As snowflakes begin to dance down from the sky, grab your coziest sweater and keep reading to find out what the City does to ensure things run smoothly during the winter season.
Winter Weather Parking Bans
When a parking ban is called, parking your car on city streets is prohibited unless you have a residential parking permit or are out enjoying local businesses in specified areas. Parking bans are called to support winter operations and the decision to call one isn't taken lightly. It is only done when weather conditions require more road crews to be out clearing snow or spreading abrasives to make our roads and sidewalks less slippery. When there are no vehicles on the road, operators can more effectively clear the roads and catch basins of ice and snow. Last winter, eight parking bans were called between November 2022 and April 2023.
Overnight winter parking bans go from 7 pm to 7 am. The City aims to announce them to residents around 9 am on the day-of. Daytime parking bans, which go from 10 am to 7 pm, are typically announced to residents around 3:30 pm the day prior – except in extreme weather conditions.
There are several locations where residents can park their vehicles during a winter weather parking ban. This year, we have added 18 additional parking lots.
To be alerted of a parking ban, sign up for winter parking e-alerts, follow the City on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook, download the City app or visit ottawa.ca/WinterParking.
Significant Weather Events
Significant Weather Events are declared when Environment Canada forecasts conditions that may pose significant danger to residents on Ottawa’s highways. Two Significant Weather Events were called last winter. The first was declared in December due to a mix of snow, rain, strong winds and fluctuating temperatures. The second was called in April, as result of the ice storm. Both events required staff to work long hours through the holidays to keep our transportation network moving and safe.
All resources are deployed during a Significant Weather Event and crews are working hard to keep sidewalks, roads and winter cycling network clear of snow and ice, but keep in mind that they might need extra time due to the weather conditions. During a Significant Weather Event, we encourage residents to limit their travel unless, it is essential, and adjust to the conditions of the road.
Play it smart
When clearing snow and windrows from your laneway, please be sure not to overexert yourself and take as much time as you need.
Need help clearing your driveway and/or walkway during the winter? For information on City’s Snow Go and Snow Go Assist Programs, visit Help around the home on ottawa.ca.
Keep it kind
Our road crews work hard to ensure that sidewalks, roads and the winter cycling network are clear of snow and ice. While we know that winter can be frustrating at times, please be kind when you see our crews out and about. A smile and a friendly wave can go a long way on a chilly winter’s day.