Assortment of snow equipment

City gearing up for snow and colder temperatures

January 9 2020 –

With snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast, the City of Vancouver is readying its snow operations and winter shelter response plans. 

This week, City crews have been out brining and salting priority response locations, and are prepared to salt and plow if conditions arise. The extent of snowfall accumulations in Vancouver remains uncertain for tonight and over the next few days, but staff and equipment have been readied for 24-hour deployment if required. 

Should we see accumulations, our priorities include arterials, bus routes, bridges, emergency routes, school routes and priority bike lanes. We also prioritize bus stops, arterial corner ramps and pedestrian pathways along the seawall and the Arbutus Greenway.

The City strongly recommends that drivers take into account the conditions and use winter tires that display the three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) symbol, with at least a 3.5mm tread. 

Clear your sidewalk

As always, residents and business owners can play a big role in ensuring snow doesn’t become hazardous for people with mobility challenges. It’s important that snow is cleared promptly from walkways and sidewalks before it hardens to ice. 

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.

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. 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 for the Snow Angel program

Warming centres

The drop in temperature is especially dangerous for people sleeping outside and we strongly urge everyone to come indoors. Warming centres will be activated from Sunday, January 12 to Wednesday, January 15. All are welcome and people can bring their carts and pets. People with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centres and hot drinks and snacks are available.

Powell Street Getaway, next to Oppenheimer Park, is already operating and remains open every night until Wednesday, January 15. 

Warming centre locations

January 12 to 14    

  • Britannia Community Centre (Hours: 9pm to 8:30am)
  • Vancouver Aquatic Centre (Hours: 10pm to 6am)
  • Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11pm to 8am)

January 15    

  • Britannia Community Centre (Hours: 9pm to 8:30am)
  • Overdose Prevention Society (Hours: 11pm to 8am )

Since the start of winter, warming centres have been open on 22 nights and have been visited 2,597 times.

Activation of Extreme Weather Response shelters has also been extended until January 15.

During the day, those in need can also access free showers and laundry facilities at Evelyne Saller and Gathering Place, as well as hot meals at these facilities and Carnegie Community Centre. These locations and other public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, are also available during their opening hours as spaces to warm up during extreme weather conditions.

Read more about warming centres and the City’s winter response strategy