Ontario couple says complaint prompted town to plow their sidewalk for 1st time in 10 years

An Ontario couple said they were shocked to find a portion of the sidewalk in their neighbourhood suddenly cleared of snow for the first time in nearly a decade after making a complaint to their elected officials on social media.

Michael and Jodi Bruno told CTV News Toronto that a patch of sidewalk on Old Colony and Cobblestone Drives in Whitby, Ont. accumulates a foot-high ridge of snow formed by plows after every significant snowfall.

The couple said the sidewalk is used by much of the community and that they’ve asked the city to clear it in the past.

“For me, it’s more about the community and keeping residents safe, that they can get to their local mailbox, or students or other residents can get to the transit to walk and be safe,” Michael told CTV News Toronto Friday.

While the Town of Whitby said the Bruno’s neighbourhood is part of their regular plowing routine, the couple said the spot hasn’t been cleared since they moved to the area 10 years ago.

Last week turned out to be the last straw, the couple said.

“My two daughters and I and my dogs were trying to cross over,” Jodi said, pointing to the snow ridge. “And this walkway, it wasn’t plowed, so I began to walk along the street, my children began to climb up over and so did my dogs. I tried, and I fell.”

Michael then shovelled the spot covering the sidewalk and took before and after photos. On Monday, he emailed them to the town and posted them on social media. Writing, “Who do I send the bill to?”

“They can send me a gift card to Tim’s or Starbucks or even just a written thank you from the town would be nice,” Michael said. 

On Friday, CTV News Toronto reached out to the Town of Whitby, its Mayor and regional councillors.

The town confirms soon after those requests, crews were deployed to the spot and cleaned the sidewalk.

“As far as I know it’s never been cleared in all the years that I’ve lived here,” Michael said.

“They came by and cleaned the path to double the size I cleaned it and salted it,” he continued. 

The town said it encourages residents to use its new winter reporting form for issues that need to be looked into quickly and extended its thanks to Michael for submitting his photos. 

“It’s just shocking it had to get this far for them to do the proper maintenance of snow removal that they should be doing,” Michael said.

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