Snow removal

Suburbs

When it snows in your city

The City of Kitchener does its best to quickly clear the snow and ice to reduce hazards to motorists and pedestrians and acts as soon as a storm begins. To help with snow removal on city streets, please place garbage and recycling in the driveway area and NOT on the roadway on your collection day. Our snowplow drivers will thank you!

It takes 16-24 hours to complete all snowplowing routes after the snow has stopped falling. Other factors, such as temperature, future forecasts and precipitation, determine how and when plowing, salting or sanding should take place. Each snow plow is assigned a designated area of the city and priority for plowing is as follows:

  • Priority 1 = mains and arterials. All priority 1 and 2 routes and all bus routes are maintained until complete.
  • Priority 2 = hills, curves & GRT routes. Work on Priority 2 streets begins only after Priority 1 streets have been completed. If snow resumes while in Priority 1 or 2, then clearing Priority 1 roads is restarted.
  • Priority 3 = Balance of backstreets, ie. Full plow. Work on Priority 3 routes starts only after priorities 1 and 2 have been completed. If snow resumes while in Priority 1 or 2, then clearing Priority 1 roads is restarted.

Snow Events

A Snow Event is declared when a significant snowfall is expected (based on credible weather forecasts) to help crews clear city streets and keep pedestrians and cars safe.

Salt use

As part of our ongoing commitment to the environment, the City of Kitchener was the first area municipality to introduce a substantial anti-icing program as part of its routine approach to winter maintenance. Our "anti-icing" program reduces salt usage on winter roads. We apply liquid salt brine mixed with beet juice onto the roadway before a snow event to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement; this makes snow removal more efficient because less salt is required to return roads to bare pavement.

Through several initiatives under our salt management program, our winter maintenance contributes to a healthy environment for our residents.

Find out what you can do to be smart about salt on your property.

Special areas of the city

The cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo often work together to ensure their services are efficient and their citizens are kept safe during the winter and the weather that comes with it. Each city approaches snow removal, including winter parking bylaws, in slightly different ways:

Do you live on a border street?

The cities of Kitchener and Waterloo share 20 roads, forming a seamless border for many residents. Both cities work together under a joint services program to make sure winter maintenance for these border streets is effective and efficient.

The City of Waterloo maintains the following streets for Kitchener under its winter maintenance program:

  • Bridge Street West from city limit to Woolwich Street
  • Bridgeport Road East from city limit to Leander Place
  • Dodds Lane from city limit to Pine Street
  • Hartwood Avenue from city limit to Margaret Avenue
  • Hartwood Place
  • Herbert Street from city limit to Pine Street
  • Maple Hill Drive
  • Mary Street from city limit to Pine Street
  • Pine Street
  • Westmount Road West from city limit to Union Boulevard

The City of Kitchener maintains the following streets for Waterloo under its winter maintenance program:

  • Aberdeen Road from city limit to Forsyth Drive
  • Avondale Avenue from city limit to John Street West
  • Belmont Avenue from city limit to John Street West
  • Dunbar Road from city limit to John Street West
  • Ellis Crescent South from city limit to Union Street East
  • Esson Street from city limit to John Street West
  • Fischer Hallman Road from Glasgow Street to University Avenue West
  • Graham Street
  • King Street South from city limit to Union Street East
  • Margaret Avenue from city limit to Union Street East
  • Moore Avenue South from city limit to Union Street East
  • Severn Street from city limit to John Street West
  • Union Street West from Union Boulevard to King Street South
  • Waterloo Street from city limit to Moore Avenue South
  • Weber Street South from city limit to Hartwood Avenue
Downtown

The City of Kitchener works with the Downtown Kitchener BIA to keep streets clean and beautiful. The city looks after street and sidewalk sweeping, power washing and snow removal. The city also loads snow along streets in the downtown core and residential streets nearby. 

Ward 5 Boulevard Parking Program

From Dec. 1 to March 31 each year, in Ward 5 only, vehicles are permitted to park on the paved portion of a boulevard (ie. driveway ramp or apron). Certain conditions apply, and those not meeting the conditions may be ticketed and towed:

  • Vehicles must be on the paved driveway portion of the boulevard, not the landscaped (or hardscaped) portion;

  • Vehicles may not drive over the landscaped or hardscaped portions of the boulevard to get to the paved portion;

  • All of the vehicle's tires must be on the paved, hard surface boulevard driveway portion;

  • There can be no overhang of any part of the vehicle onto the sidewalk or roadway;

  • Boulevard parking is not permitted within 15 metres of an intersecting roadway;

  • Vehicles parked parallel to the road must be facing the direction of travel;

  • In the case of abutting driveways, vehicles must not overhang the projection of the property line.

During a Snow Event, this program gives homeowners in Ward 5 a place to park their vehicle to allow snow plows easier access.

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