Roads are classified based on their importance to Ottawa’s transportation network. When a snowstorm begins, City crews clear snow on high priority roads, main arterials and collectors. The City of Ottawa has developed maintenance standards for snow and ice control.
Snow clearing is done using a road-priority system, with high-use, emergency and transit routes cleared first:
- At the start of accumulation:
- Highway 174, the Transitway, major roads and arterials.
- After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 2 to 4 hours to complete.
- 2.5 centimetres accumulation:
- Sidewalks in the downtown core and the winter cycling network
- After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 4 hours to complete
- 5 centimetres accumulation:
- Secondary roads and minor collectors such as Wall Road, Dovercourt Avenue, Donald Street, Springbrook Drive, etc.
- After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 6 hours to complete
- 5 centimetres accumulation:
- Residential sidewalks
- After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 12 to 16 hours to complete
- 7 or more centimetres of accumulation
- Residential roads and lanes such as Billings Bridge, Waverley Street, Smith Road, etc.
- After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 10 to 16 hours to complete.
Timelines are suspended if a Significant Weather Event is declared as operations will be carried out based on the capacity of resources in as continuous a manner as practicable.
After a severe snowstorm, operators may have to plow a street twice. Sometimes a grader or dump truck with front and wing plows will do a first pass, followed by a sand/salt truck, to clear a small amount of snow and make sanding/salting more effective.
To clear a cul-de-sac, operators will push the remaining snow to the centre or outside of the street, depending on the available area.
In the early winter, the City removes ruts that have formed on snow-packed surfaces. This keeps catch basin open and helps prevent flooding.
To make sidewalks safe to walk on in the winter, the City provides do-it-yourself grit boxes close to steep hills and in areas where there are many pedestrians, seniors and persons using mobility devices. Residents are encouraged to spread the grit on slippery spots on sidewalks and other problem areas.
For Bay Ward these grit boxes are located at the following locations:
- 441 Edgeworth Avenue
- 61 McEwen Avenue
- 207 Woodroffe Avenue
- Corner of Carling Avenue and Britannia Road
- Corner of Connaught Avenue and Sackville Street
- Corner Lenester Avenue and Iroquois Road
- Corner of New Orchard and Richmond Road
How can residents help?
- Do not push snow and ice on the street, sidewalk or park.
- Keep fire hydrants free of snow.
- Use wood, plastic or fibreglass driveway markers, which should be no larger than a hockey stick to indicate your driveway/lawn
- Open catch basins or drains in front of your property when the weather becomes mild.
- Catch basins are identified by a yellow “T” bar painted on the roadway.
A snow windrow is a pile of snow that accumulates at the end of driveways and on the sides of streets during plowing. It is the responsibility of the home-owner to remove their own driveway windrows. If are a senior citizen or know of one who may need assistance with snow removal on their property, the City has a Snow Go Assist program for seniors aged 60 and over.