City apologizes for homeowner's giant snowbank

The Ciyt of Toronto has apologized and says it will clean up a metre-high snowbank that its crews dumped into a homeowner's driveway.

Snowbank saga

10 years ago
Duration 2:42
A Toronto homeowner can't get out of his driveway.

The City of Toronto has apologized to a homeowner and says it will clean up the icy mess its snow removal crews left in his driveway.

Since last week's snowstorm Julian Henze, who lives near Christie Street and Dupont Avenue, has been trying to clear his driveway.  But whenever he does city plows just fill it back in.

Faced with an icy, hard, metre-high snowbank at the end of the drive Henze was running out of patience on Wednesday afternoon when he spoke to CBC News.

"The people who were doing the road clean up, dumped all their snow in front of our driveway and it just got really icy soon after that — and we couldn't move it ourselves," he said.

As a one-man protest Henze decided to post a sign, asking the  'Bobcat guys' to clear the snow away, hoping that would attract some action.  That was four days ago,

He's called the city, written emails, even called the mayor's office.  No luck.

Henze even asked sidewalk plow operators to help break down the ice mountain.  No luck.

"They can't move the snow themselves because they don't have the equipment or the contract," he said.

The city's manager of road operations said he was "surprised" to hear about the problem, "but we certainly will look into it."

Hector Moreno says the city clears about 270,000 driveways "unfortunately the program is only extended to the areas of Etobicoke , North York and Scarborough," he said. "And a bit of an area of Toronto and East York." 

Henze doesn't live in the right area.

In Henze's case, Moreno admitted it was completely the city's fault.  After investigating he said city plows cleaning a nearby crosswalk and laneway were responsible for dumping the snow.

On Wednesday afternoon Moreno visited Henze, apologized and promised to get the driveway cleared.

It's not an uncommon problem after a snowstorm — though usually not as big a problem.

Toronto residents are advised they can call 311 for help.  But the calls are  prioritized for the elderly and disabled.

The city has another suggestion.

"For the most part for the downtown area, we'd ask individuals to contact their neighbour to get some assistance," said Moreno.