Winter News and Resources

The information below provides additional details on some of the items covered in our recent Ward 24 Newsletter sent out by mail. Additionally, you can view the electronic version in the 'Newsletters and Other Content' section under the 'Community' heading of this website, or by clicking the link here.

Snow clearing on roads and sidewalks

Snow season is upon us once again. As Transportation Services is responsible for snow clearing on our roads, here's a review of City operations during a storm:

  • Prior to the onset of the snow storm, salt brine is applied to bridges and hills to prevent snow from bonding to the pavement.

  • Once snowfall begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to expressways and main roads. Local roads and laneways are salted soon after.

  • Once snowfall reaches two centimetres, plowing begins on expressways. Main roads are plowed once snowfall reaches five centimetres. These snow clearing operations continue until complete.

  • Once the snow stops and if the accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will begin on planned routes.

  • Sidewalk clearing begins once the snow has stopped and accumulation has reached eight centimetres (November, December, March) or five centimetres (January, February). Sidewalks are usually cleared within 24-48 hours of a snowstorm.

  • Where feasible, driveway windrows will be opened mechanically, and are typically opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed.

  • Bus stop and transit shelters are generally plowed within 48 hours after a snowstorm.

In total, service can take up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped. If your sidewalk has not been cleared after 72 hours, please call 311 or e-mail 311@toronto.ca to log your address on their "missed list" for crews to visit.

What you can do to help:

  • Avoid parking on city streets so snow plows can move through more effectively.

  • Wait until the plows have gone by before completely shovelling your driveway.

  • Please do not push snow back onto the road after clearing snow from sidewalks and driveways.

Winter tips for vehicles:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.

  • Check windshield wipers and washer fluid levels.

  • Check tire wear and pressure.

  • Check coolant system levels, battery condition and terminals.

  • Drive slowly while engine components warm up.

  • Completely clear your vehicle of snow and ice, including the windows, mirrors, roof, trunk, hood and lights.

  • Consider using snow tires for extra traction.

How to avoid frozen pipes

As you may know, the pipes in your home can freeze up in cold weather. This can leave you with no water or cause pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. The steps below can help you prevent your pipes from freezing:

Know your pipes

Ensure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how it operates.

Insulate pipes

  • Wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most at risk, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage.

Eliminate drafts

  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in. Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.

Drain and shut the outdoor water supply

  • Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let the taps drain.

Contact a plumber

  • If your pipes are prone to freezing, there may be a problem you cannot see. Get professional help on ways you can decrease your risks inside and out.

When the weather drops well below zero:

Keep your pipes warm

  • Keep areas that contain indoor pipes above 8 Celsius, especially near the water meter. Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate and keep your garage door closed.

Turn on the tap

  • For your own peace of mind, you can choose to run a pencil-thin stream of water to ensure some movement of water in the pipes. However, you will be charged for the water used if you choose this step.

For more information, please visit toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

To submit a complaint or service request, please call 311 or e-mail 311@toronto.ca.

New Staircase to the East Don River Trail

Construction started: Late October 2015

Expected completion date: Spring 2016

The rehabilitation of the pedestrian bridge connecting Pineway Boulevard to Goldenwood Road over German Mills Creek and the East Don River Trail is underway. In addition, a new staircase is being constructed at the north end of Pineway Boulevard by the pedestrian bridge to provide safe access to the ravine.

Despite some setbacks along the way, I am happy to report that construction is now wellunderway. This project will ensure that the bridge meets current standards and residents have another safe way to access the beautiful Don River ravine.

What to expect during construction:

  • The pedestrian bridge will remain open during construction. The bridge work will be completed in two phases, with barriers set-up to section off the portion under repair.

  • The East Don River Trail will also remain open during the bridge repair work but will be closed during the construction of the new stairway. Signs will advise trail users in advance of any closure.

Work crews will provide protection for both bridge and trail users. Controls will be in place for tree protection and to prevent erosion along the slope and debris from falling into the river. Affected properties will receive a Construction Notice approximately two weeks before work begins with more information about the work. Signage will also be posted in advance of any work.

Construction on the Pineway bridge ravine access.

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2016 by Councillor David Shiner