Ottawa promises more notice for winter parking bans

One thing is certain in Ottawa, there will be snow this winter.

With the first significant snowfall of the season in the forecast for Friday, many motorists are wondering if and when they will have to move the vehicle to make way for the plow.

The city of Ottawa is getting ready for winter, and is training operators in using the various types of snow removal equipment.

"It’s a challenging job," says Scott MacKinnon, Section Manager, Fleet Training Group. "We invest a lot of time to train our operators so that they have the skills to do the best job possible to keep the roads clear."

The city has 575 snow clearing vehicles, ranging from the large trucks you seeing plowing roads, to sidewalk plows.

"It’s challenging to drive these vehicles, you’re operating on the worst possible conditions - you’re driving a heavy truck or heavy piece of equipment," says MacKinnon.

To help all of it go as smoothly as possible, the city implements winter weather parking bans.

“For us to provide a better service, a safer service, it’s really important for the cars to be removed from the streets,” says Alain Gonthier, Director of Roads and Parking Services.

According to the city, winter weather parking bans are called when seven centimetres of snow or significant amounts of freezing rain is anticipated. Parking bans can be called anytime between Nov. 15 and April 1.

What’s new this year?

This year, the parking ban will have set times, except in the event of unexpected severe weather.

"In the past, it would be variable in terms of when we would actually be calling the parking ban; what we’re doing this year, is we’re actually committing to set times," says Gonthier.

  • Overnight winter parking bans will run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and will be announced by 9 a.m.
  • Daytime parking bans will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will be announced to residents by 3:30 p.m. the day prior

How will I know when there’s a ban?

CTV News Ottawa will have alerts on our website and social media channels.

The city also provides multiple ways to stay informed:

If it feels like your street is always the last to be cleared after each storm, Gonthier says that might change.

"What we are looking for this year is to basically create an alternate starting point - towards the midpoint, so that they’re not always starting at point A, there’s going to be times that they start at point B," he says.

The city also says it will be using more grit, instead of just salt or sand on roads and sidewalks.