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Toronto's snow removal cost exceeds budgeted amount: report

Toronto has endured 54 days of snow since the beginning of December, and it’s depleting the city’s snow removal budget faster than expected.

CityNews meteorologist Natasha Ramsahai said the city has gotten 96.6 centimetres of snow in those 54 days, which is already nearing last year’s average  snowfall amount of 109 centimetres.

According to a published report, Toronto’s snow removal costs may already be running over the budgeted amount of just over $80 million.

Public works committee chair Denzil Minnan-Wong told the Globe and Mail that exceeding the snow removal budget can’t be helped given the unprecedented December ice storm that left hundreds of thousands of households without power and cost the city $106 million in cleanup and recovery costs.

Minnan-Wong told CityNews in an email on Tuesday that the snow removal budget for this year is $85 million. Usually one-quarter of that or about $21 million is spent in January and February but that $40 million has already been spent this year to remove snow. He declined further comment.

The cost overrun is affecting other municipalities as well. The Globe said dozens of cities, including Ottawa, have blown through their snow removal budgets.

The snowy days aren’t behind Toronto and the GTA either. Another deep freeze is expected next week.