Storm Response 

a) Priority 1 Streets - Red Routes

These streets receive top plowing priority. The objective in plowing these streets is to obtain bare pavement within 6 hours of the cessation of the snow fall.

Generally, Priority I streets include arterial streets, and Transit routes. These are streets that carry a high volume of traffic and generally serve essential services (Fire, Hospitals, Police, etc.) The city’s red routes are comprised of 10 routes. The length of the red routes total approximately 520 lane kilometres. Salting commences immediately as precipitation begins. Due to current operational constraints, plowing is commenced when snow accumulations approach 5 cm.

b) Priority II Streets - Blue Routes

Roads designated as Blue Routes, consist of collector roads or Class 3 and 4 roads as categorized by the Minimum Maintenance Standards based on traffic volumes and posted speed limits. The primary function for these streets is to link traffic flow from Priority III streets (residential roads) to Priority I streets, (arterial roads). The blue routes are comprised of 10 routes totalling approximately 188 lane kilometers. The main objective in plowing and salting the blue routes is to re-establish a bare pavement within the timelines set out in the legislated requirements of 12 to 16 hours, measured from the cessation of the snow fall.

c) Priority III Streets - Green Routes

Roads designated as Green Routes, consist of residential roads or Class 5 roads as categorized by the Minimum Maintenance Standards. These roads generally carry low traffic volumes at low posted speeds. The main objective in plowing the green routes is to clear the routes to the depth of snow accumulation as set out in the standards (10 cm) within the timeframe stipulated by those standard guidelines of 24 hours, measured from the cessation of the snow fall. Salting is performed as needed to restore friction on hills, curves and at stop signs.

The city maintains 26 green routes comprised of approximately 358 lane kilometers.


On-street parking creates a physical burden to winter control operations. Operational Services requests the public’s cooperation in removing parked cars from roadways in order to better facilitate the snow plowing operation. This cooperation will aid in the efficient and effective completion of plowing operations, and increased public satisfaction with our service delivery.