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Let it Snow! Tackling Winter in Don Valley North

Nothing makes it feel like the holiday season quite like the first snowfall. Most of it may be melting already, but we’re in for a snowy winter. Below are a few reminders about the levels of service you can expect from the City on snow clearing, park maintenance, and more in the coming months. I’ve also thrown in a few tips for how to stay safe and have fun with your loved ones to make the most of our winter season here in Don Valley North.

Snow Clearing Every time it snows, my office gets calls asking when the streets will be plowed. The City has a handy chart that shows how much snow has to fall for them to start plowing our different types of roads, and how quickly they’ll be completed:

Remember, the City has over 5000 km of roads and they have to tackle the major routes first. Our local roads only get plowed when there’s over 8 cm of snow, and it takes 14-16 hours for every street to be cleared. A separate plow will come around about two hours after the first plow to clear snow from the base of driveways when needed. The City also has an incredibly handy PlowTO Interactive Map that tracks the real-time locations of plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and shows when streets were last plowed. This is a great place to start when you’re wondering how soon your street will be cleared after it snows. If your street still hasn’t been plowed after 16 hours have passed, or you notice a pattern of a certain section not being cleared, get in touch with my office. When it comes to sidewalks, the City clears snow in most areas once there is 2 cm of snow accumulation and the snow has stopped falling, or when it’s particularly icy. Sidewalk clearing takes about 13 hours to complete.

I know many folks help out by shovelling the sidewalk in front of their home when it snows, even in our neighbourhoods where the City provides sidewalk snow clearing. Remember to pile any snow on your own property or the boulevard and not push it onto the roads—it can be a real safety hazard. Seniors looking for help with shovelling their driveways and steps should try contacting Better Living Health and Community Services at 416-447-7244 ext. 541 to see what snow clearing assistance is available. This service has been a bit harder to find since the pandemic started, but there are still some options available. For our tenants in Don Valley North, remember that your landlord or property manager is responsible for clearing snow from the property (including walkways, steps, and landings) within 24 hours of snowfall. I know the winter season brings many challenges for tenants, so my team has put together a handy Winter Tenant Guide with helpful information and resources. Check it out online or contact my office to receive a hard copy in the mail. Getting Around Safely It gets a bit trickier to get around in the winter. Snow and ice create safety hazards whether you’re walking, cycling, taking transit or driving. Pedestrians, be extra careful and make sure you’re visible to drivers when crossing the street. It can help to make sure you have something reflective on when walking at night. Cyclists should avoid riding over snow and leave extra room for breaking. Drivers, make sure you are extra attentive to your surroundings and have prepped your car for winter. Check out the City’s helpful website with more Winter Safety Tips.

I also want to remind drivers that the North York Winter Maintenance Bylaw came into effect yesterday. Under this bylaw, you cannot park on-street in the former City of North York from 2:00 AM – 6:00 AM. This allows the City to completely clear our streets of snow. This bylaw will remain in effect until March 31, 2022, so make sure you park accordingly. Enjoying our Parks and Trails I know that last winter, many of us discovered the beautiful parks and trails we have here in Don Valley North. The City provides winter maintenance in more than 250 parks, and pathways are cleared within 24 – 48 hours of snowfall after 8 cm of snow accumulation. The City has another handy map that shows the parks and trails in our neighbourhoods that receive winter maintenance.

I also heard loud and clear from many of you that we need more winter maintenance on our park trails and pathways. This is especially true for our ravine trails, many of which don’t currently receive winter maintenance because they are considered Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs). My fellow Councillors and I have asked Parks staff to determine how to safely clear snow in ESAs and what funding they need to expand winter maintenance to more of our parks. I hope this helps even more of you get outside and enjoy our beautiful scenery this winter. Get Outside and Have Fun! To end off my winter tips, there are so many great activities to take advantage of right here in our neighbourhoods and across our city. We’re lucky to have some excellent skating rinks here in Don Valley North at Cummer Park, Oriole, and Pleasantview Community Centres, and outdoor rinks at Van Horne Park and Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Park. You can also apply to create a community rink to enjoy with your neighbours.

Some other fun activities to try out are checking out the toboggan hills in 26 parks across Toronto and making use of our golf courses in the winter by snowshoeing or even cross-country skiing. No matter how you like to enjoy the season, I hope you and your family stay safe and take some time to get outdoors this winter. As always, if you need assistance with anything above, do not hesitate to reach out to my office at councillor_carroll@toronto.ca or 416-338-2650.

 

Bayview Village Association COVID Vaccine Clinic The Bayview Village Association is sponsoring a North York General Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic on Saturday, December 11 from 10 AM - 2 PM at Forest Grove United Church (43 Forest Grove Drive). This COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is offering first doses, second doses, and booster does for those ages 12 and older as eligible. This is not a walk-in clinic, registration is required. The link to register for an appointment will be available 48 hours in advance of the clinic date. To receive the appointment booking link directly, the BVA encourages you to first register on their event page below:

Vaccines for Kids Ages 5-11 COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available for kids ages 5 to 11 (born in 2016 or earlier). Appointments cam be booked through the provincial booking system online or by phone:

  • Online: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

  • Phone: 1-833-943-3900

It is important that parents share information with their kids and answer their questions about vaccines. You can find helpful resources about vaccines for kids at the City's website below:

Vaccine Passports Proof of vaccination is now in effect for select non-essential settings in Ontario. If you need to print or download your proof of immunization, you can do so by visiting covid19.ontariohealth.ca or calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. For more information on the vaccine passport, visit the link below:


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