Our goal is to maintain safe winter driving conditions throughout the City during a storm event. We clear, sand, and salt City roads meeting or exceeding minimum standards required by the Province.

Our winter control services are based on a priority system. There are three categories of roads, primary roads, secondary roads and laneways.

 Primary Roads
A primary road is a main road with a higher volume of traffic that provides access to most of the secondary roads.
 Secondary Roads
A secondary road is any other road that is not a primary road or a laneway.
A laneway is a designated municipal rear laneway.

During a snowfall, primary roads cleared for emergency services and for school bus and transit routes. After the primary roads are clear, plowing and sanding starts on secondary roads. Laneways are cleared once the primary and secondary roads are completed. Our goal is to address all roads within 24 hours of a snow event.

When does snow clearing begin?

Road ClassPrimary RoadSecondary RoadLaneway

Start Winter Control

Snow Depth

8 cm (3 inches)

8 cm (3 inches)

10 cm (4 inches)


Clear Within

Time Frame

12 hours

16 hours

24 hours


Treat Icy Roads

Time Frame

8 hours

12 hours

16 hours


How you can help: 

Please don't park where we plow!

Parked cars make plowing difficult and sometimes impossible. If you park on the road during a snowfall, you are subject to a $75 ticket along with a purple tow notice. Towing will occur between one hour to 24 hours after the notice, depending on the severity of the snow and interference with snow removal. 
With your help winter maintenance crews can plow snow faster and reduce the chances of your car being stuck in a snow drift.

What to do if you do not have a driveway, or have more cars than off-street parking spaces?

Move your vehicle to a different location until the streets have been cleared so they don't interfere with plowing.

Read our parking by-laws.

Give us space

Driveway space

Snowplows have no place to push the snow except to the curb or side of the road. Sometimes this happens just after you have finished shoveling. We appreciate that this can be frustrating, however; if you can pile the snow on the right side of your driveway (when facing the road) you will have less snow to re-shovel after our plows have gone by.

Snowbank space

Keep children safe by preventing them from playing or climbing on snowbanks at the side of the road.

Clear a space

If you have a utility or mailbox, a catch basin or fire hydrant in front of your property, clear a space around it. Accidents and emergencies happen, let's work together to avoid them! 
If there's a fire hydrant near your house, do your part to keep it accessible this winter by keeping a 3ft perimeter around the hydrant clear for firefighters to work. Please also clear a path from the hydrant to the street.

No space

Our by-laws prohibit anyone from clearing snow onto our roads or sidewalks. You could be told to remove it or face a penalty if our crews have to do the job for you. If you hire someone to clear your driveway, make sure they do not push snow into the roadway or fill in the sidewalks.

Clear your sidewalks

Keeping your sidewalks clear from snow and ice helps to prevent slip and fall accidents and it also helps those using walkers, canes, strollers and wheelchairs. In Port Colborne, every owner or occupant of a building is responsible for clearing sidewalks bordering their property of all snow and ice within 48 hours of a snow event. This allows the safe passage of all pedestrians. If you are renting a property, please make necessary arrangements with the property owner regarding snow removal. Those who do not comply may face fines or have the snow and ice removed at the owner's expense.

Read our most Frequently Requested By-laws

As always you may call By-law Services at 905-835-2900 x200 to ask questions or discuss an issue. To register a by-law complaint online, complete our online form

Register a By-law Complaint

Snow on garbage day?

Garbage and recycling placement impacts the way we plow. If your pickup day falls on the same day as a snow event, please keep your garbage and recycling away from the roadside and off the snowbanks to ensure city staff can fully clear the roadways.

To learn about any changes to waste removal due to a snow event, visit the Niagara Region’s webpage.

If you live in the country and your mailbox is damaged by a plow, see Rural Mailbox Maintenance During Winter Operations for more information.

Emergency Preparedness 

It's important to make sure you have the tools needed to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe during a winter emergency.

 Are you prepared? 
Know the risks around you, including where you live. This can help prepare you for different situations and where to go in an emergency. If an emergency happens in the community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
 Get an emergency kit 
Depending on the type of emergency, you may need different supplies. You should buy or make your own emergency kit to help prepare in case you need to survive without power or running water.
Keeping Food Safe
Safe food handling is always important, and especially so in emergency situations. By taking steps before, during and after an emergency, you can help protect your family from foodborne illnesses. Here are some practical tips for storing, handling and preparing food in an emergency.

Tune In

The City of Port Colborne notifies local media about municipal closures and road safety information. Be sure to like us on Facebook and Instagram, follow us on Twitter, and sign up for the news channel on our website  to stay up-to-date on all winter control services provided by the City.