Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

The Toronto Strike / Where To Take Your Trash [Updated]

Update (Monday, June 22, 12:21 p.m.): If you’re planning on taking your trash to the transfer stations, please note that picketers have been blocking the entrances to the trash transfer depots. I would recommend checking the news before you head out to a transfer station.

Photo: Small trash bags dropped off on Toronto street

It’s on: Locals 79 and 416 of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) has called for a strike after the city and the union were unable to come to an agreement on their collective agreements.

What the Press Says

Services Affected by the Strike

Here’s what services are affected:

  • Garbage/Recycling/Green Bin Collection
    Cancelled, except in Etobicoke and apartment/condo buildings (including my place!), where it’s contracted out. People are being asked to store their garbage for as long as they can, or drop it off at the city’s garbage drop-off points (see the map below).
  • Ambulances/Paramedics
    Still operating, but 25% of paramedics are expected not to work on any given day during the strike. Best not to get injured right now.
  • Daycare Centres
    All 57 daycare centres are closed.
  • Island Ferries
    All ferries – except the one to the Island Airport – are cancelled.
  • Parks and Recreation
    Parks will be open, but there’s no ground maintenance. “Programming”, such as summer camps, classes, drop-ins and lessons are cancelled. City-run golf courses, wading and swimming pools, fitness and community centres are closed. Automated timers aren’t in the union, so splash pads on automated timers are still running.
  • Public Libraries
    Branches are still open, except for 5 that use city facilities: Armour Heights, Flemingdon Park, St. James Town, Todmorden Room and Port Union. Branches at City Hall and Metro Hall are open, with adjusted hours.
  • Weddings
    Wedding ceremonies at Toronto City Hall will continue during regular business hours. Permits for wedding photos in city parks are cancelled. Wedding facilities in East York, Scarborough and York are cancelled. Only previously scheduled ceremonies at North York Civic Centre will continue.
  • Parking
    Parking enforcement continues! Deadlines to pay tickets will not be extended. No new permits will be issued.
  • Taxes
    Property taxes still have to be paid on the due dates, but drop boxes in civic centres will no be available. Best to pay them via mail, your bank or drop box in public library (if it’s not one of the affected ones).

Garbage Drop-Off Points

If you need to get rid of garbage, the following locations will take it:

Toronto garbage drop-off points

Scarbrough Transfer Station (1 Transfer Place) Victoria Park Transfer Station (3550 Victoria Park Avenue) Dufferin Transfer Station (35 Vanley Crescent) Disco Transfer Station (120 Disco Road) Commissioners Street Transfer Station (400 Commissioners Street) Bermondsey Transfer Station (188 Bermondsey Road) Ingram Transfer Station (50 Ingram Drive)

  1. Ingram Transfer Station
    50 Ingram Drive (Keele/Eglinton area)
    Open 24 hours
  2. Bermondsey Transfer Station
    188 Bermondsey Road (Victoria Park/Eglinton area)
    Open 24 hours
    (I wrote about this place in a 2004 article titled Midnight Trash Run.)
  3. Commissioners Street Transfer Station
    400 Commissioners Street (Lakeshore/Logan area)
    Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  4. Disco Transfer Station
    120 Disco Road (Carlingview/Disco area)
    Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  5. Dufferin Transfer Station
    35 Vanley Crescent (Chesswood/Sheppard area)
    Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  6. Victoria Park Transfer Station
    3550 Victoria Park Avenue (Victoria Park/Finch area)
    Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  7. Scarborough Transfer Station
    1 Transfer Place (Markham Road/Sheppard area)
    Open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

22 replies on “The Toronto Strike / Where To Take Your Trash [Updated]”

This really sucks for renters, the elderly and people without cars. During the last strike, I saw the glaring class divide around public works. Essentially, those with the means weren’t especially effected by it. They could either pay to have private services truck their crap or else haul it themselves. And they don’t have to worry about their kids having stuff to do at parks ‘n rec because their kids can go and enjoy mom and dad’s health club, go to camp or pack up in the car and have fun up at a lake. As an inner city kid, I was dependent on parks ‘n rec for my summer fun. So this is really the worst for the urban poor – particularly the children.

The other thing to watch is the news coverage. If you watch CTV there’s plenty of talk about drop off points – because the classist assumption that everybody has access to a car. There are thousands of people in Toronto who do not. We don’t have a car out of choice, but many don’t have a car simply because it’s too costly. People’s responses to this strike are mediated by their access to alternatives.

Will be interesting to see if the local MSM has any solid advice for renters and the urban poor. Not just people with the means for “alternatives.”

Hey Joey,
Just an FYI – expect to be held up by the picket line for >10-15 minutes if/when you go to dump the garbage. The Post’s Toronto blog had something this morning on that. Also, as a west end resident, I’d give a hat tip to Doug Holyday for outsourcing Etobicoke’s garbage collection duties back in his last few months as the borough’s mayor before amalgamation.

I have a better idea:

Drop your garbage off at:
34 St. Patrick Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1V1

and let CUPE handle it.

Better yet……… Drop off your garbage where it belongs. CITY HALL and let management handle it !!!!


alternative place to take garbage: right to the garbage workers feet.

here are the two main strike locations

34 St. Patrick St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V1

1350 Ellesmere Rd.-
Unit# 201
Scarborough, ON
M1H 3H2

I am a adult who is disabled and I am worryed about being able to even use the side walk I sure arnt going to wheel my wheelchair down the street when the sidewalks fill up with garbage and are to full to use. This is what I and other had to do last time and I will not risk my life again trying this. Does anyone esle have similar problems it may be with your kids or a strolller or even the parking lot some people are going to use as a dump.

“Still operating, but 25% of ambulance drivers and paramedics are expected not to work on any given day during the strike. Best not to get injured right now. ”

Ambulances in Toronto are entirely staffed by Paramedics. There is no such thing as “an ambulance driver” .

Thanks Joey, this post is very helpful. I’m looking out for more alternatives for those without private transportation.

I completely agree with Melanie. Also, noticed your picture was taken at jones and danfroth, I go to school near there. Wow, that mega cleaners sign beside the foot store and motorama is really distinguishable.

Dumping trash on public land is a tricky deal. There are some people hired to snoop through your garbage to try and find out your identity so you can than be charged with illegal dumping. I was on a bike ride through cherry beach on the day after the strike started, there were already bags of garbage around the public litter bin.

Re The Garbage Strike

Our City Management lacks leadership:
Why did this so-called Management give themselves a raise when we taxpayers get a paycut and “enjoy” workshare programs?
Why are they allowing strikers to block taxpayers dropping off garbage at transfer stations…these strikers should be charged for obstruction?
Why don’t they offer these jobs to the laid-off GM employees in Oshawa or anywhere else who are willing to have a job and not care about sick days off?
Is the City Management and these strikers oblivious of the economy situation or are they just plain dumb?

Just look around, pay attention to neighbouring Cities who manage successfully, and no garbage strikes.

hi all,
can anyone arrange with our U.F.O. friends to help pick-up our garbage from the air instead ? dumb sites and transfer stations are picketed from the ground.

Just a thought … If Toronto residents are really fed up being held hostage under mounds of garbage, why not simply dump your garbage off in front of those picket lines of striking civil servants? Similarly, why not dump your garbage off at municipal offices, police stations, the mayor’s residence, the residence’s of City councilors, etc.? Wouldn’t that make cleanup easier once the strike is over? (Always think ahead).

If anything, once opposing sides in this dispute are directly exposed to the rotting refuse they so flagrantly inflict on local citizenry, the smell alone might help remind them that their primary commitment is to the taxpayer.

Personally, and as a rural resident, I have no great love for the hopelessly gridlocked, multi-confused ‘Big Smoke’ or whatever misery its residents so willfully endure. It could be argued that the smell of rotting garbage is a noticable improvement. It’s all part of the “Manhattanization” experiment you sewer rats were all so fond of.

Russ: Right back atcha with the stereotypes. Have fun in your ignorant backwater, say hi to your Uncle Daddy for me, and remember: if you hear banjos, run!

I’m fascinated by the entirely self-absorbed perspective that CUPE strikers appear to have. Are they aware of the bigger picture? Jobs being lost across the company, privatization looming? I just went to the local transfer station to drop off a small commercial load and was informed by charming picketers that they aren’t taking small business loads. I guess CUPE has duped workers into thinking that small business owners can find dump sites elsewhere… as if the rest of the city should just run around and figure things out while CUPE workers sit by the fires they’ve started in their bins. CUPE workers are living in another century if they think this is going to improve their situation. I vote for privatization – why are we wasting any more time?

As many residents of Toronto face the challenges that the current garbage strike has left them, one man has taken a new approach to a solution. Roofer Dave of Toronto has suspended his regular business tasks, and now offers residents a way to get rid of their trash in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Trash is collected for merely five dollars per twenty pound bag and taken to licenced disposal facilities for disposal (NOT THE CITY TEMPORARY DUMP SITES) Dave’s plan is to ease the pain residents are feeling not add to it. According to Roofer Dave, “We are currently working on recycling efforts to divert as much as we can from land fills. We will have more on this as facilities get back to us.” Finding Roofer Dave on his route is easy, simply follow @fivebucksabag on Twitter to see where and when he may be in your neighbourhood or contact him through his web site at

Hi all,

My experience with the workers in this strike are the tireless part timers who work in my local parks and community centers, as well as people who have devoted time to projects in the community and of course the trash collectors that work on my street.
The city is asking for HUGE concessions from their current employees. People seem to think the employees are asking for huge raises, but that is not the case. For the part timers I meet most often the current deal includes a reduced work week (by half), reduced job security through reserving the right to move them to anywhere in the city at the beginning of the season.

As a citizen who uses these programs, I cannot support such concessions. The benefits of having the people who work in my local park or community center be from the nieghbourhood, means they have a stake in making that place function well. I have watched the management of services in parks and community centers being centralized over the past several years creating ridiculous situations. I see the package on the table from the city as further centralizing management and creating an even more transient workforce.

I feel frustrated and just wanted to put this perspective out there.

Anyone knows about “bike riders” and “runners” hanging around temp dump sites? And warnings CUPE members tell you before you enter dump site that you must be very careful otherwise if you HIT them police will be here in no time.
Is it just my paranoia or its a some sort of setup?
WHO really would run in the park around garbage site when there are many other routes available?
At least be aware – take camcoder…..

I am out the job because the strike, i’m a machine operator from a city contract and this problem got nothing to do with me, but i have to bring food to my family’s table every day. so PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT.

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