When it snows in Burlington this is what happens


Published November 24, 2023 at 11:21 am

snow plow winter Burlington

It’s never too early to prepare for winter, especially when December arrives.

Despite advanced warnings from the weatherman, it still often takes us by surprise when we wake up to a heavy snowfall.

When that happens, life in Burlington changes.

At the start of every snowfall salting of primary and secondary roads begins and plowing will occur when an accumulation of 5 cm is reached. 

A “snow event” is declared when accumulation reaches 7.5 cm to advise residents that the plowing is underway and to announce the prohibition of all on-street parking.

The prohibition means no parking on any street until the snow event has been declared over. While this can be painful for those who don’t have driveways or garages it can also be expensive if you disobey. Those who leave their cars on the street and block snow plows can be hit with a $120 fine or have the towed. Vehicles that impede snow removal even when there is a lesser amount may also be subject to a ticket.

Here is some other useful information to know when it snows:

  • Residential roads are not maintained to bare pavement but are sanded as required at intersections, hills and sharp curves to enhance traction.
  • All sidewalks are plowed after 5 cm of accumulation and salted or sanded as required.
  • Roads will generally be cleared 24-hours after the snowfall has ended. Heavy snowfalls or successive storms can sometimes extend this period longer than 24 hours.

You can stay up-to-date on snow plowing activities by following burlington.focus511.com. New this year, the City has added sidewalk snow-clearing operations to its tracking system.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • As well as the parking restrictions during a snow event, do not leave your on the sidewalk while in your driveway as this can prevent the sidewalk plow from completing its work.
  • Do not shovel, plow or blow snow from residential or commercial properties onto the road or across the road. This poses a hazard to motorists and is prohibited by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and City bylaw.
  • Do not pile snow in the bike lanes in front of your residence or business.
  • When driving, stay back 20 meters from salters so that you can safely stop.
  • Also when you are behind the wheel give snowplows plenty of space at intersections. The snowplow may need two or more lanes to turn or to get through the intersection. If a snowplow is waiting to turn left at an intersection, do not pull up and stop underneath or in front of the wing plow (the plow attached to the right side of the truck). Your vehicle could be struck by the plow when the truck pulls forward.

A snowfall can also lead to facility closures across Burlington for safety reasons. So if it is snowing, check to make sure the arena, community centre, library or any other City-operated building is still open.

You can stay on top of snow events or closures by subscribing to bulletins at burlington.ca/subscribe or checking online at burlington.ca/facilityclosures. The recorded message at 905-335-7738 will also be updated when recreation facilities are closed due to inclement weather.


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