Toronto Offers Free Sidewalk Snow Clearing for Seniors, People with Disabilities

snow clearing
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With more snow on the horizon coupled with rising temperatures this week, Toronto residents should prepare for a messy few days.

To ensure that some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents — including seniors and those with disabilities — living in the core are safe, the City offers free sidewalk snow clearing services.

According to the City, high pedestrian volume sidewalks (sidewalks on arterial roads, transit routes, near school zones, and around accessibility locations) will be cleared when the snow has stopped and the accumulation has reached two centimetres or approximately one inch.

Low pedestrian volume sidewalks (sidewalks are sidewalks on local roads) will be cleared when the snow has stopped and the accumulation has reached eight centimetres or approximately three inches.

Generally, the City says it takes approximately thirteen hours to clear sidewalks after a snowfall. However, depending on the severity of the storm, sidewalks may have to be cleared more than once.

READ: 5 Places to Go Fat Biking in Muskoka This Winter

If you’re a senior or you live with a disability and you need your sidewalk cleared, all you have to do is download an application form and submit it along with the required documentation to City staff.

To be eligible, you must be the resident owner of one or two-family dwelling, or the tenant/occupant of a one or two-family dwelling. You must also be over the age of 65 and you’re required to show proof of your age. A driver’s licence, health card or passport may be submitted.

Additionally, if you’re under the age of 65 and have a physical disability, you are also eligible for the service. You must show proof of disability and you can submit your accessible parking permit or a doctor’s note.

The City says this service may take up to 72 hours after the snow has stopped and it does not include the clearing of snow from driveways or private approaches (private sidewalks) leading to a residence.

If your property is a corner lot, the City says the sidewalk on the flank will not necessarily be cleared at the same time as the sidewalk at the front, as this work is sometimes performed by different equipment.

While every attempt is made to clear all the residences on the service within 72 hours, the City says if a requested sidewalk has not been cleared after three days at the end of a snowfall, residents should call 311 and staff will place their address on a “missed list” and crews will be scheduled to attend and clear the sidewalk.