Councillor Josh Matlow

Improving snow removal services for Toronto’s residents

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For ease of reading, I have copied the text of my letter below:


February 26th, 2013



Stephen Buckley

Transportation Services

City Hall, 24 E

100 Queen Street West

Toronto, ON M5H 2N2



Dear Mr. Buckley,


I look forward to meeting with you this Thursday regarding how Toronto can improve its snow removal service. After the most recent winter storm, I heard from many residents about several concerns they had regarding the City of Toronto’s response to snow clearing. As it is inevitable that Toronto will experience another large storm, I hope that the City can avoid the same issues repeating themselves. Many residents were very frustrated by the concerns they raised and expect the City of Toronto to provide quality service to every neighbourhood.


I have summarized below some of the concerns both expressed to me by residents, and what I have witnessed firsthand, in trying to have complaints addressed. These issues include significant safety concerns which need to be addressed to allow residents to carry on their day-to-day activities.


  • Service levels across the city are inequitable.
  • Snow is currently pushed to the side of residential streets, rather than removed.
  • Permit parking spaces were lost to snow banks and windrows; vehicles parked on the street were plowed in; and parking lanes on major streets were not cleared, creating traffic bottlenecks.
  • Windrows were blocking in driveways and sidewalk access points at intersections.
  • Snow banks were piled back onto the sidewalks after residents cleared them.
  • Public laneways were salted, but not cleared of snow.
  • TTC passengers were unable to access bus stops.
  • Piles of snow and ice across sidewalks and intersections became serious impediments and safety concerns for seniors, people with limited mobility, and parents with strollers.
  • 311’s estimates of response times were not accurate, resulting in multiple calls by residents to have their street cleared.
  • By-law enforcement had backlogs in addressing snow clearing complaints on private property.
  • Small businesses were adversely affected by a lack of main street parking available due to uncleared snow piles.
  • Steep hills, including those on Yonge Street and Avenue Road, where drivers struggle to gain traction, were not sufficiently cleared.


I look forward to reviewing each of these items with you, not only to discuss them but to take real action to resolve them.





Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul’s


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