Plowing and Salting

 While temperatures are now warming up and another winter season has passed, we want to hear from you about how the City can improve our winter maintenance services moving forward. In preparation for the 2024 winter season, Brantford City Council has directed staff to explore the cost and public’s interest in enhancing current service levels. Increasing service levels such as adding snow and ice removal services to surfaces including sidewalks, multi-use pathways, and recreation trails, may result in an increase to taxes. Have your say at the Let's talk about winter maintenance project page.  

Plowing and salting in Brantford

Keeping our roads and sidewalks clear of snow and ice is a priority for the City. Our Winter Maintenance Crews work around the clock using a prioritized route system to keep you safe and keep our City moving!

Report snowy or slippery locations by calling 519-759-4150.

Which streets get cleared first?

City streets are maintained according to guidelines recommended by the Province. This means the first areas prioritized for snow clearing are high-traffic routes and routes to vital destinations.

  • High-traffic routes: These roads carry a higher volume of cyclist and vehicle traffic, including bus routes.
  • Routes to vital destinations: Residents and emergency services use these roads to get to hospitals, schools and to travel in and out of Brantford.

Example of snow clearing priorities

The following example shows how local streets would be prioritized for snow clearing, based on Provincial guidelines.

  • Red Routes (highest priority): Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Veterans Memorial Parkway, Mount Pleasant Road, Powerline Road, Brant Avenue, King George Road
  • Blue Routes: Albion Street, Golf Road, Morton Avenue, Elgin Street, Ashgrove Avenue, Greenwich Street, Banbury Road, Grey Street, Lawrence Street
  • Green Routes (lowest priority): Roman Crescent, Belaire Road, Palace Street, Dublin Street, Joysey Street, Scotia Avenue, October Place, Viscount Road, Campbell Street, Chatham Street, Adelaide Avenue, Victoria Street, Harriett Street, Seventh Avenue, Strathcona Avenue, Kerr-Shaver Terrace, Maich Crescent, Spring Street, Lincoln Avenue, Palm Crescent, Metcalfe Crescent, Pollard Street

How you can help

There are many ways you can help to keep travel safe during the winter season:

  • Whenever possible, refrain from parking on streets during a winter storm event
  • Pile all snow from your driveway and sidewalks on your property (not on the road)
  • Clear snow from the sidewalk in front of and beside your property as soon as you can (within 24 hours) after a storm event and apply sand or salt when icy as required
  • Keep fire hydrants clear and accessible in case of a fire emergency
  • On your garbage day, ensure your garbage and recycling containers do not interfere with snow removal

Please be patient and allow 24 hours for your street to be plowed during a winter event.

Frequently asked questions

Review these frequently asked questions to understand Brantford’s approach to snow removal and winter control.

Residential driveways

Find answers to questions you have about winter control related to your residential driveway:

Why does the snow plow leave a windrow (pile of snow) across my driveway after I've just cleared it?
Snowplows are designed to remove snow from the road and deposit it on the boulevard. When you shovel your driveway, place the snow "downstream" (on the right side when facing the road) so your driveway won't be filled in the next time the plow comes by. If you're over the age of 65, or if you have a disability or medical condition that prevents you from clearing a snow windrow on your own, you could qualify for our Snow Windrow Removal Program.
Can plows minimize the amount of snow left at the bottom of my driveway?
The priority of our work crews is to clear the road for travel. The only place to move the snow is onto the boulevard, which includes driveways. Unfortunately, snow left at the bottom of driveways is unavoidable.

Residential streets

Learn more about winter control on residential streets:

Why did the plow only clear one side of my street?
Residential roads are plowed to centre bare condition, meaning the plow will create one lane for vehicular traffic. On main roads, you may see the plow clear one side of the street before it is able to safely turn around and return to plow the other half of the street.
Why does it take so long for my street to be plowed?
Residential roads are only plowed after main roads and designated secondary roads have been plowed. As a result, during severe and continuous snowfalls it may take longer to complete snow plowing on residential roads.

If you believe your street has been missed, please wait 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling before calling Customer Service at 519-759-4150

What if I live in a new development that is still under construction in some areas?
Even if your street hasn’t been fully assumed by the City yet, please call Customer Service at 519-759-4150 if you have a question or concern about winter maintenance in your neighbourhood.
I just saw a snow plow drive by with its plow up on a road that needs to be plowed. Why not always keep the plow down?
Each truck is assigned to a route. The truck may be travelling to the beginning of a route to begin a salting operation which is completed before plowing.

General winter control

Find answers to questions you may have about winter control in general:

Why don't all roads have a bare pavement level of service?
To achieve bare pavement, salt must be applied at the onset of snow so that a layer of salt brine is maintained between the road surface and accumulating snow. The City does not have enough equipment or salt to complete this level of service on residential roads. This would increase costs and environmental impacts.
What is "snow pack"?
Snow pack is hard-packed snow on a roadway that develops very quickly when vehicles travel on it often. This often happens on residential roads. Under snow pack conditions, some rutting can be expected, however, vehicles typically navigate snow pack quite easily.

Snow plows are not able to scrape off snow pack as it is usually bonded to the pavement. The City will take steps to improve conditions when warranted and possible.

Is the City responsible for clearing ice and snow from private parking lots and plazas?
Privately owned lots and plazas are the responsibility of individual property managers. If snow from a private lot is plowed onto a City street, the property management company may be subject to a fine. To report snow piled on a street, contact Customer Service at 519-759-4150.

More on Provincial road classifications

The City  plows and salts roads and bicycle lanes in priority sequence according to their Provincial Road Classification. View our Winter Operations Plan and  Winter Operations Route Maps [36 MB]  for more information. We also clear snow from sidewalks in front of City property and facilities.

Clearing times based on roadway classifications
Snow clearing on roadways
Class of RoadwayRouteAccumulationTime to clear
1 Red 2.5 cm 4 hours
2 Red 5 cm 6 hours
3 Blue 8 cm 12 hours
4 Green 8 cm 16 hours
5 Green 10 cm 24 hours

Snow clearing on bicycle lanes
Class of Highway or Adjacent HighwayRouteAccumulationTime to clear
1 Red 2.5 cm 8 hours
2 Red 5 cm 12 hours
3 Blue 8 cm 24 hours
4 Green 8 cm 24 hours
5 Green 10 cm

24 hours


Ice formation prevention
Class of roadwayRouteTime to treat
1 Red 6 hours
2 Red 8 hours
3 Blue 16 hours
4 Green 24 hours
5 Green 24 hours
Ice clearing on roadways
Class of roadwayRouteTime to clear
1 Red 3 hours
2 Red 4 hours
3 Blue 8 hours
4 Green 12 hours
5 Green 16 hours