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Ping-Street---3-tile.jpg   Construction-Map---3-tile.jpg   Public Notices

Snow Removal

 Winter Control Update

This page will be updated Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with our winter control activities

For 24-hour snow removal information, call the Winter Control Snow Line at 905.934.4600


In an effort to facilitate our snow removal efforts, please refrain from parking on the street and make all reasonable efforts to remove parked vehicles from the street before, during and after a storm event. Removing parked vehicles from the street will help ensure that City crews can effectively and efficiently clear your road. Please also note that any vehicle parked on the street with no indication of having been moved within 24 hours of a snow event is subject to ticketing and towing under the City's Traffic and Parking By-Law. Parking is also not allowed on Regional Roads between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. year-round.

Within the Downtown core, parking is not permitted at parking metered spaces between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., year-round where indicated. Free overnight parking between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., daily, is available at the Carlisle Street Parking Garage and the Ontario Street Parking Garage. These facilities are your best options for overnight parking during snow events.  

Snow removal service for seniors and persons with physical disabilities

Snow plows have nowhere to push snow except to the curb or shoulder of the road and that includes any driveways in their path. The City realizes this causes some hardship and we ask for your understanding as our main goal is to make the roads as safe as possible.

The City does provide for the removal of snow/ice from City sidewalks occupied by seniors or individuals with physical disabilities. The City does not clear snow from private property.

Snow Clearing Priorities

Snow removal on all City streets and Regional Roads in St. Catharines is performed by the Transportation and Environmental Services Department, Operations Division. While all roads and streets are plowed and/or salted as soon as possible, some roads are identified as higher priorities.

Main Routes

Main Routes focus on main roads which carry large volumes of traffic including bus routes; school areas; emergency, fire, hospital routes and critical areas on hills, curves and bridges. These roads are maintained to a bare pavement condition and are the City's first priority.

Designated Secondary Routes

Designated Secondary Routes focus on the streets that link the main routes with secondary or residential streets. These streets are maintained to a centre bare pavement condition and are the City's second priority after main routes are passable.

Secondary Routes

Secondary Routes include all low volume local and residential streets within our neighbourhoods. These streets are not maintained to a bare pavement condition, they are plowed and sanded as necessary to provide safe vehicular travel. They are only serviced after the main routes and designated secondary routes have been cleared to an acceptable level.

There are City Council approved Levels of Service which are followed as well as legislated Minimum Maintenance Standards initiated by the Ministry of Transportation which includes snow removal standards based on traffic volume and snow accumulation.

There are a number of roads within St. Catharines that are owned by the Regional Municipality of Niagara. The City has an agreement with the Region to maintain a number of Regional roads for winter control while others continue to be maintained by the Region.

Main snow removal routes and the roads that are maintained by the Region are shown on the Snow Removal Map. 

View the St. Catharines Snow Removal Map

Salting and Sanding

Salt is applied along the main routes and designated secondary routes early in a storm event in order to prevent snow from adhering to the pavement. This allows the plow to clear the streets more effectively.

Salting may be repeated, as necessary, until a bare pavement condition is achieved. Critical areas, such as steep hills, curves, bridges, intersections and approaches to railway crossings receive top priority.

Salt Management Plan

The City has developed a Salt Management Plan with the goal of minimizing the use of salt on City streets due to its detrimental effect on our environment. To this end, salt is only applied to the main routes and designated secondary routes. It is not normally used on secondary streets. Instead, sand is used on secondary streets and in agricultural areas to provide traction and reduce slippery conditions.

In addition, salt is not used on any roads when temperatures become so low that it can no longer effectively melt ice.

A Salt management plan was approved by council in 2008.

View the St. Catharines Salt Management Plan

View the Staff Report to Council Regarding the Salt Management Plan.

Sidewalk Snow Clearing

The City is responsible for clearing all sidewalks fronting City owned properties. Private property owners with sidewalks fronting or abutting their property must clear snow and ice from these sidewalks within 24 hours of snow falling, as required under By-law 2008-315.

When the snow and ice has not been removed from the sidewalk within the 24 hour period, or when any part of the surface of such sidewalk has become slippery and has not been sprinkled at the time in accordance with the requirements of the By-Law, the City may, at the expense of the owner of the building or land, cause such snow and ice to be cleared away and removed.

Homeowners will be fined $10 for every metre of snow / ice that is removed. For example, if the City removes two metres of snow the homeowner will be charged $20.

View the Sidewalk Snow Removal By-Law

Where City sidewalks are located adjacent to the curb and there is no boulevard, snow from the sidewalk may be placed along the edge of the street, however, property owners are warned that snow must not be pushed from driveways or parking lots onto or across City streets.

Sidewalk clearing violations can be reported to the Operations Divisions of the Transportation and Environmental Services Department.

Property owners are expected to clear the full width of the sidewalk down to bare concrete. Shoveling as soon as possible after a snow fall is the best way to achieve this result. Once snow is packed down by pedestrian traffic it can be more difficult to clear. Spreading salt onto the sidewalk will help prevent snow from adhering to the concrete and will also help break the bond of packed snow and ice with the concrete.

At temperatures below -12°C salt does not work as effectively. In low temperatures where sidewalks are icy spreading sand rather than salt will allow for traction until the temperature rises enough where salt can again be used. Here are some examples of sidewalks that are considered acceptable and not acceptable.

For the safety and convenience of all pedestrians, we urge you to do your part in keeping the sidewalks clear.

A friendly winter reminder from the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Accessibility (MACOA)

Winter can be a difficult time for persons with disabilities to get around the community. In particular, people who use mobility devices along the sidewalks, accessible parking spaces and connecting pathways when snow and ice are on the ground.

Your attention to the clearing of snow and ice, and in keeping these areas safe and accessible is greatly appreciated.

Members of MACOA

Photos of acceptable sidewalk clearing

Acceptable - Sidewalks have been cleared to bare pavement

 Acceptable Sidewalk Photo Acceptable Sidewalk Photo Acceptable Sidewalk Photo

Not Acceptable - Sidewalks covered in snow and ice, no salt or sand applied
 Not Acceptable Sidewalk Photo Not Acceptable Sidewalk Photo Not Acceptable Sidewalk Photo

 What can you do to help?

As a resident of St. Catharines, you can help us in many ways:

  • Report any slippery or dangerous road conditions to us as soon as possible at 905.935.3813;
  • Whenever possible refrain from parking on streets during a winter storm event;
  • Pile all snow from your driveway and walkways on your property - not on the road. When clearing your driveway pile snow on the right side of your driveway if you are facing the street. This will help reduce the amount of snow pushed back into your driveway by a plow;
  • Shovel the City sidewalk in front of AND beside your property as soon as you can after a storm event and apply sand or salt when icy, By-Law
    2008-315 requires it;
  • Keep fire hydrants clear and accessible as in the event of a fire, gaining access could be critical; and
  • On your garbage day, place your garbage and recycling containers close to the edge of the road but not so close as to interfere with snow removal.

Please be patient, you can be sure that during a storm event we are exerting our maximum effort to return road conditions to normal. Under severe conditions, it takes some time to get to all streets. If your street has not been plowed, please allow at least 24 hours after the snow has stopped before calling.

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines