Snow Clearing

Your responsibilities for clearing snow and ice

The City of Hamilton’s Snow and Ice By-law No. 03-296 requires property owners and/or occupants to clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property and from roofs that overhang the City sidewalk within 24 hours after the end of a snow event.

  • Help a neighbour, friend or family and assist those who are not able to clear the snow. 

For safety reasons, when clearing snow and ice, property owners and occupants must ensure that the snow and ice is not placed:

  • Immediately beside or blocking access to a fire hydrant
  • In such a manner that it would block drainage to any drain, sewer catch basin or culvert
  • On a road or boulevard as it could interfere with traffic, cause an accident and can result in a ticket (By-law #86-77)

As snow and ice builds up on the street, clearing the area around catch basins (sewer grates), curbside gutters and drainage ditches will help to prevent flooding and property damage.

  • When clearing your driveway, consider the direction of travel of the snow plow. Move snow to the side of your property that the plow finishes on so less snow will be spread back across the driveway.
     
  • Do not blow or place snow onto the roadway. Blow or place snow onto the boulevard or your own front/ side yard.
     
  • Keep children off snow banks to prevent them from slipping into the path of vehicles and equipment. Do not let children tunnel into snow banks. The snow can collapse or be pushed back by snow plows.
     
  • On your waste collection day, make sure your garbage container, blue boxes and green cart are visible. Do not place items on top of snow banks or behind snow banks where the waste collectors cannot see them.
     
  • If it is windy on your garbage day, secure your recyclables so that items do not blow away. Place heavier items on top of lighter items. (For example, place magazines or catalogues on top of loose paper). This prevents litter on your neighbourhood streets and properties when the snow melts.
     
  • Keep your vehicles off the road during and immediately following a snowfall. This ensures thorough ploughing of roadways and prevents your vehicle from being plowed in.

There are three options to file a complaint:

Consequences for Violations

Failure to remove and clear snow and ice may result in one or all of the following::

  • A  Notice to Comply issued (A “Notice to Comply” is a document provided to the property owner/occupant that gives direction on what actions need to be taken)
  • charges up to $5,000 under the Provincial Offences Act, in addition to other court proceedings necessary to obtain compliance
  • fee for inspection costs  added to your property taxes
  • the City removing the snow and the costs being added to the  property taxes

Property owners of vacant properties are responsible to ensure sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice.

Report damage from a snow plow to your private property by calling the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2424 ext. 5742. You need to report:

  • where you live
  • a description of the damage

Damage to mailboxes

If a snow plow damages your mailbox, we will issue a temporary mailboxes within a few business days. We will give you a permanent mailbox in the spring when the ground thaws.

Damage to landscaping

The City does not replace or repair damaged landscaping items located within the City's road allowance.

Submit a claim for property damage

You must submit a claim for property damage in writing to:

City of Hamilton
Risk Management Services
21 King Street West, Suite 1101
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4W7

You must describe:

  • what was damaged
  • how it happened
  • date and time of occurrence
  • names of contractors, equipment, operators where possible
  • Your name, address and phone number

Each claim is examined individually.

When Risk Management Services receives your claim, they start an investigation. You will receive a written reply in the mail to let you know they received your claim. A decision on your claim is made when all of the information has been reviewed. You are advised of the decision as quickly as possible. Payment of a claim is contingent upon legal liability on the part of the City.

If you have experienced property damage or injury which you feel is related to City of Hamilton snow clearing efforts you can make a claim to the City. To discuss the claims process, contact the City’s Risk Management Services Section at 905-546-4242 ext. 5742.

Submit a claim for injury

You may submit a written claim within seven calendar days of the incident to:

City of Hamilton
Office of the City Clerk
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

Your claim must include:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Location
  • What damage  or injury occurred as a result of the fall

An investigation starts when we receive your claim. You will receive a written reply in the mail to let you know they received your claim. A decision on your claim is made when all of the information has been reviewed. You are advised of the decision as quickly as possible. Payment of a claim is contingent upon legal liability on the part of the City.