The City of London Winter Maintenance Program is a responsibility of our Roads and Transportation Division within Environmental and Engineering Services. Our mission is to provide safe roads and sidewalks during the winter season at an affordable price.
In the event of a major snow storm where an estimated 10 cm or more of snow is forecast to fall in a short timeframe, the City will provide winter maintenance updates on this webpage.
City equipment and snow clearing standards
The City has a 24/7 response team equipped with:
- 68 pieces of road plowing equipment
- 25 road salt/sanders
- 41 sidewalk plows, and
- two new dedicated anti-icing tankers.
This response team maintains the City’s 3,555 kms of roadway; 1,475 kms of sidewalk; 720 cul-de-sacs; and 2,100 bus stops.
The City of London also tracks weather conditions and has road temperature sensors located in strategic locations throughout the city to monitor our roads for snow and ice detection.
We have an established plan and routes for clearing snow, and ask that you refrain from calling during the first day of a snow event. After the snowfall ends, it can take
- 6-8 hours to clear priority roads, and
- for all City streets approximately 24 hours.
A larger or continuous snowfall may extend the time necessary to clear snow from local streets and cul-de-sacs.
Our sidewalk snow removal service is done using mechanical equipment and while sidewalks are able to be cleared to a snow packed condition, the equipment does not allow for clearing down to bare pavement.
Which Streets Get Plowed First and Why?
Streets designated as "priority" are cleared first, then crews take care of the remainder of the streets.
The city is divided into 62 areas or "beats." Each beat is made up of a street list starting with the priority roads. Priority roads carry the higher volumes of traffic and are most easily identified as main (arterial) roads or secondary collector roads. These are the roads people use to get to business areas, hospitals and in and out of the city. Bus routes are also considered in the first round of snow removal. The "other" roads are primarily residential or secondary routes and these are systematically plowed after the "priority" routes are completed.
Most beats are assigned one snow clearing unit, but in the case of the core area or multi-lane roads more units are provided. The multi-lane roads require two or three trucks to work in tandem to avoid leaving dangerous ridges of snow between lanes. Crews have a detailed list of streets in their "beat" to help ensure that all are cleared.
Who Determines Which Streets Get Plowed First?
London follows the provincially prescribed standards for winter maintenance (Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, O. Reg. 239/02). Roads are categorized into five main classes. Class 1, 2 and 3 or priority roads, which include arterial and some secondary collectors, take first priority. Classes 4 and 5, which include local streets and cul-de-sacs, have less priority.