Snow clearing from our city’s roadways involves snow plowing, sanding and salting.
In order to keep our city as safe as possible, streets are prioritized using criteria laid out in the Ontario Municipal Act, Ontario Regulation 239/02.
- Arterial roads – also known as major through roads—are plowed first, within six hours after the snow fall has ended, and when the snow accumulates to 2.5 cm.
- Collector roads – which connect to arterials, including bus routes and school zones—are cleared next, within 12 hours of the end of a snow storm, and when snow accumulates to 2.5 cm. Roads with higher traffic volume are cleared first.
- Residential roads are pre-treated with sand and salt to ensure safety by providing traction while driving. Residential roads are cleared when 8 cm of snow accumulates and is completed within 24 hours of the end of a snow fall. Contractors are used to assist with a severe snow fall.
The Operations department proactively applies a 23 per cent salt brine solution to road surfaces before an anticipated storm. The salt brine solution prevents the snow and ice from bonding to the road surface, allowing for easier plowing by Operations crews.
The pre-wetting of granular salt with a 23 per cent salt brine solution allows the salt to react faster and reduces the bouncing affect of applying dry salt to the road surface.
Salt and sand routes
During or in anticipation of icy road conditions, sanding or salting operations are mobilized, and roads are treated in a priority sequence as listed below. You can see the maps by clicking the following: