City preparing for snow and freezing rain

City road crews are preparing to plow and salt roads and sidewalks at the onset of the snowfall and freezing rain forecast for Ottawa Wednesday and Thursday.

Residents are asked to exercise caution if driving, cycling or walking and to allow extra time for their morning and afternoon commutes during the snow and rainfall. Consider, if possible, staying off the roads, working from home or using public transit until the storm has passed.

Visit the Winter Weather webpage on for updates on City operations and tips on what residents can do in preparation for, and during, weather events. For weather updates, please visit Environment Canada.

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.
  • The City will inform residents if a parking ban is placed into effect via Residents can also sign up for an e-alert.

Phase Two

  • Phase Two is only initiated if there is 7 cm or more of snow accumulation.
  • The plowing of other local roads begins once the priority transportation network is in good condition. This frees up resources for the remaining roads.  
  • The Where is My Plow tool, which provides time estimates for plowing on all other 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 

Melting snow 

City crews have cleared snow and ice from catch basins in priority areas. If you know where catch basins are near your home, you can help improve the flow of stormwater and prevent localized pooling by clearing snow and ice from the catch basins near your home. The location of catch basins can be identified by the yellow “T” painted in the centre of the road.

Service requests

Residents who require a service from the City due to the weather are encouraged to submit a service request through ServiceOttawa at

For more information:
Public inquiries

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