Recovery of our community from the December 2013 winter ice storm is going to take time – an estimated two to three years for full recovery.
We are managing two sets of circumstances as a result of the storm:
- Ice and snow accumulation on City streets and sidewalks; and
- Damaged and downed City trees on boulevards and in our parks, facilities and water channels – e.g. streams and ditches.
Please check back for weekly updates as the City works through the recovery process, and read our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
Roads and Sidewalk Maintenance Update
The City of Markham experienced unprecedented circumstances during the December 2013 ice storm. Since the storm, fallen trees, together with snow and ice accumulation and extreme cold for several days, have made ice removal from roads and sidewalks very challenging. At this time, snowplows cannot remove ice from roads and sidewalks, and regular salt and sand treatments are having little effect. These conditions are not expected to improve substantially until daytime temperatures remain above freezing, with sunshine.
Urban Tree Canopy Recovery Plan
Markham is undertaking the clean up and restoration of damaged City trees in a planned manner. The City’s urban tree canopy is critical to the quality of life in our community, and contributes to Markham’s social, environmental and economic value.
Phase One: Clean up and debris removal -- January to April
The City currently has 16 ground crews continuing to collect, chip and dispose of tree debris. Increasing accumulations of snow on municipal boulevards is expected to slow the remaining tree debris cleanup efforts.
Progress through the neighbourhoods, as identified by the zones on the map, will be dependent upon volume of debris and effort required to collect the tree debris, effort required to collect the debris and increasing build up of snowfall and snow banks on municipal boulevards, which may make access to the remaining roadside debris difficult. Check the Street Guide to identify the zone in which you live.
Forestry crews will begin removals/cleanup of damaged trees in our parks, facilities and watercourses (e.g. streams and sewers) immediately following completion of the City wide road cleanup efforts. The anticipated completion date of park, facility and watercourse cleanup is April 30.
Phase Two: Damaged Tree and Stump Removals – March to December
Completion of tree removals for severely damaged trees will begin upon completion of Citywide road cleanup efforts. The anticipated completion date of tree removals is April 30.
Removal of tree stumps will start at the beginning of April and continue throughout the remainder of 2014. The anticipated completion date of stump removals is December 31, 2014.
Phase Three: Tree Planting Program - fall 2014 to fall 2016
Replacement tree planting will begin this fall. We expect to plant about 500 trees by the end of 2014.
Due to the very limited time available for tree planting (spring and fall of each year), availability of replacement trees and contracted services for planting, we anticipate completion of all replanting by the fall of 2016.
The City looks forward to working with it residents on the implementation of the Urban Forest Recovery Plan.
Damaged Trees on Private Property
Markham’s Tree Preservation Bylaw regulates the destruction or injury of trees to preserve significant trees on all properties within the City and to sustain Markham’s urban forest.
Property owners must apply for a permit before injuring or destroying any tree in Markham with a trunk diameter of 20 cm (about 8 inches) or more, measured at 1.37 metres (about 54 inches) above the ground at the base of the tree.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about tree debris removal.
View photos of the ice storm and recovery efforts on our Facebook page.
If you have property damage due to the storm/fallen tree debris, you should contact your insurance company directly. You can also contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada for information at www.ibc.ca/en/ or Tel: 416-362-9528, Toll-free: 1-800-387-2880 (Ontario only). Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.