Snow and Ice Control in Courtenay

January 17, 2024

Our Role as a City:

During snow and ice conditions, the City of Courtenay’s Public Works Services Department is prepared and ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the snow season from November 20, 2023 to March 1, 2024.

City Crews maintain over 341 lane km of paved roadway, with crews working up to 16 hour shifts during snow events to provide the most effective program possible. Crews are also dispatched to clear high priority sidewalks, as well as the City's catch basins (storm drains) which helps prevent flooding.

For information regarding automated curbside collection during a snowfall event please visit

Street Clearing:

We clear in order of priority:

  1. Arterial and major collector roads, emergency services facilities, bus routes and the downtown core commercial area. 
  2. Minor collector roads, streets with steep hills, school zones.
  3. Local roads.
  4. Cul-de-sacs and lanes.

On local roads, cul-de-sacs and lanes, residents should expect a single plow pass to accommodate emergency access for police, fire and ambulance.


Sidewalk Clearing:
The City clears snow from sidewalks on high volume pedestrian routes where mechanical clearing is possible.

This includes arterial roads, the downtown core, park frontages, transit areas, sidewalks adjacent to emergency and municipal facilities and prioritized paved walking trails. Snow is also cleared from sidewalks on collector roads without residential homes where mechanical clearing is possible.


Learn more: Snow Clearing Levels of Service [PDF - 42 KB]


Launch Interactive Map:

 Snow Clearing Priority Routes

Your Role as a Resident or Business:

Residents and businesses play an important role during periods of snow and icy weather.

  • Please refrain from calling Public Works Services unless it’s an emergency. During snow events they are busy clearing the roads in priority order.
  • Clear the way. The public is encouraged to remove accumulated snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property. Please don't shovel snow onto roadways as it creates hazards for motorists.
  • Move parked vehicles off the street. If you are able to move your car off the road, it will help our operators clear your street as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Reduce hazards. Do not shovel snow from sidewalks or driveways onto the roads as this creates a traffic hazard and interferes with drainage of melting snow.
  • Be a good neighbour. Clearing snow and ice from sidewalks can be a difficult task for our senior residents, or those with limited mobility. Please lend a helping hand to neighbours that may need assistance clearing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks.  
  • Be kind. During snow events our staff work hard to clear the streets in shifts lasting 12-16 hours per day, up to 7 days a week.
  • Help us by clearing snow from storm drains and fire hydrants fronting your property. This will help drainage of melting snow and will ensure quick access to a hydrant in case of a fire.

Launch Interactive Map:

Storm Catch Basin Locations

Our Role as a Community:

 Get in the know about snow by learning some smart tips to help get you through the winter season safely.

  • Stay informed about the latest weather warnings and forecasts.
  • Keep a shovel and bag of salt or sodium chloride handy for clearing your sidewalks and driveways of ice and snow.
  • Do not use warm or hot water to clear areas of snow or ice.
  • When shovelling snow, pile snow on your property — not on the sidewalk or street.
  • Do not let children play in snow piles or roadside snow banks.
  • Check on neighbours that may be in need of assistance.
  • Take transit instead of driving.    


Snowplow Safety:

Snowplowing is a demanding job, and City crews work around the clock. Snow clearing equipment requires a wide berth and cannot be maneuvered as easily as a family vehicle. Here’s how you can help:

  • Limit your travel unless absolutely necessary during severe weather.
  • When traveling on the road, give the operators plenty of space — at least 10 metres. Salt, rocks and other debris can fly, decreasing visibility and posing a safety risk. Tailgating is never a good idea, but it’s especially dangerous when following heavy equipment.
  • Do not pass a snow plow. In addition to the risks listed above, the plow blades may be obscured by spraying snow and ice.
  • Pedestrians, please stay alert when crossing the street and make eye contact with the equipment operators before proceeding.
  • Remove parked vehicles from streets wherever possible until plowing has been completed.
  • To ensure routes are clear for emergency vehicles, vehicle traffic and snow removal operations, vehicles may be towed when required.
  • For everyone’s safety, emergency vehicles have priority within the City.