Toronto ice storm cleanup cost estimated at $75 million

Toronto city officials estimate the cost of the cleanup after the recent ice storm will be about $75 million.

It’s expected to cost about $25 million to deal with the thousands of tree limbs brought down after the storm, and another $50 million to restore the canopy.

"We are relieved to be moving from an emergency phase to one of restoring people's ability to move around their neighbourhoods," said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

"As crews are released from assisting with hydro, they are being reassigned to making sure that roads are open and debris is collected."

The cleanup is expected to take between six and eight weeks, with 600 city staff and contractors working to clear the debris.

"The tremendous work done by everyone to date speaks to the calibre of people who make up this great city,” said Mayor Rob Ford.

“We will pull together again as we move into this next phase of cleanup operations and help Toronto residents return to their everyday lives.”

City crews will haul away all tree branches from front yards and roadsides, including those that have fallen on private property if they’re less than 15 centimetres in diameter and have been placed at the curb.

Residents are asked to stack limbs and branches at the front edge of their properties.

The city won’t collect limbs more than 15 centimetres in diameter from private trees that have fallen on private property. Property owners should contact a private contractor for this work.

Residents in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area in Etobicoke will have their debris disposed of by city crews and private contractors.

Meanwhile, Toronto Hydro says all the power has been restored after the ice storm. Crews are now working on homes that need repairs done and focusing on those that have just partial power.

The brutal ice storm hit southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada last month, downing thousands of tree limbs and taking out power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without power in cold winter temperatures.

At the height of the outage, about 300,000 customers in the Greater Toronto area were without power. Some were in the dark for as long as nine days.

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