Do you know a Snow Angel? Please report them!

What a winter! 

It started out with an unusual October snowstorm, then settled into unusual mildness that lasted almost until the New Year. Of course, winter is inevitable and the mildness was balanced out significantly with the second snowstorm of the season on December 29th. 

We haven't had the usual small accumulations of snow this year. The snow fall has very much been feast or famine. Of course, the "feast" times have meant significant challenges for some residents to keep up with snow removal and clearing so they can maintain their routines safely.

Stories of residents helping residents have been spreading around Ottawa and it's wonderful to hear. The City of Ottawa calls these people Snow Angels. A Snow Angel is a neighbour or friend who has volunteered to help an elderly or disabled person by clearing snow from a driveway, steps, or walkway. 

Report a Snow Angel today

If you know someone you think deserves to be called a Snow Angel, let us know - the City of Ottawa wants to thank them!

Snow Angels will be recognized with a certificate signed by the Mayor and a custom keychain with a snowflake symbol and Ottawa logo. 

To nominate a resident for recognition as a Snow Angel, plese give the City the name and address of the nominee, as well as other details about who they are helping and how. Send your nomination to:

  • Email:
  • Mail: Attention: Snow Angel Program, City of Ottawa,100 Constellation Crescent, 5th floor, K2G 6J8
  • Fax: 613-580-9605 Attention: Snow Angel Program

Be sure to include your contact information so that staff can confirm details of your nomination. You can learn more about the Snow Angel Recognition Program and other winter weather assistance programs by visiting the City of Ottawa website.

When can you expect your road to be plowed?

One of the worst times to commute to work is just after (or during) a winter storm. Getting the roads cleared is a high priority, but with 6,290 kilometres of roads (by the way, it's just 5,858km to drive from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS - a 58 hour trip if you don't stop!), 2,095 kilometres of sidewalks, 225km of Transitway and the 174 to clear in Ottawa, the City has a huge job keeping the roads cleared and safe for drivers.

There's a lot of work and logistics that go into the wintertime road maintenance and there are a few things that residents can do to make the job of clearing Ottawa roads even easier.

The video below will give you a short overview of how our Winter Operations team prepares for and implements snow removal for the approximate 235 centimeters (that's 92.5 inches!) of snow that Ottawa gets each year.

Snow removal resources deployment

The following chart from the video gives an overview of when snow removal resources are deployed. The first column shows the minimum depth of snow for resources to be deployed. The second column describes the parts of Ottawa's infrastructure that resources are deployed for. The third column outlines the standards that are followed for number of hours after snow accumulation ends that residents should see resources deployed.

Min. depth of snow for deployment   Time to clear snow accumulation OR Time to treat icy conditions
As accumulation begins Hwy 174, Transitway, most arterials, and most major collector roads 2-4 hours
 2.5 cm Most sidewalks in downtown core
4 hours
5 cm
Most minor collector roads
6 hours
5 cm
Most primary sidewalks 12 hours
5 cm
Most residential sidewalks 16 hours
7 cm
Most residential roads 10 hours
10 cm Most lanes 16 hours
Clean up
Most intersections and pedestrian crossings 16 hours
  Most bus stops 24 hours


Overnight parking restrictions - November 15 to April 1

As you heard in the video, overnight parking restrictions are put in effect between November 15 to April 1 each winter in the City of Ottawa. Restrictions are put in effect whenever the forecast calls for 7cm or more of snow accumulation. Residents are not permitted to park on the street if an overnight parking restriction is in place. By-law can ticket (and, in some cases, tow) cars that are left on the street when a parking ban is in place.

The purpose of the overnight parking restrictions is to allow plows easy, unimpeded access to all streets. If too many cars are parked on a street, the plows won't be able to get through for clearing.

Want to know when the overnight parking restrictions are in place? Stay up-to-date about parking restriction by visiting to sign up for updates.

Do you have concerns about snow removal?

If you have any concerns about snow removal in your area, be sure to call 3-1-1 (613-580-2400) or make a request for Roads Maintenance through the ServiceOttawa portal.

Special Advisory: Overnight parking restriction lifted

Snow clearing operations on City of Ottawa streets have been completed following the recent snowfall. As a result, the overnight parking restriction is now lifted for Ottawa.

Another overnight parking restriction may be issued in the event of an Environment Canada forecast of 7 centimetres or more for the Ottawa area.

The City’s priority for snow clearing is to ensure that streets are clear and safe for motorists, public transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

Sign up for the City’s Winter Parking e-Alerts or Twitter notifications to be in the know about snow. You will receive notification each time an overnight parking restriction is in effect, if the restriction continues for more than one night and when the restriction has been lifted. The service is free and you can unsubscribe at any time. Sign up today at

For more winter parking information, please visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Issued:  March 1, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.

What to expect during a snow storm

Public safety and environmental responsibility are the City’s main concerns while clearing snow and ice during the winter months. When a snow storm hits, Ottawa’s resources are deployed systematically as per the Maintenance Quality Standards - Roads and Sidewalks for the City of Ottawa.
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