Catch up on keeping catch basins clear of debris

A litter of leaves covers the ground in High Park.  Photo credit:  Benson Kua via Wikipedia Commons.
A litter of leaves covers the ground in High Park. Photo credit: Benson Kua via Wikipedia Commons.

Catch basins are an integral part of Toronto’s storm water management system. In our area, these grates along the side of the road carry rain water and melting snow and ice away from our homes and directly into local rivers and streams, thus reducing the risk of flooding to our properties. This is why it is important that we all do our part to keep catch basins clear of debris.

Now that autumn is upon us, the leaves are changing colour from green to magnificent shades of red, yellow and orange. As we all know, this brilliant display of colour is temporary because the leaves eventually fall from the trees to the ground. This creates a problem because the leaves can block the catch basins that are so important to preventing flooding in our communities. But there is something you can do to help solve this problem!

Please take the time to clear catch basins in front of your property from debris such as fallen leaves. Also clear your window wells and possible catch basins on your property as well. If you have a catch basin on your property. City waste management crews will collect leaves on garbage collection days until December. For more information, go to

In the winter months, the city’s snow clearing efforts result in snow covering catch basins after very heavy snowfall. Clearing catch basins of snow and ice is also important during the colder months to prevent flooding in the spring when melting occurs. Chin demonstrates how to mitigate this problem in this YouTube video:


City of Toronto Photography Contest Deadline Extended

Waterfalls and gardens in High Park in Toronto, Canada.
Waterfalls and gardens in High Park in Toronto, Canada.

The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division’s photo contest deadline has been extended from September 30 to October 31 so fall colours in Toronto’s parks, urban forests, natural environments and recreation spaces can be included.

The contest is presented by Nikon Canada. The expert guest judges are Kristian Bogner, a world-class professional photographer, speaker and Nikon Ambassador; Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first neurologist in space and Canada’s first female astronaut, whose photography has taken her to the most extreme climatic and geological locations on earth; and Moses Znaimer, media visionary, Founder/CEO of ZoomerMedia Limited and President of CARP.

Judging will take place in the following three categories: parks, forestry and recreation. All are tied to the theme of getting outside and enjoying the city. Entries will be evaluated on content, composition, impact and technical criteria. Judges will review short-listed photos and winners will be notified in December 2014. The photographer with the best photo overall will receive a Nikon D3300 camera and lenses.

First-place winners in each of the three categories will receive a Nikon CoolPix AW120 camera. Winning images will be featured on the City’s website and in the City’s communication materials.

Photography enthusiasts who want to participate are asked to email their photos individually to

More information about how to submit a photo and the contest rules are available at