Issues with Winter Parking

 February 2, 2008.Snowy Symington Ave.: February 2, 2008.

Today we received an email from a Symington Ave. resident who is looking for a solution to on-street parking problems caused by snow piles on the road. Please read the email below, as well as the response from Councillor Giambrone's office with some helpful suggestions and links.

What are your own experiences and opinions on snow removal issues in our neighbourhood? Feel free to discuss it here.


I am a resident of the South Junction Triangle and Ward 18, and I'm looking for a workable solution to the winter parking problem in the area. I park on the street, primarily on Symington Avenue, and during the winter months snow piles (a) cause logistical issues (it is difficult to enter and exit spots, and vehicles are damaged by large ice banks); and (b) run a safety risk (vehicles are parked far from the curb making it difficult to drive down narrow streets). In fact, a corner of my front bumper has been torn off as a result of parking between large piles of ice & snow on my street.

In addition to any solutions you can offer, I am interested in the following:

  1. Is it possible to periodically change the side of the street for permit parking, and to have a snow cleaner remove snow and ice from the parking areas?
  2. Will individuals actually be ticketed for shoveling snow onto the road and in between cars (understanding that the sidewalk is considered "public property")?
  3. Can an awareness campaign be started, including flyers and other promotional material, and distributed throughout the area to increase awareness about where snow should go? Both from a legal and practical perspective (i.e. sidewalks can legally be shoveled into the street but it makes parking and driving very difficult).

In particular, I would like to understand why ticketing is not more prominent for those homes that repeatedly shovel their personal property (e.g. private driveways and walk ways) into the road and in between cars. Can this not be better enforced?

Thanks in advance for your time.

(Name deleted)
Home Owner – Symington Avenue

The following response from Amanda O'Brien at Councillor Adam Giambrone's office came shortly after:

Thank you for your email regarding snow removal. Councillor Giambrone has read it and asked me to reply.

Unfortunately, on-street parking is problematic on narrower streets in winter time. There is not a lot of space to store snow that is ploughed from the roadway. Even if the cars were to move to one side of the street so that both sides could be ploughed, there is no where to move the additional snow. Also, because Transportation gives priority snow removal to main roads, it isn't financially feasible to do secondary streets twice (once on each side).

I am pleased to let you know that there is a bylaw in effect against shoveling or ploughing snow onto sidewalks and roadways, though. The City of Toronto has set up a dedicated line, 416-392-7768, to handle complaints about residents doing this. It is completely complaints-driven, calls are followed up on by staff inspectors and residents can be fined for doing this.

Information regarding snow removal can be found on the City of Toronto website,, as well as Councillor Giambrone's website at Also, we included information about snow removal in Councillor Giambrone's December newsletter that was delivered to constituent homes.

If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again at or 416-392-7012.

Amanda O'Brien

Office of Councillor Giambrone
Ward 18 - Davenport
(t) 416-392-7012
(f) 416-392-7957


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Snow cleared on Symington

I noticed this morning that at least some of the snow on the west side of Symington Ave. was cleared out of the parking spaces. Not sure when they did it, but it would have been sometime on Wednesday or Thursday.

some would abuse

If parking rates for those with garages were the same as for those without there would be less lane clearing as people would just park on the street until the snow thaws. THis would be a drag for those that do not have lane access at all.

I wonder how the thousands of other people access their lanes as I know they do.

The snow removal bylaw does

The snow removal bylaw does not prohibit people from putting snow from sidewalks onto the street. There are some people in our area who build giant hills that basically take up a parking space. One other issue is people with garages who also get street parking passes so they don't have to shovel out from the back. One small house across the street from me has 5 (possibly 6) cars with passes associated with it. I have no pad or alley at all so I must park on the street. In the winter I self centeredly feel that people like me should have some kind of guaranteed parking near or in front of my house (which I end of clearing anyway) and that those with garages should be forced to use them.

"§ 719-5. Moving snow onto streets.
No property owner, occupant or other person shall move or permit to be moved snow or
ice from private property onto a highway, sidewalk or lane way."

Laneway Garage access limited after many snowfalls

I also live in the SJT area with laneway access and a garage, and love the fact that I can use it – most of the time. The issue, however, is that with a certain amount of fresh snow or simply snow build up, I can’t get back there! Unlike for those who normally utilize street parking, the laneways are not ploughed like the streets are – and if it stays cold, it just accumulates. So my issue is – even if I shovel my back area – if my neighbour doesn’t do it fully, I can’t swing my car into a parallel parking position because my tires get stuck in the ruts. I guess I could get snow tires – but the best price I could find is $800 installed, and frankly, I don’t have the extra money for it. So, what are my options – if I can’t CONSISTENTLY get my car back there and have it parked properly (and believe me, I’m not a bad driver or “parker” – I’ve tried numerous times)?

Well, I have to park on the street – and face the parking police. Rather than getting tickets, I would get the parking permit to park out front, but if you have a garage – you can’t pay the regular rate for street parking. Instead, the rate for a resident that has a garage is FOUR times the amount – irrespective of your ability to access said garage. So, my point is this: if I cannot get to my laneway / garage parking because the city is unable to clear that laneway, then the parking permit for parking out front should be the same price – not the highway (read: laneway) robbery tax-grab rate of 400% more. Please – point out if I am wrong in thinking this, or if anyone has better ideas as to solutions – thanks.

Laneway access blocked

This is to comment on the above post. I am facing the same problem as you are, and I suspect many others are as well. Last night, I hoped to avoid getting stuck in the laneway so I parked overnight on the street knowing that I would risk getting a ticket. I did in fact get a $30 ticket for parking without a permit which I plan to fight. My point is, in addition to those points made in the previous post, I pay property taxes which are based on the fact that I have a garage. If I cannot use my garage consistently for a couple of months out of every year, than I should be given the same rate to buy the street parking permit as someone without a garage, or else I am being taxed twice, effectively... I would also be eager to hear from anyone who has come up against this problem and what their solution has been. I suppose residents who have garages can get together and hire a snow removal contractor.