Toronto to spend $85M on snow clearing, salting this winter

25 Nov 2015 8:44 AM | Smart About Salt (Administrator)



The City of Toronto will spend $11 million on road salt alone this winter, officials said as they revealed the winter operations budget on Monday.

Overall, the city will spend $85 million this winter to keep streets and sidewalks clear of snow and to fix any issues that may arise.

"Weather is completely unpredictable and for that reason the city is going to be ready for whatever winter throws at us," said Coun. Jaye Robinson, who chairs the city's public works committee.

Robinson added that after last year's frigid winter, city officials are hoping this one will be warmer.

"We're hoping for mild temperatures," she said, on one of the coldest days of fall so far.

By the numbers

Some 1,500 workers will be tasked with clearing thousands of kilometres of roads and sidewalks this winter. Many are hoping for a gentler winter than last year's, when weeks of sub-zero temperatures wreaked havoc on the city's infrastructure.

Here's the data the city has to consider ahead of Dec. 22, the official start of winter:

  • 133: Centimetres of snow the city usually gets each winter, based on a 30-year average.
  • 10,200: Tonnes of salt used in one storm.
  • 1,102: Number of city-operated winter work vehicles, including plows and salt trucks.

Water main breaks are also common at this time of the year, though many are caused by aging pipes — some nearly 60 years old — as opposed to the wintry weather.

There were three major breaks on Monday morning alone, city staff said.

The city urged residents to insulate pipes, especially ones near outside walls or in colder areas like crawl spaces or garages. People should also drain the outdoor water supply, the city said.

The city plans to spend $146 million this year fixing water mains.  

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