Assortment of snow equipment

City encourages residents to get a head start in prepping for winter

October 17 2019 –

With the change in season and as temperatures drop, the City of Vancouver is once again preparing for its fall and winter weather response - and we’re encouraging residents to take time this October to do the same. 

How the City prepares for winter


City crews clear catch basins known to be prone to flooding in advance of heavy precipitation.

We also encourage residents to use the VanConnect App to report flooding caused by leaves and debris or other street maintenance issues. These issues are then reported to our daytime operations crews. Download the app at the AppStore, Google Play, or for Blackberry


We have a comprehensive snow response plan built in to our operations and work with a meteorological service provider who provides weather predications specific to Vancouver.

When snow or freezing temperatures are in the forecast we ensure that streets are salted and/or brined in advance. Since the record snow fall in 2017, the City has been making continual improvements to its response plans, including expanded route coverage, increased salt availability and additional snow response fleet. Learn more

How you can prepare for winter

Prepare your snow gear early

Make sure you have shovels, snow boots, snow tires, and salt before the temperature drops. 

Get winter tires

If you drive through the winter, consider getting tires with the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol OR the mud and snow symbol, with at least 3.5 mm tread. The Province of BC requires these tires on provincial highways

Know your obligations

All property owners and occupants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks around their property by 10 am following a snowfall, seven days a week. If you are unable to clear your walk and have no other alternatives, you are encouraged to sign up for the Snow Angel Program to be connected to a volunteer.

Failure to remove snow and ice may result in fines. By helping to clear sidewalks in a timely manner, we collectively ensure that snow and ice does not cause danger for others, especially seniors and people with mobility challenges. 

Get involved

The City also supports a number of volunteer opportunities that help to facilitate residents in making our city a great, vibrant, and connected community. These low-barrier programs are popular with families and residents looking for ways to get involved and connect with their neighbours. 

Adopt a Catch Basin Program

Help from residents in clearing leaves, debris and snow from the approximately 45,000 catch basins across the city can go a long way in reducing neighbourhood flooding. Sign up to adopt a catch basin

Snow Angel Program

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 online