All roads and sidewalks are grouped in classes and are listed in the Council approved Maintenance Quality Standards for Roads, Sidewalks and Pathways. These standards are used to prioritize resource deployment, the time to clear and the treatment standard for sidewalks. Crews treat icy sidewalks and winter maintained pathways as soon as possible after becoming aware of the conditions.

The following table describes the Maintenance Quality Standards for snow and ice control on sidewalks and pathways: 

Sidewalk/pathway maintenance classification Minimum depth of snow accumulation for deployment of resources Time to clear snow from the end of accumulation or time to treat icy conditions Treatment standard
Bare Surface Snow Packed
  • Downtown business district
  • Byward Market
  • Large employment centres
  • Special tourism areas
2.5 cm 4 hours X  
  • Downtown/urban residential neighbourhoods where sidewalks are only safe place to walk
  • Sidewalks in Villages
  • Pathways that serve as main community links or to access transit services
  • Sidewalks along roads with transit service, emergency facilities, public facilities or retail/commercial frontages
  • Pathways designated as part of City cycling routes
5 cm 12 hours Sidewalks directly adjacent to arterial roads All other locations
  • Sidewalks along rural and suburban collector and residential roads
  • Paved pathways in rural and suburban neighbourhoods (pathways that are winter maintained)
5 cm 16 hours   X
  • Unpaved pathways and trails
  • Paved pathways that are not winter maintained
  Not winter maintained

The City also maintains the parking lots of community centres, pools, libraries, fire stations, recreation centres, paramedic stations and park-and-ride lots.

Yellow Grit Box Program

Watch out for slippery sidewalks and find out how you can keep them safe.

Snow Go Assist Program

This program helps eligible low-income seniors and people with disabilities with their snow and ice removal costs. Find out more details. 

What to expect during a winter storm

what to expect during a winter storm