Snow covers Toronto sidewalks, prompting U-turn from John Tory

(CNN) — Conditions deteriorated quickly on Toronto’s main streetcar line on Thursday as winter rolled out of town.

By 11:30 a.m., multiple trains were delayed because the snow coating the tracks was proving an obstacle to pole-running.

Two days earlier, the city’s transit agency had braced for a bitter blast of winter weather.

But despite numerous warnings issued, the city surprised observers by leaving a sidewalk near the Bloor viaduct covered in snow during a blizzard.

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta asked residents of Toronto about their surprising image of city that Toronto City Hall says is the fastest growing in North America

Three days later, a flurry of wintry images shared on social media demanded a response from the city government, and for obvious reasons.

Toronto Mayor John Tory weighed in , saying Toronto was unprepared for this kind of weather .

“We are not the first city to have problems with sidewalks covered with snow,” Tory wrote in a blog post

“This is the thaw that keeps on giving. Yesterday, we waited for a break in the snowfall to plow the roads; today, some don’t even have sidewalks; and tomorrow, a meltdown in the morning is expected.”

Tory continued to cite the city’s preparedness for last winter’s frost emergency and subway service that was shut down seven times .

It’s not the first time Toronto has tried to explain its decision to leave sidewalks unplowed.

The city’s communications head, Michelle Boldt, told CP24 local news that clearing the sidewalk normally would involve using snow brushes.

But most sidewalks were already covered in snow, leading her to suggest the city was left with no choice but to leave them as is.

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