of a snowfall. Clearing the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your home or business will make it safer for everyone.

Failure to do so could result in a fine of $100.00 plus $25.00 surcharge, total $125.00 as per Municipal Code Chapter 719. View a map of sidewalk snow clearing (PDF) in the City. You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat reader to view PDF files. Get the Free Acrobat Reader

If you plan to use salt, please take care to use the proper amount and not use too much. Using alternative products such as clay kitty litter or sand is also a good idea.

If you are a senior or disabled person living in the core area, and require the sidewalk snow clearing service, you may download the application form (PDF) and submit it to us along with the required documentation. If you have any questions about the form, the service or are unable to print the form, please contact us at 311 (service available in some parts of Toronto, York and East York only).

Here is a brief description of what you can expect and some helpful numbers to call if you require assistance.

  • Sidewalks will be cleared when the snow has stopped and the accumulation has reached eight centimetres (three inches) in November, December and March and five centimetres (two inches) in January and February.
  • The service does not include the clearing of snow from driveways or private approaches (private sidewalks) leading to a residence.
  • This service can take up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped.
  • If your property is a corner lot, the sidewalk on the flank will not necessarily be cleared at the same time as the sidewalk at the front. This work is sometimes performed by different equipment.
  • While every attempt is made to clear all the residences on the service within 72 hours, if your sidewalk has not been cleared after 72 hours after the end of a snowfall, please call the appropriate number below and staff will place your address on our “missed list” and crews will be scheduled to attend and clear the sidewalk.

If you have any questions about Toronto's snow clearing service, call 311.