Winter in Toronto
See below for most recent update.

Just a blurb to let you know there probably won't be too many updates throughout the winter on this website. This isn't due to the cold weather but due to the City of Toronto's snow removal policies.

Yes, we all realize that the streets must be plowed for vehicles but is it really necessary to plow it all up on the sidewalks and ramps? Every year we become completely shut in for periods of time due to this. Our mobility devices just won't make it through those mounds of snow dumped on all the ramps and sidewalks.

Knowing this was coming yet again, this past summer I wrote the Mayor of Toronto (Mel Lastman) concerning this but much to my dismay the letter never made it past his administrative assistant who completely ignored the issue and only responded to a question of lesser importance. When I wrote back, I received the same response. Nothing about this issue at all.

It's January 2003 now and already with the unusual amount of snow we have gotten this year I've encountered sidewalks I can't get up and ramps I can't get over due to snow plowed on them. I must say though, we are very lucky where I live as the property management (Greenwin Property Management) takes the disabled into consideration and during the last large snowfall they took their plow off their property and onto the City of Toronto's streets to plow us a path so we could get to the grocery store at least. Thank goodness for them. It seems the city doesn't care if we do our banking, get to work, get our groceries, etc.

Yes, there are stores out there that are grocery online stores and will deliver but they require a minimum order of $60 or so and let's face it, if you are on a disability pension you can't afford to be shopping online for your groceries. And if all you need is milk, bread and a few staples who can afford to fork out $60.00 worth of unwanted or not needed groceries? And yes, there is online banking as well but you can't withdraw money that way!

Maybe His Honour Mayor Mel Lastman needs to be shut in and unable to do what the rest of the population can do and see how it feels to be helpless and shut in, in need of money and or groceries or get to work (not everyone uses wheeltrans and at any given time it isn't reliable either), but fully aware that the cars can get by freely.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 4TH, 2005

Another winter is upon us and again, shut in by the snow with no access to get groceries or do our banking at times, I even had to cancel a doctor appt. thanks to the fact that the City of Toronto doesn't clear off Sherbourne St. Nor do they clear it off the sidewalk on the north side of Wellesley from Bleecker to Sherbourne Sts. To pick up where I left off, we have a new Mayor now and guess what? Same old, same old. I've emailed his offices as well and no response. I guess it's not worth his effort either. Oh, I realize he doesn't answer his own email, his assistants do, however no one answers about these issues. Personally I'd like to give him a wheelchair or scooter and see how he does. Make him take the wheeltrans or TTC bus and subway as a disabled person and make him try to get through the snow in either. O.k. I'm positive he would never take the challenge but it would be nice to see whomever is in office to give it a shot.

I took a few shots this year after trying to get down Jarvis St. from Bloor. What a joke.

Jarvis St. @ Charles St. just below Bloor looking south.      another shot of the same corner
This is at Charles St. just south of Bloor on Jarvis. As you can see the City plowed the snow onto the ramps as usual. There is a small pathway there at the ramp from people on foot however this is most certainly not a wide enough pathway for anyone in a wheelchair or scooter.

another shot of the same
You can see a bit better here how this is impossible to navigate. Just a point of interest, approx. a block and a half down the street on Jarvis @ Wellesley is the Social Services Offices. A lot of disabled people are on social services, good luck if you need to get to their offices in the winter. If you are a senior and on Canada Pension plan only and if you are disabled as well, this is where you have to go for things like getting eyeglasses, or your wheelchair or scooter fixed, etc. Anything not covered under old age pension has to go through social services to get it done if you are not able to pay for it yourself. I had an elderly lady tell me one time when she needed something she had an appt. there, a couple of days prior there was a snowstorm and she couldn't navigate the area to get to her appt. She called the offices at Social Services to let them know and to cancel her appt. and was told off for it. She was told that it couldn't be that important if she wasn't coming!!

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