Snow and Ice Clearing Information

The City of Victoria closely monitors weather and forecasts to prepare for our response to winter storms.  The City uses dedicated weather services, pavement temperature sensors, and physically monitors the conditions on the streets and sidewalks to determine what action to take to minimize ice, snow accumulation and slippery conditions.

When cold temperatures that create snow and ice are anticipated, City crews begin to brine roads to prevent icing conditions.  When snow starts to accumulate, City trucks begin ploughing roads and crews start to clear “first priority” sidewalks, which include downtown transit stops and wheelchair ramps, and sidewalks fronting City properties downtown. Priority first roads include emergency routes, hills, and bridge decks. Crews then work to remove ice and snow from second and third priority roads and sidewalks. Learn more about our snow clearing priorities.

In addition to the work the City crews do during a snowfall, there are some responsibilities for residents and business owners too, which are outlined below.

Help Keep Sidewalks Clear

There are over 450 kilometres of sidewalks in Victoria, so a community effort is required to make sidewalks safe around our City. 

Residents and businesses are reminded that under the Streets and Traffic Bylaw, they are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their property by 10 a.m. each day.

Victoria citizens are encouraged to make arrangements with neighbours in advance to clear each other’s sidewalks in the event they are away from home or work when it snows.  

Please lend a hand to those who in need.  Many persons in our community may have difficulty clearing snow and ice and need their neighbours help.  Please do not shovel or plough snow onto city streets or sidewalks as it slows snow removal.

Those who do not comply with the Bylaw may face a fine of $125 per ticketed offence (per day) and a ticket can be issued up to six months after an offence has occurred.

Check out these helpful information sheets on the roles and responsibilities of residents and businesses in Victoria when it snows.

Snow Clearing Tools to Have on Hand

Snow clearing tools for Victoria businesses and households include shovels, sand, and environmentally sensitive ice melt products to remove snow and ice from sidewalks and driveways. **Please avoid using rock salt, as it is harmful to concrete sidewalks, pets’ paws and the environment. Ice melt products should be applied only moderately to avoid ice accumulation.

Emergency Kit

Now is also the time to refresh an emergency kit with a working flashlight, radio, new batteries, and to have plenty of food, essential medicine and extra blankets on hand. Learn more about the supplies residents and businesses need to cope for a minimum of three days in the event of a heavy snowfall or power outage at VictoriaReady.ca.

Ice and Snow in Bike Lanes

The new downtown protected bike lanes will also be brined in advance of snow or ice, and will be cleared of snow, in order of overall City priority. Cyclists should monitor changing weather conditions and if the snow can’t be cleared immediately, they may be closed for safety reasons

Learn More

Although Victoria may be a "City of Gardens", we can still get our share of the white stuff. Snow and ice clearing is a big job. We need to work together as a community to keep streets and sidewalks clear and safe, and keep people, goods, and services moving.

Learn more about the roles and responsibilities of residents and businesses when it snows, and how the City prepares for snow and prioritizes snow clearing.