Winter Maintenance and Snow Removal

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blue snowplow with black front blade clearing snow on the street

Winter Maintenance and Snow Removal

The Town of Georgina provides residents with a high level of snow-removal services. Whether it’s reducing ice on roads, removing snow from roads or clearing it from paths and sidewalks, the Town works to ensure residents and visitors can travel safely. The Town is responsible for 333 kilometres of roads, 140 kilometres of sidewalks and 25 municipal parking lots.  A combination of Town-owned trucks and a contracted service provider provide snowplowing services to Town roads through a priority and secondary route system

The Town's Winter Control Guide for the 2020/2021 winter season is now online. The guide outlines all the relevant information for winter maintenance in the Town of Georgina.

Overall Winter Maintenance Route Map

Common Topics

Child Safety - Ensure your children do not play where snow is piled at the side of the road or in the middle of courts where snowplow operators may not see them.

Fire Safety - The Town of Georgina has approximately 1,386 hydrants that need to be kept clear every time there is a snowfall. Residents are asked to assist by keeping fire hydrants on their properties clear of snow. Hydrants should have a clearing of one metre (three feet) all around and there should be a clear path to the street to ensure firefighters can readily access them. A hydrant can help save lives and property in your neighbourhood. If you see a hydrant that’s buried this winter, please do the neighbourly thing and dig it out. If you need assistance with hydrant snow removal, please call customer service at 905-476-4301. 

Damage to Property -  Sidewalk plowing presents challenges throughout the winter as it is difficult to tell where the edge of the sidewalk is and when the ground is not frozen some sod damage may occur. Damage to Town sod, pavement and Town-owned trees will be repaired in the spring. The cost of both the sod and repairs is built into the Town's contract. Contact customer service at 905-476-4301 when you notice the damage and your address will be added to a list for repair when materials are available.

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Parking

General:

As per the Town’s Traffic and Parking By-law, parking is not permitted on most Town streets from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., Nov. 15 to April 15. This ensures the Town can completely clear streets of snow.

During the day, unless the street is posted as “No Parking”, it is legal to park on the street for three (3) consecutive hours.

If a winter maintenance vehicle comes across a parked car that is consistently a nuisance to snow clearing activities, the Town can request that it be ticketed, towed and/or in extreme cases, contact York Regional Police to assist.

Residents can assist by reporting parked vehicles to the Town so a ticket can be issued. 

Service Levels

The Town of Georgina has developed carefully planned service levels for winter road maintenance.

Primary roads within the routes were determined by emergency vehicle routes and fire stations, traffic volumes, transit routes, steep hills, common gathering locations, connectivity of road network, and staff knowledge on difficult maintenance areas. Once these priority roads have been cleared, secondary road segments within each route will follow.

 Combined Individual Route Maps

Snow Storage/Windrows

Snowplows clear the Town's Highways of snow, and must store the snow as part of this process.  Snow storage is typically to the right, on the boulevards.  In some exceptions, wide corners and cul de sacs have snow storage within the roadway.

 

Declaration of Special Events

Winter Maintenance Event

As a result of a significant winter storm, the Town of Georgina may declare a Winter Maintenance Event which requires all parked vehicles to be removed from Town roads immediately and be kept off for the duration of the event. Failure to do so may result in a ticket and fine being issued as per By-law 2002-0046 (TR-1). A Winter Maintenance Event can be declared from Nov. 15 of each year to April 15 of the following year, when the Town’s regular winter parking restrictions are in effect. It allows the Town to perform snow removal, sanding and salting operations efficiently and quickly. It also provides for safer road access for emergency vehicles.

Significant Weather Event

As per the Ontario Municipal Act, a municipality may declare a significant weather event when a weather hazard, either forecast or occurring, has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the roadways in which they have authority. This declaration suspends the standard timelines required for municipalities to meet their winter maintenance objectives. Learn more about significant weather events at york.ca.

Road Ownership

Regional Roads:

York Region plows the major roads in the Town of Georgina such as Dalton Road, High Street, Ravenshoe Road and Baseline Road. This interactive map (in red) highlights all the regional roads in Georgina and York Region that are plowed by the region. For more information, visit york.ca/roads.

Provincial Roads:

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario operates only one (1) highway within Georgina.  Highway 48 from Ravenshoe Road to Lakeridge Road is maintained by the MTO. If there is a concern with this road, please contact their operations center at: 416-327-8373

Sidewalks

Sidewalks are cleared by Town crews. The Town anticipates all sidewalks will be plowed at least once within 24 hours after a typical winter event. 

With sidewalks of various shapes and sizes, crews use a variety of tools for sidewalk maintenance including six sidewalk plows with sanders and snow blower attachments. Using different tools helps to reduce sod damage caused by sidewalk plows and allows for more extensive maintenance of different sizes and shapes of sidewalks 

The Town’s service level for winter control on sidewalks is to maintain them to a snow-packed condition, and sidewalk plows/blowers are not capable of clearing snow and ice from sidewalks to the extent that bare concrete is exposed in all conditions.  

Snow and ice often bonds to the concrete during extreme temperatures, and ice can also form on snow-packed sidewalks during thaw/freeze cycles. Other factors, such as a buildup of residual ice and snow under wheel tracks, can cause the edge of the plow or blower to ride above the surface of the sidewalk. All affected areas are treated with sand for traction.

Residents are asked to keep vehicles parked away from sidewalks so both road and sidewalk plows can better clean the roads.  Residents can contact the Town if a vehicle is preventing sidewalk maintenance in your area.

Safe winter walking

During winter months, snow and ice make walking very difficult. Here are some suggestions to help keep winter walking safe for everyone:

• Clear snow and ice away from catch basins and hydrants in front of your property.
• When clearing snow from parking lots do not push it into adjacent public land.
• During and immediately after a snowstorm, reduce your driving speed to account for slippery road conditions and snow clearing operations.
• During thaws, reduce your driving speed to avoid splashing pedestrians and prevent water from splashing onto the sidewalk where it will freeze into ice and become a hazard.
• Do not park any vehicles over the sidewalk. Even a partially blocked sidewalk prevents the plows from doing their job properly (By-law 2002-0046 (TR-1).
• Ensure that any structures are placed well back of the property line.

Keeping snow cleared on your property

The Town devotes a great deal of resources to keep streets and sidewalks clear of snow and ice after a snowfall. Residents often deposit snow and ice from their property onto the street or sidewalk not realizing that this contravenes municipal by-laws and the Ontario Highway Traffic Act – section 181. It also contributes to unsafe driving and walking conditions, and increases the cost of providing winter road maintenance. When you're clearing snow from your driveway, please keep the snow on your property.

Tip for clearing driveways: Piling snow to the right side of the driveway can help reduce the amount of snow pushed back into the driveway. Standing in the driveway and looking at the street determines the right side. Don’t forget to remove your parked car from the street during snow removal operations.

Garbage and Recycling

To make waste and recycling pick up easy and efficient, residents are reminded of the following:

  • Place items at the end of the driveway/curb so they are visible
  • Do not place bins or garbage on top of or behind snow banks