Sidewalk Snow Clearing

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

This month, the City of Hamilton is launching its online Sidewalk Snow Clearing Survey to help measure and better understand the needs and wishes of residents related to sidewalk snow clearing during the winter months.

The Engage Hamilton Sidewalk Snow Clearing project comes in response to a motion approved by Council in February 2020 that directed staff to explore the challenges and benefits associated with universal sidewalk snow removal across Hamilton. Due to the restrictions of in-person consultation as a result of COVID-19, the City postponed the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Engagement Project until it could launch here, in lieu of in-person consultation.

The City is looking for resident feedback regarding the impacts to inclusivity, accessibility and the financial implications of increasing service levels.

Until September 11, 2020 the City of Hamilton is looking for resident and advisory group input into the proposed service level changes being considered. Recommendations from residents will be presented to Council and next steps will be determined in fall 2020.

Project Background
The City currently clears 397 km of the approximate 2,445 km of sidewalks across Hamilton including: sidewalks on municipally-owned property, along reverse frontage lots, formerly Ward 12 in its entirety, and sidewalks adjacent to school property, owned by either the Public or Private School Board, in conjunction with By-law No. 03-296 on a charge-back basis.

There are three potential options being discussed regarding the levels of sidewalk clearing in Hamilton.

Scenario 1: Base case, (existing Service) 397 KM of Sidewalk
Scenario 2: Priority 1 and 2A Roadways. This includes all bus routes, but does not include all residential streets.
Scenario 3: City Wide Roadways. This includes all bus routes and all residential streets.

ScenariosKM of Sidewalks% of SidewalksActivation TriggerService Level
Existing Service39716.2Snow CoveredClear and application of salt
Priority 1 and 2A Roadways1,18048.25 cm accumulation on City sidewalks on priority 1 and 2A roadways plus the existing inventorySnow packed condition with de-icing material application
City Wide Roadways2,4451005 cm accumulation on all City sidewalksSnow packed condition with de-icing material application


Mapped Sidewalk Snow Clearing Scenarios

View map showing different sidewalk clearing scenarios

This month, the City of Hamilton is launching its online Sidewalk Snow Clearing Survey to help measure and better understand the needs and wishes of residents related to sidewalk snow clearing during the winter months.

The Engage Hamilton Sidewalk Snow Clearing project comes in response to a motion approved by Council in February 2020 that directed staff to explore the challenges and benefits associated with universal sidewalk snow removal across Hamilton. Due to the restrictions of in-person consultation as a result of COVID-19, the City postponed the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Engagement Project until it could launch here, in lieu of in-person consultation.

The City is looking for resident feedback regarding the impacts to inclusivity, accessibility and the financial implications of increasing service levels.

Until September 11, 2020 the City of Hamilton is looking for resident and advisory group input into the proposed service level changes being considered. Recommendations from residents will be presented to Council and next steps will be determined in fall 2020.

Project Background
The City currently clears 397 km of the approximate 2,445 km of sidewalks across Hamilton including: sidewalks on municipally-owned property, along reverse frontage lots, formerly Ward 12 in its entirety, and sidewalks adjacent to school property, owned by either the Public or Private School Board, in conjunction with By-law No. 03-296 on a charge-back basis.

There are three potential options being discussed regarding the levels of sidewalk clearing in Hamilton.

Scenario 1: Base case, (existing Service) 397 KM of Sidewalk
Scenario 2: Priority 1 and 2A Roadways. This includes all bus routes, but does not include all residential streets.
Scenario 3: City Wide Roadways. This includes all bus routes and all residential streets.

ScenariosKM of Sidewalks% of SidewalksActivation TriggerService Level
Existing Service39716.2Snow CoveredClear and application of salt
Priority 1 and 2A Roadways1,18048.25 cm accumulation on City sidewalks on priority 1 and 2A roadways plus the existing inventorySnow packed condition with de-icing material application
City Wide Roadways2,4451005 cm accumulation on all City sidewalksSnow packed condition with de-icing material application


Mapped Sidewalk Snow Clearing Scenarios

View map showing different sidewalk clearing scenarios

Leave us your thoughts

loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.

I do think that sidewalks should be cleared, but I have a problem saying that the city should do it, given the terrible job that is done on the streets , I hesitate to say that the city should do it. Those who clear the streets leave mounds of snow on the streets at the intersections so that it is almost impossible to get to the streets to cross, they leave big piles of snow at the ends of the streets, and sometimes they leave some streets unplowed while plowing others several times in a row. Also, the job done clearing the bus stops can leave big piles of snow across the sidewalk on either side of the stop. And using snowblowers or the small bobcats on the sidewalks tends to leave a layer of snow that either is or becomes very slippery with the sun on it. Asking the city to clear sidewalks feels like asking for trouble, but since many do not clear the sidewalks that is also trouble--between a hard place and a stone

Judy Plantinga about 1 month ago

Being in a wheelchair there are 3 issues that happen every year with snow clearing1) City of Hamilton: The snow is not cleared on the ramp between the sidewalk into the crosswalk at intersections. (The transitions slope to get off the sidewalk) The slush and snow is left making it impossible to cross the street and continue on the sidewalk.2) Homeowners. They only clear a path the width of their shovel in front of their homes/businesses. It is too narrow to take a wheelchair or mobility device through. Does the bylaw specify they must clear the whole walkway? Can I complain?3) Homeowners do not clear their sidewalks at all.

Mel875 about 2 months ago

I worked for a neighboring municipality and the service was not any faster. More damage was done to lawns through new operators not knowing the area .Keep the same don't raise taxes!!!!!!

Rick Lipsitt about 2 months ago

I worked for a neighboring municipality and the service was not any faster. More damage was done to lawns through new operators not knowing the area .Keep the same don't raise taxes!!!!!!

Rick Lipsitt about 2 months ago

I'm happy with the current process.The city can't afford another expense or higher taxes.Good neighbors help seniors.The current practice is better standards and faster then the city can do. I strongly recommend keep it the present program.. keep taxes down.!!!

Rick Lipsitt about 2 months ago

Hamilton's vision is "To be the best place to raise a child and age successfully". At present, if you have young children in a stroller is it difficult and unsafe for months of the year to walk to your local library, grocery store, or school. As a senior, there is an elevated risk of serious injury from having to walk on snow- and ice-covered streets. I frequently see people with walkers, grocery carts, strollers, and scooters on the road in winter because that's the only place they can move. Because the city plows the roads.We are also in what council declares a "climate emergency". It is unacceptable that driving is privileged over walking in this situation.Wake up, Hamilton, and act in a way that matches your words.

Jeff about 2 months ago

Why does the survey have so many personal questions completely unrelated to snow removal? How does my relationship status, sexually identity or how I came to reside in the city have anything to do with this? And your ableist language is dreadful. Not everyone who navigates a sidewalk walks, so the term “walkability” should be ditched.

Hamilton Citizen about 2 months ago

Removed by moderator.

Lisa Shelley- Ansell 2 months ago

The sidewalks belong to the city. It has a legal and moral responsibility to keep them safe. Safe for wheelchair and walker users as well. Get the snow and ice off the sidewalks within 12 hours after each snowfall, to a standard where anybody can use the sidewalk. It can be done by changing the by-law and the method of enforcement (immediately clear any non-complying sidewalk and put the cost on the tax bill of the property owner). Get it done!!!!!!

DLH 2 months ago

Probably not worth it.The city can make a capital investment in plows and do the job far more efficiently than individual home owners with shovels. But they can't do it as fast (citizens outnumber the city workers). And if they only go when there is over 5cm, and don't clear the surface, then citizens still need to have shovels, and ready to shovel. They also still have to handle their driveway, or at least the path to the door if the property is occupied.I think most homeowners would only be willing to spend a few bucks a year for the service.Probably easier to step up bylaw enforcement, esp on businesses that don't shovel (leaving the elderly to crawl over snow mountains).

Angelo 2 months ago

Walkability could also include rollability

Emma 2 months ago

The city must clear all sidewalks as in Scenario 3, including all bus routes and all residential streets. It is unacceptable that wheelchair users have been forced to go on the road due to the inaccessibility of the streets, putting their safety at risk.I am low income and I am more than willing to pay a 35$ annual increase because I value disabled folks’ lives and I value accessibility.

Dania 2 months ago

I would be happy to pay a bit more each year so that everyone has safe access to sidewalks in the winter. We are lucky that we live on highway 8 in Stoney Creek and the sidewalks are usually cleared by the city due to empty lots and city properties. But I know that there are many vacant homes near me (thanks to the Scube plan for new roads) that would not get cleared no matter how many bylaw tickets were given and that is not safe. We all have to check our privilege a little bit if we have a home and are capable of clearing our own snow - up to $50 PER YEAR isn't much to help out our neighbours and make sure everyone is safe getting around the city.

HVR 2 months ago

Not every issue should be solved by raising taxes. Hamilton is drowning in pandemic debt already. Neither the City nor its residents can keep throwing money at problems without considering alternatives.We have a by-law that fines households that do not clear their sidewalks within 24 hrs. What we need is officers to enforce that by-law. No more warnings, go straight to fines. The those of us who are diligent in making sure that our sidewalks are passable would not be on the hook for those who don't care and can't be bothered. In effect, we would be paying their fines! Not Fair!

Nancy Elliott 2 months ago

The city's winter preparedness plan including the sidewalk snow removal is critical for all residents - families, children/students, seniors, and visitors doing business or pleasure in Hamilton. I strongly support Priority 1 and 2A Roadways.

Christine Seketa 2 months ago

Clearing all sidewalks (Option 3) should be a priority for the city. The city has the machinery and manpower to make short work of it. Many people do not have the capacity (ie. Seniors), or the time (ie. shift workers) to get it completed within 24 hours. Clearing all the sidewalks for everyone would be the most cost efficient thing for everyone in the city. Raising taxes by a small degree (only $35 annually!?) to take care of this valuable and necessary service is the right thing to do. Are we even going to notice an extra $35 per year? I think not. And, that is far less expensive than hiring someone else to do it. For those who wish to shovel their own sidewalk, they are still welcome to do it before the plow arrives. For the sake of all citizens, paying a tiny bit more each year seems a like a no-brainer, for the good that it would do.

Darryl Wignall 2 months ago

We are Canadian's. Get dressed for the task and get it done in a timely manner. If you can't shovel because you don't have any legs or arms - hire someone or live where you are not responsible for clearing snow . Take the money on installing electronic ticketing systems and hire people to walk the streets and if not cleared within 24 hours and send the property owner a ticket. People get away with things because they can. Be a responsible government.

Robert Smyth 2 months ago

To support seniors and help them to keep their homes, we want the city to clear the sidewalk snow.

Mr & Mrs Saddik 2 months ago

In an article in the Hamilton News last year Councillor Jackson said it would cost taxpayers approximately $35 per year to have sidewalks cleared. I would gladly pay that to have the sidewalks cleared by the city. Shiftwork and long hours often makes it a challenge to do the job myself within 24 hours. And it would be impossible to hire someone to do the job all winter for a mere $35. I'm all for it!

Beth 2 months ago

Yes, we want the City to clear the sidewalk snow

Mr & Mrs Saddik 2 months ago