Road salt shortage flavours Toronto deep freeze

As if temperatures in the -20 C range weren't enough, Toronto is struggling with a pressing shortage of road salt to clear ice-encrusted steps and sidewalks.

Stores sell out, salt swiped from one front porch

The Home Depot in the Junction was one of many stores that ran out of salt and ice melter on Monday. (Trevor Dunn/CBC)

In addition to temperatures in the - 20 C range, many in Toronto are dealing with a pressing shortage of road salt.

The CBC's Trevor Dunn was on the story of salt seekers and found most stores were sold out on Monday evening, leaving stairs and sidewalks encrusted in rock-hard ice. Some tried chipping the ice away, which proved to be tedious work in the bone-chilling cold.

The Home Depot store at Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West was one of many stores sold out of salt. The shortage prompted staff to erect a sign.

Matt Galloway, host of Metro Morning on CBC Radio, told the story of a neighbour who had salt swiped from her front porch. He ended his tweet: "It's come to this."

With little salt for sale, some began tweeting back at Dunn about salt alternatives, including: 

  • Non-clumping kitty litter.
  • Fireplace ashes.
  • Sand. posted a story about road salt alternatives recently. They include cheese brine and beet juice.

So Toronto is hoping the salt stocks are restored soon, or at least by Saturday when daytime highs are expected to hit 5 C.


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