Street priority & map

Snow clearing and ice control is done according to a priority system, and streets are classified into one of three categories – Priority 1 (P1), Priority 2 (P2), and Priority 3 (P3 or residential).

Learn more about Winter Routes

Street priority map

The following interactive map outlines the road network and snow clearing priorities. Additionally, you can also enter an address to view a specific segment.

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Street priorities & definitions

Priority 1

Major regional roads, as well as adjacent sidewalks and active transportation pathways. P1 streets are designated winter routes and have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 2 Active transportation

P2 streets and sidewalks that have been identified as priority active transportation routes. Many P2AT streets are designated winter routes and have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 3 Active transportation

P3 streets and sidewalks identified as priority active transportation routes.

Priority 2

Non-regional bus routes and collector streets, as well as adjacent sidewalks, P2 active transportation pathways, and P3 Enhanced sidewalks. Many P2 streets are designated winter routes and have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 3

Residential streets, as well as adjacent sidewalks and P3 active transportation pathways. Parking restrictions are in place when a Residential Parking Ban is declared.

What happens when we call a …

Priority 1 plow

  • Streets are fully plowed within 36 hours of > 3 cm accumulation.
  • Sidewalks and active transportation paths are plowed within 36 hours of > 5 cm accumulation.
  • Streets are salted and sanded as needed.
  • Designated winter routes have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 2 active transportation

  • One driving lane is cleared within 36 hours of > 3 cm accumulation; streets are fully plowed after > 5cm. Streets are sanded as needed.
  • Sidewalks and active transportation paths are plowed within 36 hours of > 5 cm accumulation.
  • Designated winter routes have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 3 active transportation

  • One driving lane is cleared within 36 hours of > 3 cm accumulation; streets are only fully plowed when a residential operation is called.
  • Sidewalks and active transportation paths are plowed within 36 hours of > 5 cm accumulation.
  • Streets are sanded as needed.

Priority 2 plow

  • Streets are fully plowed within 36 hours of > 5 cm accumulation. Streets are sanded, and are only salted during freezing rain events.
  • Sidewalks and active transportation paths are plowed within 36 hours of > 5 cm accumulation.
  • Designated winter routes have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect.

Priority 3 plow

  • Sidewalks and active transportation paths are plowed within five days of > 8 cm accumulation.
  • Streets are plowed only when a residential operation is called (after > 10 cm accumulation) and are sanded as needed.

Street priorities & definitions

Priority 1 (P1)

Includes all regional streets (major routes) and priority active transportation routes.

P1 streets are normally maintained to bare pavement over the full road width. Generally, accumulations of more than 3 cm are removed with deicing chemicals and by truck plowing. Streets are plowed on a continuous basis, preferably at night to minimize potential conflict with traffic and parked vehicles, until complete.

Typically, P1 plowing operations should be completed within 36 hours of a snow event’s end. It is important to note that clearing may take longer when conditions are extreme and make it impractical and impossible for our full complement of resources and effort to complete the task within 36 hours. Even in these situations, excessive ice or snow build-up along gutters and medians or between traffic wheel paths should still be removed as expected.

All P1 streets are designated winter routes and have associated overnight parking restrictions when a Winter Route Parking Ban is in effect. NEW FOR 2022: The former Annual Snow Route Parking ban is now called the Annual Winter Route Parking Ban. Starting in 2022, the ban may start any time after November 1 dependent on weather conditions (rather than the previous December 1 start date). Notice will be given seven days in advance of the ban coming into effect. Learn more about winter parking bans.

The P1 classification also includes streets reclassified as P2AT and P3AT priority active transportation routes. These routes won’t necessarily receive the same service as standard P1 streets, but will be cleared at the same times as a P1 plow to ensure greater accessibility for active modes of transportation like walking and cycling and, more importantly, those with additional mobility needs.

Learn more about level of service for priority active transportation routes.

Priority 2 (P2)

Includes non-regional bus routes and collector streets based on traffic counts; some streets in industrial areas are exceptions to the standard.

P2 streets are normally plowed to bare pavement over the full road width. Minor snowfall accumulations may result in a layer of compacted snow on the street surface between major plowing operations. A plowing operation will normally be initiated when snow accumulates more than 5 cm.

P2 streets are typically plowed on a continuous basis until the entire network is complete. During a major storm, bus routes are prioritized to maintain equitable access to transportation. Typically, P2 plowing operations should be completed within 36 hours of a snow event’s end. It is important to note that clearing may take longer when conditions are extreme and make it impractical and impossible for our full complement of resources and effort to complete the task within 36 hours.

Priority 3 (P3)

Residential streets

P3 streets are normally maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement, but may be plowed to the pavement surface whenever conditions allow. P3 streets are not plowed unless one or more criteria are observed during routine inspections including:

  • A significant storm event or cumulative accumulation of 10 cm or more snow
  • Significant local drifting conditions
  • Deep ruts or a significant difference in surface height between parking and compacted traffic lanes

Once a P3 plowing operation is called, it should be complete within approximately 2.5 days (or five 12-hour shifts). Work on weekends and holidays will be limited if streets are passable.

The Residential Parking Ban will be declared and in effect on P3 streets whenever a P3 plow is called. Learn more about winter parking bans.

It is important to note that P3 plowing operations will not occur during or following a major storm until all P1 and P2 plowing operations are complete. Depending on weather conditions, we typically undertake residential maintenance plowing operations starting in February.

Back lanes

Back lanes are given an accelerated priority for accessibility reasons and to accommodate garbage and recycling collection. They are normally maintained to a compacted snow surface as opposed to bare pavement. Plowing of back lanes occurs after an inspection warrants a clearing operation, usually once snow accumulates to 5 cm or greater. Back lanes should be plowed within three days of the end of an average storm.

Generally, back lane plowing happens concurrent to P1 and P2 operations, though not necessarily at the same time as any given lane’s respective front street. During extended periods of mild weather, additional back lane plowing may be necessary to reduce rutting and improve drainage.

View the snow clearing status map

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