Although the COVID-19 pandemic has left us in our homes more often than many of us would like, it is now the season for traditional outdoor activities – skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, to name a few. With these activities comes travel to our local mountains. According to Doctor Bonnie Henry and Destination BC, Vancouver locals are advised to visit mountains in and around the City – Grouse, Cypress and Seymour – versus traveling to Whistler and other mountains within driving distance. With this local travel comes pending questions about Vancouver Snow Removal; with potential snow falls coming in the next month or two, tis the season to prepare for driving in the snow!

The City of Vancouver has essential workers in Engineering services who plan and coordinate efforts fo snow and ice around the City. Here is what you need to know about how Vancouver approaches snow removal.


Priority locations are as follows…

As with any City, there are priority locations that receive snow and ice removal support first. These are:

  • Major roads (you can see those here)
  • Bus routes (so you can get around without a vehicle!)
  • Bridges (like Granville and Burrard)
  • Emergency access routes
  • School routes
  • Bike routes
  • Bus stops


With this list, you may notice a few important pieces missing.


1. Residential side streets, those not on priority routes, are not included in the City of Vancouver’s snow response

This mans that you are responsible to either clean the streets on your own; OR you can consult with us here for support. While many neighbourhoods band together to clean residential side streets, this is not always the case and it is important to remember that safety is of the utmost importance.


2. Sidewalks that are adjacent to non-City owned property

Similar to residential side streets, sidewalks are not included in the City of Vancouver’s response plan. If you live in a strata-led Townhome or Condo building, your building manager will likely lead the sidewalk action plan with a partner like us; however, if you do not have a Strata council, it is important to be aware that you are responsible for clearing your own sidewalk on and around your property.


3. Laneways are not included in the snow response, unless they are required for City collection operations

Vancouver property owners and residents have the responsibility to clear snow and ice on laneways behind their lot.


Did you know?

Shovelling your sidewalk is important! So important, that the City of Vancouver has a bylaw that enforces the following…

You must clear snow and ice for the full width of the sidewalks in front of and alongside your property by 10:00am the morning after a snowfall or freezing temperatures. You must shovel snow onto your property, away from the road as there is no requirement in by-laws for snow to be cleared by the City of Vancouver on private property.


Learn about the Snow Angel program

We love this program from the City of Vancouver. While us at Fraser Valley Snow Removal can clear roads, laneways, sidewalks and more, there is another alternative if you need support – the Vancouver Snow Angel program. Snow Angels help those who are unable to obtain assistance from companies like ours. If you are a senior or if you have limited mobility, you may need help clearing your sidewalk. Should neighbours, friends and others not be able to support, you can phone 3-1-1- and request a Snow Angel! Learn more about the program here.

Snow and ice can wreck havoc on our day. With the utmost importance being safety and security, be sure to understand what the City of Vancouver can support you with, and what they cannot. Get in touch with us here if you need snow removal this Winter.