Public Space Grass Cutting in Toronto

The City of Toronto has largely contracted out grass cutting services to save taxpayers money. Photo credit: Richard Sunichura
The City of Toronto has largely contracted out grass cutting services to save taxpayers money. 

My office has received a number of complaints regarding the lack of grass cutting in parts of Ward 41, and throughout Toronto. Here’s what you need to know about grass cutting in Toronto.

The City of Toronto has largely contracted out grass cutting to private companies to save taxpayers money. Scarborough Transportation District’s grass cutting contract was re-tendered this year as the previous contract ended in 2013. The lowest bidder that met the City’s stated requirements was awarded the new contract, which runs to 2019.

Grass cutting hasn’t been taking place because the contractor that was awarded the work defaulted on its contractual obligations by failing to meet the City’s financial performance bond and insurance requirements. City staff are working to resolve this while also getting temporary solutions for this immediate problem.

Residents have also informed my office that grass cutting occurs sporadically in the Ward. Different City Divisions have different service levels when it comes to grass cutting.

Parks, Forestry and Recreation will cut up to 18 times per season, with weekly cuts in the spring, done by seasonal staff. Toronto Water (along watercourses) only cuts the grass 5 times per season while Transportation Services (boulevards and some connection walkways, like Milliken Recreational Trail) cuts the grass 6 times a season. Toronto Hydro, Hydro One and other organizations may have different schedules. As a result, one public area may receive grass cutting services while an adjacent green space has not, because different parties with different service standards are responsible for each area. I have written to city division heads to consider some level of co-ordination.

If you see overgrown grass in the community, call my office at (416) 392-1375 and my staff will help to resolve the problem.

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