Winter Maintenance Road Quality Standards


Winter Maintenace Road Quality Standards


All roads are grouped in classes and by type. They are listed in the Council approved Mainenance Quality Standards for Roads, Sidewalks and Pathways. These standards are used to prioritize how frequently roads are plowed, how ice is controlled and how snow is removed. High priority roads and most arterial roads are dealt with first.

Snow removal:

  • City crews will plow residential roads to a snow-packed surface. When necessary, materials will be applied to keep roads safe.
  • The time to clear snow from residential roads is 10 hours from the end of snow accumulation.
  • Bus stops are cleared within 24 hours after the snow accumulation has ended.
  • Snow removal may be scheduled for your street. Please watch for temporary on-street “no parking” snow removal signs.
  • On-street snow storage space is used to the maximum, including boulevards.and cul de sac circles. Winter overnight parking restrictions take effect if a snow fall of 7cm (5 – 10 cm) is forecast.
  • Find out more about snow removal and disposal.

What to expect during a winter storm. Ottawa’s resources are deployed systematically in time to clear snow accumulation.

The following table describes the Maintenance Quality Standards for snow and ice control on city roads.

Road Maintenance
Road Type Minimum depth of Snow Accumulation for Deployment of Resources(Depth as per MMSMH) Time to clear Snow From the End of Snow Accumulation or Time to Treat Icy Conditions(Time as per MMSMH) Treatment standard
Bare pavement Centre bare Snow-packed
 1  A High priority roads As accumulation begins (2.5-8 cm depending on class)  2 h (3-4 h) X    
B X    
 2  A Most arterials   3 h (3-6 h) X    
B X    
 3  A Most major collectors  4 h (8-12 h) X    
B X    
4 A Most minor collectors 5 cm (8 cm) 6 h (12-16 h) X    
B   X  
C     X
5 A, C Residential roads and lanes  7 cm (10 cm)  10 h (16-24 h)     X
B  10 cm (not defined)  16 h (not defined)     X


  •  MMSMH refers to Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highway

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