Why are some streets left with more snow than others?

The sand and/or salt applied to the streets combined with high traffic volume produces bare pavement quickly. Streets that receive less vehicular traffic are more likely to retain some snow covering.


Why do ploughs push snow and block my driveway?

Snow must be ploughed to the side of the street during clearing. The Town understands that this unavoidable situation can be frustrating for residents and we cannot help this especially when we have large snowstorms. To ensure adequate road width, crews must plough as close to the curb as possible. Crews may also need to pass over a street more than once during a snowfall. During quick thaw situations, multiple passing ensures proper water drainage and helps us avoid flooding. At other times, snow is pushed back to prevent hardened snow that becomes impossible to move later.


Why do ploughs clear one street more than once before they get to my street?

Daytime snowfalls, snowstorms and windy conditions pose unique challenges. Priority streets may be ploughed more than once before we can get to secondary streets. There are times during a lengthy snowstorm when we must pull crews off the streets to allow them the legally required rest period. These situations are frustrating, but only occur a few times during most winter seasons. Some snowstorms last many hours or have initial freezing rain that turns into snow. In these conditions, a reploughing of priority streets may be required to maintain traffic safety. Reploughing may occur before road crews can move on to other secondary streets.


Why are the sides of streets that have “No Parking” cleared first?

Streets where there is “No Parking” permitted will be cleared first before the other side for 2 reasons: We will use Dufferin as an example: on the side of the street where parking is prohibited, the lane has no parked cars and therefore can be cleaned quickly and efficiently. Asking residents to remove their cars wastes precious time. Secondly, with the one side of Dufferin now cleared, it is wide enough for the snowblower and dump truck to drive side-by-side since the snow on parts of Dufferin are removed rather than blown on lawns.


Can you tell me exactly when my street will be ploughed? 

Under ideal circumstances, we would be able to predict fairly accurately when streets in various sections of the Town will be ploughed. We rarely see the ideal, and as weather conditions change we often must alter our snow-fighting strategy in the midst of the snow removal operations in order to control drifting snow, ice or other special problems. It would be unrealistic to say that we can predict when your street will be cleared.


Why don't the trucks plough and salt on the way to their routes? 

Each snowplough has an assigned route. If the trucks spread salt on their way to their destination, then they wouldn't have enough to spread along their own route. Ploughing along the way would mean it would be just that much longer until the truck reached its assigned route.


Why don't you use the big trucks to plough out cul-de-sacs? 

The varying sizes of cul-de-sacs present plowing problems ranging from difficult to impossible. A plough can easily cut a 12-foot path through the snow on a straight road surface, but trying to plough and turn the blade in a small circle in a cul-de-sac is very difficult. Therefore, end loaders with blades and buckets are used to clear most cul-de-sacs more efficiently than the large trucks. However, there are not enough end loader units for each route. The units are shared by adjoining routes as necessary. This will result in longer response times on cul-de-sacs.


Why do you sometimes salt instead of plough, or plough instead of salt?

Different types of storms require the use of different snow-fighting techniques. The decision whether to salt or plough depends upon the expected weather conditions. For example, if the temperature falls below -20° Celsius and is not expected to rise, salt will not be effective. If the sun is shining and the temperature is warmer than -20° Celsius and expected to remain steady or to rise, then salt would be more effective. The decision whether to plough or salt is made with great care and based on the latest weather information. Ploughing under the wrong conditions can create a polished street surface, resulting in dangerous glare ice. Snow fighting is an art, and the decisions made by an experienced crew and supervisory personnel are critical.