Apps for finding someone to shovel your driveway in the Toronto area
On demand driveway ploughing maybe the next UberX style of business with arrival of these snow apps.
Once upon a time, some neighbourhood kids with shovels would knock on your door after a big snowfall. That’s not a sight we see much nowadays, but don’t worry — as with everything else, there’s an app for that.
It’s not surprising that Canada would see a burgeoning market for snow-shovelling service apps, especially now that winter has finally arrived after a brief delay. The Toronto area has three apps currently on offer, with a fourth in the works, each one different enough from the other to make their battle for market share interesting.
There are other similar apps being launched elsewhere across the country — Plow Me Out in the Maritimes, We Do in Montreal, SnowTapp in Edmonton — and if their success leads to inevitable expansion, there could be even more competition here by next winter.
Our green Christmas ended up helping these services get up and running before being snowed under with demand. Eden, one of the first on the market, was swamped during its soft launch just before the New Year, while Ottawa-based TouchPlow just put out a call for student shovellers to join their service and take up the slack left by overworked professional contractors.
Each app has different features and pricing models, the advantages of which will doubtless become clear with each subsequent blizzard over the coming months, but here’s a guide to what’s available in the Toronto area, now and over the snowy horizon.
Summary: Jiffy’s snow-clearing service is just one of a suite of 23 year-round services you can purchase through this app, which includes everything from lawn care and barbecue cleaning to auto detailing and furniture assembly. Contractors working for the service need to have insurance and up-to-date certificates in addition to WSIB for employees and a consistent 4-star rating from customers.
Pricing: $75 flat rate per job or house, which includes a brush off of your car.
Rating & Reviews: Apple: 5 stars (“Extremely convenient. Love it.”) Android: 4.5 stars (“Affordable and reliable.”)
Summary: Eden is a two-service app, offering snow removal now and lawn care in the season that isn’t winter. Customers will be served by professional contractors only — Eden insists that they’re not the UberX of snow-clearing apps. The app keeps you in touch with your contractor before they show up, and will send you pictures of your driveway and sidewalks before and after work has been done.
Pricing: $40 average for a two-car driveway.
Rating & Reviews: Apple: 5 stars (“Got the driveway done and added the sidewalk and walkway. Will use again.”) Android: 2.4 stars (“Should be more transparent.”)
Summary: Just launched in the Toronto area, founder Ken Dale is happy to call it the UberX of snow apps, and is enlisting students to augment his professional contractors to pick up the slack when the pros are either busy with seasonal contracts or recovering from a major deluge. With services offered all over the country in 60 towns and cities including Brampton, Vaughan, Aurora, Newmarket, Oakville and Richmond Hill, TouchPlow’s added feature allows you to order shovelling done for family or friends.
Rating & Reviews: Apple: 3 stars (No reviews.) Android: 2 stars (“Good idea, but just not there yet.”)
Summary: This Ottawa-based app is just about to launch in Hamilton, which is the closest it’ll get to Toronto, pending expansion here by next winter, at the latest. They’re selling their app as the simplest and most customer-friendly, but have also limited contractors to licensed professionals only. Watch this space.