Can snow clean dirty shoes?

Earlier this week I pulled some Bear Grylls moves through the brambles in order to reach a near-frozen river, which left me with slightly dirty shoes by the end of the day. I hadn’t yet bothered to wash them, but a thought struck me this afternoon while admiring the first proper snowstorm to hit Toronto this winter:

Can a walk through the snow clean dirty shoes?

I donned my filthy footwear, took my camera along for some company, and set through the chilly streets of Kensington Market to find out.


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-1
Can snow clean dirty shoes?


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-2
I began my shoewashing circuit at the southern end of Kensington. A good couple of inches of snowfall graced the usually-grey pavement as I made my way north along Augusta Avenue


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-3
Healing Crystals & Organic Tea at House of Energy


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-4
“Safety First”


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-5
A bicycle attached to the perimeter of Bellevue Square


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-6
Normally full of hipster skateboarders, Bellevue Square was deserted today except for a young family strolling along the invisible pathway through the centre of the park.


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-7
Some Kensington townhouses


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-8
Rob Ford’s crack video made an appearance


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-9
Half way through the shoewash!


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-10
The deliciously snowy My Market Bakery along Baldwin St


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-11
Cheese Magic: one of Kensington’s many cheese shops under snow


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-12
Frozen apples, anyone?


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-13
Truck artwork


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-14
The sludgy Spadina & Dundas West intersection


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-15
An aerial view of Spadina & Dundas West under snow


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-16
A few urban objects at the Dundas & Kensington street corner


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-17
Frozen haircut


And so after 50 minutes, two slippery falls and some minor frostbite to the fingers & cheeks, I made it back home. I scraped off the layers of ice that had built upon my footwear, anxiously awaiting the answer to my question: can snow clean dirty shoes?


Can Snow Clean Dirty Shoes-18
No it can’t.



  1. Toronto looks so beautiful under those few inches of snow. Love the Healing Crystals shop front and the cheese shop and the bakery. They all look as though they belong in a dolls house village. Great pity about the shoes. One thing that’s for certain, keep walking in snow and they’ll fall apart. Hope you have heavy duty gloves, hat and scarf!

  2. Lmao loved the pics and reading only to come to the end with a very blatant outcome of “No it can’t” You made it sound so exciting, lol!
    I love how the snow looks in front of the camera lens. And agreed with Barb, those shops are so old school, and when covered in snow, its like a scene from A Christmas Carol, 1800s style epic Christmasness!!!
    i like “safety first” it looks really effective that pic.
    This part of Toronto looks a lot like Melbourne to me . . .

  3. I’ve got a great pair of gloves @Barbara, a friend at work kindly got me some before I left and they’re fantastic! They do a very effective job at keeping the fingers warm.
    Cheers @Simone, yeah I found if I use the flash it captures the reflection off the snowflakes which gives the shot that extra-Christmassy feel. There are indeed certain areas of Toronto that look very similar to Melbourne, and Kensington is one of them 🙂

Leave a Reply