Levels of Snow Clearing Service
Large snowfalls require a coordinated approach by the City’s staff and contractors to ensure that City streets and sidewalks are safe.
The City’s General Levels of Service
|Road Category||When does the City start plowing?||How many hours after the snow stops falling will it take to clear?|
|Expressways||2.0 cm to 5.0 cm||2-3 hrs|
|Main roads and streetcar routes||5.0 cm||6-8 hrs|
|Collector roads, bus routes and local streets with Hills||5.0 cm – 8.0 cm||14-16 hrs|
|All other local streets||8.0 cm||14-16 hrs|
As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and the main roads. After this, the salt trucks will then move on to the local roads.
Plowing will begin after 2.0 cm of snow has fallen and plowing continues for the duration of snowfall. Plowing of Expressways will be completed between two to three hours after the end of snowfall.
Main Roads and Streetcar Routes
Plowing will begin after 5.0 cm of snow has fallen and plowing continues for the duration of snowfall. Plowing from Arterial Roads will be completed between six to eight hours after the end of snowfall.
Collector Roads, Bus Routes and Local Streets with Hills
Plowing will begin between 5.0 cm – 8.0 cm of snowfall. Plowing from Collector Roads will be completed between eight to ten hours after the end of snowfall.
All Other Local Streets
Plowing will begin after 8.0 cm of snow has fallen or stopped. Plowing from Local Roads will be completed between 14-16 hours after the end of snowfall. An additional 24 hours is spent plowing difficult areas where snow has not been completely cleared.
The City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists.
The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. Sidewalks will generally be plowed with 24-48 hours of a snowstorm. In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.
Bus stops and transit shelters will generally be ploughed within 48 hours after a snowstorm.
The City will only open/clear driveway windrows where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres of snow have fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed. The service is meant to only open up a width of about three metres – not the full width of the driveway. This program does not take place in the central core of the city due to narrow road widths and on-street parking.