People in Toronto worried for their boots as city starts flooding sidewalks with salt
Toronto is getting real salty, and no, I'm not talking about residents' tendency to complain constantly about everything.
No, I am referring to literal sodium chloride, the crystalline mineral that will crunch beneath your boots, stain the entry to your home and place of work, mess up the environment, and cause discomfort for pet paws for the next six months.
Road and sidewalk salt season has begun, and Toronto is already over it.
The city got its first blast of winter weather this week, and with it, property owners, businesses, and city services got to work right away. And just like in past years, people are out there spreading salt with zero regard for your footwear, pets, the environment or the basic principle of even dispersal.
And it's not just private residences and businesses going heavy on the salt. City services also love to get in on the fun.
*very light snow falls in Toronto and will probably melt in 10 minutes*— Richard Sharp (@tyronemund) November 15, 2022
*City of Toronto's salt truck operators, licking their dry lips* pic.twitter.com/NsgHVoJ2MM
Nothing says the dark season like the blooming fractal patterns of evaporated salty slush on a subway floor, and the TTC is doing everything it can to give you the full winter experience, liberally applying salt to the exterior of stations like Sheppard-Yonge.
In a city perpetually lacking the budget for the upkeep of basic public amenities like garbage bins, drinking fountains, and park washrooms, we sure seem to have plenty of cash to spare on towering mountains of road salt.
The only thing Toronto doesn't skimp on is road salt— Brendan Ross (@brendanalexross) November 16, 2022
Though not everyone is going to agree on salt use, the city has at least figured out how to disperse the stuff on sidewalks evenly.
Yeah and as for the city, I thought we downtown Toronto "taxpayers" (residents) were promised sidewalk plowing like they've always done in the burbs. Instead, they seem to have salted zealously today? #SaltIsDeath pic.twitter.com/ktUuLpIGkv— Todger Strunk (@WaxEBuildup) November 17, 2022
Salt is a proven method of eliminating snow and ice by lowering its melting point, but it only works up to a certain point, as extreme temperatures can render salt useless.
It also has serious environmental ramifications, melting into storm drains and causing untold damage to life in waterways and lakes.
One alternative used in other cold-weather cities is sand, which provides traction in place of melting, and leaves snow removal to heavier equipment like plows and melters.
Sand over salt this winter, let’s figure it out Toronto!— Josh (@joshhweinstein) November 16, 2022
So if you're reading this and preparing to go dump an entire bag of salt on a small patch of sidewalk in a phoned-in effort to avoid fines, please, think of the pet paws, aquatic creatures, and sneakerheads affected.
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