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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Some Toronto sidewalks, walkways still not clear after snowstorm

Three days after a massive winter storm blanketed Toronto, dumping more than 20 centimetres of snow on the city, some municipal sidewalks have yet to be cleared.

Torontonians are reporting on social media that in some areas, city plows are pushing snow from roads onto previously cleared pedestrian walkways, rendering them inaccessible.

Multiple posts on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook from Sunday and Monday appear to show high-traffic sidewalks still covered with snow, as some residents question the city’s storm cleanup operations.

A sidewalk near North York General Hospital appeared impassable Monday morning due to uncleared snow, according to a Facebook user who posted photos of the scene. Another person on Reddit shared photos of the sidewalks near the TTC’s Kennedy Station, which appeared blocked by snow as of Sunday.

“As a wheelchair user, I seldom travel anywhere without Wheel-Trans in the winter because of exactly this,” said Reddit user @michaelsp9, commenting on the Reddit post. “Bus stops aren’t reliably cleared, sidewalks aren’t cleared, curb cuts aren’t cleared.”

Meanwhile, other residents posted images of sidewalks that were previously cleared but are now blocked with snow pushed over from the street by city plows.

Resident Mike Willekes shared photos on Twitter of a residential sidewalk in Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood buried under dirt-covered snow, explaining that a plow “went rocketing down the street and completely blocked the sidewalks up and down” the road.

“By Sunday afternoon, residents and maybe another plow had pushed everything back onto the road,” he told the Toronto Star in an interview, describing it as a “really silly activity” by the city.

“So, net result was nothing changed and everyone got upset,” he added.

The City of Toronto did not immediately respond to the Star’s request for comment, including questions about why city plows are pushing snow from roads onto cleared sidewalks.

On Monday morning, the city tweeted that it was now accepting 311 requests for streets, sidewalks, transit stops or bike lanes that require plowing. Some service requests for snow cleanup had been temporarily suspended over the weekend, prompting some complaints from residents online.

On Friday, the city declared a “major snowstorm condition,” meaning parking was prohibited on designated snow routes for 72 hours. Drivers who fail to comply could be fined up to $200.


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