Skip to content

Make way for pedestrians: Shovel snow from the walkway or face the consequences

Clearing falls to residents, business owners across Greater Victoria
Residents help clear the sidewalks on York Place in Oak Bay, Dec. 28, 2021. (Black Press Media photo)

Across the region residents and business owners are responsible for snow clearing on sidewalks in a bid to keep pedestrians safe.

With Environment Canada warning of another 5 to 10 cm of snow, Greater Victoria residents may need to break out the shovel again Thursday (Dec. 30).

Bylaws across Greater Victoria say residents and businesses must clear snow and ice from any sidewalk fronting their business. In Victoria there’s a 10 a.m. deadline.

RELATED: Another 5-10cm of snow expected for Greater Victoria

Central Saanich expects sidewalks adjacent to private property clear within 24 hours of accumulation.

That municipality specifically refers to “a 72-hour winter” that is common in the region, where it generally starts snowing in the early evening, has stopped by morning and is soon followed by rain.

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the region won’t rise above freezing until Saturday.

Sidney also specifically asks residents to help keep the system flowing by clearing obstacles, including snow and ice, from catch basins on roads in front of their properties. Temperatures in the region are predicted to hit 2 C – both day and night – on Saturday (Jan. 1).

Municipalities also encourage the use of environmentally friendly ice-melting products, avoiding corrosive products that can harm the environment and the sidewalks themselves. Saanich suggests sand, high-nitrate fertilizers or calcium chloride.

Another message rings true across Greater Victoria – if a neighbour needs a hand, help them out.

READ ALSO: Temperatures reach new lows in Greater Victoria, Malahat

The Victoria streets and traffic bylaw prescribes a $100 fine – it’s only $25 in Oak Bay – should it come to that.

Pro tip for those doing the driveway as well: Pile the snow to the right of your driveway (facing the road from your home) so that when the snowplow comes by, it does not push the snow back across your driveway entrance or private road access.

Multiple districts include the ban on throwing snowballs (and other projectiles such as fireworks) into streets.

READ ALSO: Leash your cat or face a $150 fine in Victoria

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
Read more