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Can Toronto snow removal fund outlast winter's final shots?

Emily Vukovic
Video Journalist

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 2:39 PM - Is that it? Are we done? That’s what everyone wants to know.

With our Spring Forecast being released last week, everyone’s hopes are with warming temperatures and sunshine, but is that the case? It is, for the most part.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2018 for an in depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more.

“It is increasingly evident that the back of winter has been broken. Winter will still have some parting shots and it is not clear sailing straight through spring, but I do not expect that we will see any severe or persistent cold” says The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.

Reading between the lines, that means we could still see a snowstorm or two, but it’s not looking like the city will have to go over budget in terms of snow removal and salting.

Here’s a look at the last 3 years in terms of the city’s budget. The costs are not broken down by salt, plow, and removal, but all come from the same pot:

Credit: City spokesperson Cheryl San Juan

The City has 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows, and 200 salt trucks ready to tackle the winter season and it’s rare that the city goes over budget. When it comes in under budget, the money goes back into the City coffers. The last time Toronto blasted through its entire winter maintenance reserve fund was during the ice storm that crippled the city just days before Christmas 2013.

A Weather Network article from 2014 explains:

A report to Toronto council on Wednesday says the combination of last month's ice storm and the significant flooding in July 2013 will cost the city in excess of $171 million.  According to The Canadian Press, the report suggests council request that the municipal affairs minister declare Toronto a "disaster area'' in an effort to get relief due to the estimated $106 million in costs from last month's ice storm.

Must see: Huge panes of falling ice in downtown Toronto

As of March 5th, we’ve come in under budget this year - but winter isn’t over until it is.

Gillham says, “early-and-mid-March will bring periods of more typical March weather with the potential for snow at times, but 'seasonal [temperatures]' steadily climb through the month and there are increasing signs of another period of well above-seasonal temperatures later in the month.”

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