As autumn turns to winter and the temperatures drop, the risk of icy and snowy conditions returns to Waterloo Region. With the wintry weather comes the responsibility of homeowners and landlords to ensure that walkways around their property are clear of ice and snow. In most areas in Waterloo Region, it is required by law to remove snow and ice to help provide a safe way to travel for pedestrians and cyclists.
The following is what is required from property owners in Waterloo Region’s three cities and four townships. We would encourage readers to reach out to their specific municipality for clarification or with any questions.
City of Kitchener Snow Removal Bylaw
Property owners are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks around their property within 24 hours of a snowfall. Sidewalks are required to be maintained to bare pavement. If not, the city says it will issue a warning then allow another 24 hours, where after they will contract the snow to be removed and add the cost to the owner’s property tax bill.
For more information, visit: Snow removal – City of Kitchener
Pro Tip: The City of Kitchener provides free sand for icy sidewalks and walkways in sandboxes across the city. Visit Sandbox Locator to find one near you.
City of Waterloo Snow Removal Bylaw
Similar to the City of Kitchener, the City of Waterloo’s snow removal bylaw states that property owners must clear their sidewalks within 24 hours after the end of a snow fall or ice buildup.
For more information, visit: Snow removal – City of Waterloo
Pro Tip: The City of Waterloo has an online tool to demonstrate which sidewalks are the City’s responsibility and which are the responsibility of the property/business owner. Visit the Check Sidewalk Responsibility tool to learn more.
City of Cambridge Snow Removal Bylaw
Property owners in Cambridge are required to clear snow and ice from sidewalks at the front and side of homes and businesses within 36 hours after the end of a snow fall.
For more information, visit: Snow Event – City of Cambridge
Township of North Dumfries Sidewalk Snow Removal
North Dumfries contracts the removal of snow from sidewalks throughout the township, meaning residents and property owners are not responsible for shoveling sidewalks.
Township of Wellesley Snow Removal Bylaw
Residents in the Township of Wellesley are responsible for and required to clear all snow and ice from sidewalks in front of and adjacent to their property. This must be completed within 24 hours after the end of a snow fall or freezing rain event.
For more information, visit: Roads and Parking – Township of Wellesley
Township of Wilmot Snow Removal Bylaw
Property owners in the Township of Wilmot are required to removed snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property within 24 hours of a winter storm.
For more information, visit: Snow Removal – Wilmot Township
Township of Woolwich Snow Clearing Bylaw
Property owners in Woolwich, except in Elmira, are required to clear snow from sidewalks in front of and beside their homes or businesses within 24 hours after the end of a snowfall that results in an accumulation of at least 38 mm.
In Elmira, the Township contracts the removal of snow on sidewalks and adds this service to the property owner’s tax bill.
For more information, visit: Roads and Sidewalks – Woolwich Township
Pro Tip for All Areas: Create Your Own Instant De-icing Kit
Mix ¼ cup of salt or de-icing pellets with ¼ of sand. Put in a small container and keep it handy for whenever you see ice (in a parking lot, along a walking path, etc.)
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