City preparing for heavy snow over a short period

March 1, 2016
Public Service Announcement


Ottawa – City road crews are preparing to plow and salt the priority road network in anticipation of the extreme snowfall forecast for Ottawa Tuesday and Wednesday.


With the greatest accumulation expected just before and during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, this will impact the morning commute. This storm will deliver a high accumulation of snow and winds will cause blowing snow and drifting. Residents are asked to exercise caution if driving, cycling or walking and to allow extra time for their morning and afternoon commutes. Consider, if possible, staying off the roads, working from home or using public transit until the storm has passed.


A winter overnight parking ban is in effect for Tuesday night. During winter overnight parking bans, residents will have free access to covered City-owned parking garages. For more information about which City garages are free during winter overnight parking bans, visit


Snow Plowing Operations

There are two phases in the City’s snow plowing operations during large snow storms:


Phase One

  • When the snowfall begins, City’s crews first concentrate on Highway 174, transitway, and major arterial and collector roads.


Phase Two

  • Phase Two is only initiated once the priority road network is in good condition and resources become available. 
  • Once the priority transportation network is in good condition, plowing of local roads will follow.
  • The Where is My Plow web tool, which provides time estimates for plowing on local roads, is available only during this phase.


You can take advantage of the "do-it-yourself" grit boxes at various locations across the city. They are there to so you can spread the grit on slippery spots on sidewalks and other problem areas. For grit box locations, visit


More information

Visit the Winter Weather webpage on for information on the weather, including updates on City operations and tips on what residents can do in preparation for, and during, weather events.


The City will inform residents if a parking ban is placed into effect via Residents can also sign up for an alert or follow the City on Twitter @ottawacity.


For weather updates, please visit Environment Canada.



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