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Scene: Leaf Pickup in Etobicoke

WHERE: Albert and Cavell streets, in Mimico.

WHEN: Yesterday at noon.

WHAT: In tree-blessed Mimico, City workers collect leaves and send them off for composting. Explains Torontoist photographer Christopher Drost: “Residents are asked to rake their lawns to the curb and then City crews show up and push it into the road…and the machine comes along and scoops it into waiting dump trucks at the end of the street.” Not everyone in Toronto get this service, though, and as the Toronto Star reported yesterday, the City spends $500,000 each year on leaf pickup in Etobicoke and some parts of Scarborough. KPMG’s core service review did not look at leaf collection, and Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) told the Star that the leaf-collection service can be attributed to “petty political brinkmanship.”


  • Anonymous

    Better that these folks get their leaves picked up than libraries going without cuts. Just another sign that as a society, we’re repeating history and leaving enlightenment for a return to the dark ages.

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather the leaves on my lawn and let them add nutrients to the soil. The whole leaf-raking thing is pointless.

    • Geoff Gilmour-Taylor

      There was leaf pickup in Etobicoke 20 years ago. We usually took a mulcher-mower to the leaves rather than use fertilizer (with mixed success). Only time we usually shovelled them out to the curb was when we scooped out the ditch that led to the storm drain.

      I think this is a service that could be replaced with bag pickup like the rest of the city. After all, they have to pick up sticks and other yard waste anyway. (Unlike windrow clearing, which really should be expanded into the rest of the city.)

  • Anonymous

    I see the leaf pickup as an extension of the curbside street-sweepers. The current street-sweepers pickup debris at the curb, which in the fall includes leaves. The leaf pickup came about naturally from the large number of leaves that fell in certain parts of the city. Where there are small or no trees, the street sweepers had only a small number of leaves to clear from the sewer grates. Where there are large number of trees, the leaves would have overwhelmed the street-sweepers.

  • Etobicoke