Streets & Sidewalks

Sidewalk Snow Clearing

Coming in Winter 2022/2023

Beginning in November 2022, the City will implement a level of service enhancement for sidewalk snow clearing along Priority 1 roadways as well as Priority 2A roadways where transit operates and all transit stops. This level of service enhancement will further aid residents in accessing transit options City-wide during the winter months.

The City currently clears 397 km of sidewalks across Hamilton including: sidewalks adjacent to municipally owned property, private lots which do not face the road (reverse frontage lots), Ancaster, and sidewalks adjacent to school property, owned by the Public School Boards, in conjunction with City of Hamilton By-law No. 03-296 on a charge-back basis. The implementation of service enhancements will add 469 km of sidewalk, bringing the total amount where sidewalk snow clearing activities will be conducted to 866 km.

Snow clearing will be activated when accumulation is 5 cm or greater and cleared to a snow packed end condition with de-icing material as needed.

Residents are invited to view the City’s interactive Sidewalk Snow Clearing Map to see which areas across Hamilton are included as part of the upcoming service level enhancements.

Residents are reminded that they are still responsible for clearing snow and ice within 24 hours after the end of a snow event from their property, as per the Snow and Ice By-law No. 03-296 (PDF, 102 KB). Property owners located along sidewalk snow clearing routes are responsible for clearing sidewalk snow when the accumulation is under 5 cm.

Winter Sidewalk Snow Clearing Map

See which roads classify as transit routes and are therefore included as part of the upcoming level of service enhancement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Roads are plowed based on priority. The first priority is main routes and escarpment crossings. The second priority is collector roads and the third priority is neighbourhood streets.

Priority 1 roadways include major arterial roads and escarpment accesses. King Street and Main Street are considered examples of Priority 1 roadways.

Priority 2A roadways are considered primary collector roads. Whitney Avenue and Stinson Street are considered examples of Priority 2A roadways.

To learn more about winter class priorities of streets, residents are encouraged to check out the City’s interactive Priority Road Clearing Map.

Beginning in winter 2022/2023 the City will clear 866 km of sidewalk, including:

  • Sidewalks on municipally-owned property
  • Along reverse frontage lots
  • Formerly Ward 12 in its entirety
  • Sidewalks adjacent to school property, owned by either the Public or Private School Board, in conjunction with By-law No. 03-296
  • All Priority 1 roadways
  • Priority 2A roadways where transit operates.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks along all Priority 1 roadways, however, only Priority 2A roadways where transit operates will be cleared.

Contractors must complete snow removal within 24 hours of the cessation of a winter storm event, or within 24 hours of the cessation of a series of consecutive winter storm events.

The end condition of plowed sidewalks will be snow packed. De-icing materials will be applied as required depending on weather conditions.

The City of Hamilton’s Snow and Ice By-law No. 03-296 will still require property owners and/or occupants to clear snow and ice within 24 hours after the end of a snow event from:

  • Sidewalks adjacent to their property
  • Roofs that overhang the City sidewalk

Background & Timeline

In early 2020, Council directed staff to explore the challenges and benefits associated with universal sidewalk snow removal across Hamilton. Due to the restrictions of in-person consultation as a result of COVID-19, the City postponed the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Engagement Project until the launch of Engage Hamilton, an online platform used to effectively gather online feedback on City of Hamilton projects, policies and initiatives, in lieu of in-person consultation. Over the course of 2020, staff and Council worked to determine service level changes and timing for the level of service enhancements to take place.

  • February 2020 – Council directed staff to explore challenges and benefits associated with universal sidewalk snow removal across Hamilton
  • August – September 2020 – Public engagement window open to public via the Engage Hamilton Sidewalk Snow Clearing Project page
  • November 2020 – Staff presented engagement results to Council and presented three options for service level changes
  • April 2021 – Council approved the level of service enhancements under Scenario 2, which involves maintaining sidewalks that are located along all Priority 1 and Priority 2A roadways where transit operates, and directed staff to prepare an implementation plan to proceed
  • November 2021 – Council approved implementation plan with Forest Ridge Landscaping Inc. as the successful proponent of the Request for Tender Contract using the planned routes provided, to commence in the 2022/2023 winter season
  • November 2022 – Under the approved level of service enhancement, approximately 469 km of sidewalks will be added, bringing the total amount where snow clearing activities will be conducted to 866 km.

Additional resources