Some residents still waiting for streets to be plowed more than 48 hours after Monday's storm
Published Wednesday, January 19, 2022 1:38PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 19, 2022 4:09PM EST
Mayor John Tory is acknowledging that there are some residential streets which still haven’t been plowed more than 48 hours after Monday’s storm but he says that the city is “sparing no effort and no expense” to get the job done.
Tory made the comment to reporters at city hall on Wednesday morning as he discussed the ongoing cleanup efforts still underway across Toronto.
He said that city staff are aware that an unspecified number of streets remain unplowed but are asking residents to hold off on calling 311 until tomorrow to allow crews time to finish their work.
Typically, the city says that that most residential streets can be cleared within 24 to 36 hours following a major storm, though it notes that it sometimes takes crews longer to get to cul-de-sacs and dead-end roads.
“Our staff are doing a great job. They're working 24 hours a day, they have hundreds of people and trucks and all kinds of equipment doing this so we're going to get this job done and I can just tell the woman who's written from Scarborough and others that the job will get done and it is getting done,” Tory said in response to a question about once specific street which has yet to be cleared. “We are making very solid progress given this is a storm that happened you know, 48 hours ago, and we have been hard at it since and will continue to be.”
A total of 55 centimetres of snow fell in Toronto throughout the day on Monday, resulting in significant interruptions to transit service and forcing schools to delay the return of in-person learning by two days.
The city also took the relatively unusual step of declaring a “major snow condition” so its crews can remove snow from some arteries, a process which is expected to begin this afternoon and last for several days.
Tory’s comments on Wednesday come after CTV News Toronto was contacted by residents on Holton Road in Scarborough who were frustrated with the fact that their street hadn’t yet been cleared, leaving them stranded.
A plow, however, was seen plowing that road on Wednesday morning.
Speaking with reporters, Tory said that with any snow clearing effort as significant as the one underway this week there is “going to be somebody who gets done earlier than somebody else.”
But he said that he “utterly rejects” any suggestion that some neighbourhoods are being prioritized over others.
“I can tell you that some of the observations and registrations of request for help that I've received in my office have come from some of the, you know, more comfortable neighborhoods in the city and those are just streets that happened to have been missed. That can happen when you're dealing with thousands of kilometres of road,” he said. “So we are going to keep at this.”
At one point during Monday’s storm more than 500 TTC buses became stuck in the snow but Tory said on Wednesday that all but 80 of those vehicles have since been freed.