The snow is hitting Toronto hard today. Up to 20 cm will blanket the GTA by tonight, so it's obvious that the roads are going to be an absolute mess today and in need of some serious salting and plowing. However, some Toronto residents may be waiting several hours before they can drive out onto their neighbourhood roads without worrying about snow. The City of Toronto has said it will take up to 16 hours after the snowfall has finished to plow and clear the local roads.
Environment Canada warned Torontonians today that driving conditions could be dangerous because of the heavy snowfall. "Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," says Environment Canada in their weather warning. "Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow."
So it makes sense that roads should be promptly cleared so that people can safely drive on the streets, especially since more collisions typically happen during snowy conditions in Toronto. However, it may take almost a day since it started snowing for some local roads in Toronto to be plowed and salted by the city.
Check out the tweet the City of Toronto posted below today showing how long it takes for the city to plow the streets of Toronto after the snowfall has ended.
Track #CityofTO snow plowing & salting operations at https://t.co/Heet4HtiZN & follow @TO_WinterOps. Residents are asked not to call 311 to ask when their street will be plowed. Local roads are plowed 14 to 16 hours after snowfall is over. pic.twitter.com/lTfPAiY7Oz— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) February 27, 2019
The information from Toronto city officials shows that local roads will not be plowed until 14 to 16 hours after the snowfall has ended. The streets to get the quickest plow treatment are expressways, but snow plowing still won't happen until two to three hours after snowfall has stopped.
A local has slammed these plow times, and user @KathrynLandon wrote in a tweet responding to the City of Toronto, "The problem is...(hello!) that people need to get to work BEFORE 16 hours after a snowstorm is deemed finished! Whatever happened to snow melters, anyway?"
Toronto city officials are also warning residents via Twitter to avoid non-essential travel today and recommending people take public transit instead of driving because the snow will "make for a messy afternoon commute".
The snow is forecasted to continue throughout today and end this evening. "Many areas will receive near 15 centimetres of snow by this evening," reads the weather alert from Environment Canada. "Areas near the west end of Lake Ontario may see well in excess of 20 cm."
Tomorrow, Thursday, February 28, is forecasted to be sunny, according to The Weather Network. However, if some roads aren't plowed before then, and it seems like that could be the case based on the plow times from the City of Toronto, roads could turn icy or slushy, leading to dangerous driving conditions.
To find out more about snow plowing times and which roads are a priority, you can visit the official website of the City of Toronto.