Do you need to shovel your sidewalk? Finally, there's a map.

Some people living in the older parts of the City of Toronto are required to shovel their sidewalks when it snows, because the city does not plow them. However, until now there has only been a very vague map (PDF) of what areas receive city plowing. Even though the City actually plowed some streets within this area, there was no way for an individual property owner to know if their sidewalk is cleared by the city, or if they have to shovel their sidewalk themselves when it snowed.

At a meeting with City of Toronto Transportation Services in the fall, Walk Toronto persuaded city staff to prepare and publish a detailed map showing which sidewalks are plowed by the city, and which ones need to be shoveled by property owners.

Walk Toronto has now received this map, and is publishing it so that people living in the older parts of the city can know if the city is supposed to plow their sidewalks, or if they need to shovel them themselves.

Note a few limitations:

  • The map only covers the Toronto East York District. Each district apparently does their own maps. It's likely some streets not plowed by the city are off the map. Walk Toronto has requested a more comprehensive map for next year.
  • The map is not accessible to the visually impaired (who could use it to know which sidewalks are more likely to be safe). Again, Walk Toronto pushing for a fully accessible map in the future.
  • Even if your sidewalk is plowed by the city, the city ONLY plows local sidewalks after 8 cm of snowfall. So for lighter snowfalls, property owners on local roads still need to shovel themselves. (The city now plows arterial sidewalks after 2 cm of snow).
  • The City only promises to plow local sidewalks within 48 hours (PDF). So it's still very helpful to people with mobility issues if property owners clear the snow themselves earlier.

See the map of city sidewalk plowing in Toronto East York District (PDF)

Dotted lines represent sidewalk plowing on one side only.

Note that Walk Toronto's ultimate goal is to have the city plow all sidewalks, because property owner shoveling is inconsistent.

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