Beaches-East York Snow Clearing Update

ByBrad Bradford

It’s been a historic couple of weeks for weather in Toronto. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to my office to flag an area for service, and for your patience in tackling this massive amount of snow.

The blizzard conditions on January 17 brought dumped 55 cm of snow in the city in one day. That’s more snow than we saw from January to March 2021 combined, with subsequent snowfalls since.

I know it has been a challenging couple of weeks – and I understand your frustration with getting areas fully cleared. I’ve flagged each area you’ve raised with me to the attention of the City’s Winter Operations team and I’ll be continuing to have the safety and service levels around our neighbourhoods addressed.

Below you’ll find the latest updates on the Beaches-East York clearance plan.

Where have the plows been recently? Snow removal operations have been completed on:

  • Queen St E, from Victoria Park Ave to Coxwell Ave
  • Danforth Ave, from Main St to Coxwell Ave
  • Dundas St E (repeat clearing), from Kingston Rd to Coxwell Ave, and Maughan Cres
  • Gerrard St E, from Woodlee Rd to Coxwell Ave
  • O’Connor Ave, from Woodbine Ave to Glenwood Cres
  • Westlake Ave, from Lumsden Ave and Cosburn Ave
  • Cosburn Ave, from Woodbine Ave to Coxwell Ave
  • Mortimer Ave, from Woodbine Ave to Coxwell Ave
  • Kingston Rd, between Queen St E to Waverley Rd
  • Gerrard St E, from Main St to Coxwell Ave
  • Danforth Bike Lane: Danforth Ave, Eastbound from Coxwell Ave to Victoria Park Ave

Where are the plows heading next? For the next 2 days, snow removal operations at targeted for:

  • Cosburn Ave, from Coxwell to Woodbine
  • Mortimer Ave, from Coxwell to Woodbine
  • Queen St E, from Coxwell to Victoria Park
  • Lee Ave, from Queen to Alfresco
  • Danforth bike lanes eastbound, from Oak Park to Coxwell
  • Violet Ave
  • Leuty Ave
  • Wineva Ave
  • Hammersmith Ave
  • Scarboro Beach Blvd
  • Alfresco Lawn
  • Hubbard Blvd
  • Glen Manor Dr W
  • Glen Manor Dr E
  • Isleworth Ave
  • Avion Ave
  • Bonfield Ave
  • Selwood Ave
  • Maclean Ave
  • Balsam Ave
  • Fernwood Park Ave
  • Fir Ave
  • Park Ave
  • Beech Ave
  • Willow Ave
  • Spruce Hill Rd
  • Cedar Ave
  • Silver Birch Ave
  • Scarborough Road
  • Kingswood Rd
  • Bingham Ave
  • Pine Cres
  • Pine Glen Rd
  • Southwood Dr
  • Glen Stewart Ave
  • Cavendish St
  • Winthorpe Rd
  • Beaufort Rd
  • Kimberley Ave
  • Osborne Ave
  • Wayland Ave
  • Malvern Ave
  • Hannaford St
  • Pickering St
  • Lawlor Ave
  • Dengate Rd
  • Musgrave St
  • Flagman St
  • Brockville St
  • Drummondville Lane
  • Crossovers St
  • Ted Reeve Dr
  • Lyall Ave
  • Main St
  • Woodale Ave
  • Swanwick Ave

What kind of snow clearing work is happening?

  • Given the massive volume of snow we received, the clearance plan includes removing snow off our streets, in addition to plowing and salting operations.
  • Crews are using front end-loaders with blowers and dump trucks to collect snow and move it to one of the City’s five snow storage facilities.
  • This critical work will remove windrows left by plowing operations that can limit access for emergency vehicles, restrict traffic flow, interfere with both pedestrians and parking, and obstruct sightlines. 
  • Contractors and staff are being deployed around the city to assist in addressing sidewalk issues in hot spot areas and intensify snow removal operations on sidewalks as much as possible.

Check out the work underway! Thanks to Beaches-East York resident Hortenzia Papp who took this great shot of snow removal on the Danforth, just east of Coxwell:

Snow removal plow and truck operation to remove snow from the road at Danforth/Coxwell Avenues. Photo credit: Hortenzia Papp.

As quickly and as hard as contractors and staff are working, this is officially the largest snow removal operation in our city’s history. As crews continue removal efforts 24/hours a day, they have so far:

  • Removed approximately 68,806 tonnes of snow from roads, sidewalks and bike lanes
  • Dumped 20,269 loads of snow from across the city at winter snow storage facilities
  • Completed over 89 rounds of plowing and salting prior to snow removal
  • Removal snow from approximately 877 km of road
  • Removed the snow from 406 school loading zones
  • Redeployed more than 40 Transportation Services staff to perform site checks

While work of this magnitude will take time to complete, I know public safety is top of mind. Clearing for emergency vehicles, as well as for transit routes, school zones and crossings are being prioritized for safety and access. With dedicated school zone contractors now launched, crews are also working through sections of the Danforth bike lanes to have the entirety cleared as soon as possible.

While this is not a snowfall event we’ll see often, I will be working to ensure a review of this storm response is undertaken to better service levels in future winter events, hold external contractors to account, and have improved local updates provided to our community. 

Thank you for your patience as the work continues. I’m grateful to all who have been out lending a hand, checking in on a neighbour, and to our first responders, transit operators and others who have been working non-stop since the storm to keep Toronto moving.

Stay warm and stay safe,