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Frequently Asked Questions

During a snow fall, roadways are plowed in accordance with priorities and Provincial Standards.  The first priority is to ensure all main arterial (class 2) and collector roads (class 3) are clear.  This means that plows may not be able to immediately clear local residential and less-traveled roads (class 5 & 6).  Residential and less-traveled roads are generally cleared after 8 cm of snow fall, plows may not reach your street for 24 hours.

Occasionally roadside mailboxes are damaged or destroyed when hit by a snow plow.  They will be repaired or replaced.  Contact Public Works Dispatch at 705-474-4340 if this occurs.  However, mailboxes damaged by the snow that comes off the wing of a plow are not eligible.   

Snow plows clear streets from the center of the street to the curb – sometimes leaving snow across private driveways. Unfortunately this cannot be efficiently prevented and it must be understood the boulevard area is designed for snow storage from the traveled portion of the roadway.

To deal with heavy snowfall, cul-de-sac clearing is performed in two steps: first, the snow plow will clear the cul-de-sac to open up the roadway, then, after it has stopped snowing, the City will come back to clean up and or remove the snow when snow storage has been exhausted.

The City will work to cut down the snow banks along major arterial, collector and transit routes. The City will begin to cut down snow banks when the banks cause sight line issues and snow storage becomes a concern.

Depending on how much snow falls the City may have to plow overnight. Not only is this a safe and more efficient time as there is little road traffic and no cars parked on the streets, but it also ensures that the roads are ready for the morning rush hour.

When snow continues to fall over a long period, snow plows may have to clear streets more than once. They do a first pass to open up the street and make it passable to traffic, and then go back to clean-up and bring the street to satisfactory condition.

Residents may see City crews out when it's not snowing. We pro-actively pre-treat the roads during expected weather conditions. In other cases, plows are sent out to address areas of concern that may have hills or curves. With safety in mind, it is in the best interest of the City and the general public to have these areas treated to prevent ice formation.

Residents can assist the City in the winter by doing a few things to assist in snow clearing operations:

  • Avoid parking on city streets to allow plows to do their work.
  • When shoveling or plowing snow from your sidewalk or driveway, don't throw it on the street or onto public sidewalks. Pile snow on your property.
  • Place Blue Boxes and garbage containers on a cleared area at the end of your driveway or near the curb. Do not place containers or bags on top of snowbanks, on sidewalks or roads.
  • Be mindful of your neighbors. Do not pile snow so the city plow will push it away from your entrance and fill in your neighbor’s entrance.