City of Vancouver staff sanding and salting roads

City prepared for winter weather over coming week

February 2 2019 –

We're prepared to respond to all kinds of winter weather and are encouraging you to prepare as well.

What we do to prepare for winter


We have a comprehensive snow response plan built into our operational procedures.

We work with a meteorologist for tailored Vancouver-specific weather predictions. When snow or freezing temperatures are predicted, we ensure that arterial roads are salted, brined, or plowed depending on the conditions.

In 2017, we also expanded coverage locations, added to our fleet, increased salt availability, and made improvements to our response routes.

Priority routes include the city's main arterials, priority hills, emergency routes, and the most widely used bike routes.

Learn more

In preparation for lower temperatures and snow showers starting Sunday and continuing into next week, we have staff scheduled around the clock for brining, salting and, if necessary, plowing of priority routes.

We are also prepared to open our Departmental Operations Centre in the event of snow accumulations.


During the wet and rainy season, we proactively clear catch basins known to be prone to flooding in advance of heavy rain.

Residents can connect with us on our VanConnect App. Use the app to report leaves causing flooding, and any other street maintenance issues. 

Learn more and download the app

What residents can do to prepare for winter

  1. Prepare your snow gear early. Make sure you have shovels, snow boots, snow tires, and salt before the temperature drops.
  2. 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 3.5mm tread. The Province of BC requires these tires on provincial highways.
  3. Know your obligations. 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. 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.

Programs that support you in getting involved and helping your neighbours

We 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 flexible opportunities that connect them with neighbours and their neighbourhood.

Snow Angels

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.

Learn more and sign up

Adopt a Catch Basin

What do "Grate Expectations," "Live Inlet Die," and "Kevin Basin" have in common? They are all the names of catch basins adopted throughout Vancouver.

With over 45,000 catch basins in the city, residents help clearing leaves or snow from catch basins in advance of rain can dramatically reduce neighbourhood flooding.

Learn more and sign up