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City of Vancouver plans for ice and snow over the weekend

February 22 2018

"For the last week, we have been out to brine the streets in advance of snow flurries and to help reduce ice caused by freezing weather," says Taryn Scollard, the Director of Streets

City of Vancouver staff sanding and salting roads

The City will be activating its Engineering Department Operations Centre in response to continuing cold weather and anticipated snow fall over the weekend.

"For the last week, we have been out to brine the streets in advance of snow flurries and to help reduce ice caused by freezing weather," says Taryn Scollard, the Director of Streets for the City of Vancouver. "When we see weather reports such as what is anticipated this weekend, we also pull crews from other departments, such as water and sewer construction crews, to help support salting and snow removal and sidewalks and bus stops. We have been active over the past week to salt high-risk areas."

Improvements for this winter

After the 2016/2017 snow year, Council approved capital investments for additional equipment including an expansion of the City's fleet to include vehicles adaptable for use in all seasons to allow better access to some neighbourhood laneways for garbage and green bin collection.

Additional equipment includes more dump trucks with 'winter package' equipment enabled for snow and ice, and additional specialty vehicles. The City also upgraded its salt and brine storage capacity.

Warming centres activated

Warming Centres, which have been open and activated since Sunday, February 18, will continue to be open as long as temperatures reach -5°C or below (or feels like -5°C or below).

"Warming centres accommodate everyone in need of a warm space, a welcoming presence and something warm to eat or drink," says Ethel Whitty, Director of Homelessness Services. "They're an important way for us to make sure that some of the most vulnerable residents in the city are able to keep safe and warm during these extreme temperatures."

All warming centres welcome men, women, pets, bikes, and carts. Hot beverages and snacks are available and no reservation is required.

  • Britannia Community Centre - 1739 Venables Street (Hours: 9pm to 8:30am)
  • Carnegie Community Centre - 401 Main Street (Hours: 11:15pm to 7am)
  • West End Community Centre - 870 Denman Street (Hours: 11pm to 7am)

Departmental Operations Centre activated

DOC is activated during times of extreme weather to provide enhanced coordination at the City and increased snow and ice response.

The DOC operates 24/7 during extreme weather events, and provides coordinated responses to partners such as TransLink.

Residential snow clearing responsibility

All property owners and occupants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks around their property by 10am the morning after a snowfall, seven days a week. Failure to remove snow and ice may result in fines.

Become a Snow Angel

Snow and ice on the sidewalk can be a barrier for many people, particularly seniors and people with mobility challenges.

The Snow Angel program helps match volunteers with seniors and people with mobility issues to help clear their sidewalks following a snowfall event.

Sign-up to be a Snow Angel

Report flooding or snow issues on VanConnect

Connect with us on the go, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the VanConnect App. Use the app to report:

  • Snow causing flooding
  • Issues with transit shelter access
  • Uncleared sidewalks
  • Any other street maintenance issues. 

Download VanConnect

Learn more about the City's snow response