Winter Maintenance

Snow covered road image

The City of Niagara Falls has a comprehensive Winter Maintenance Plan. Highlighted below are some sections of the Winter Maintenance Policy Plan.

Roadway Classification

Inside the Roadway Service page, you can find an interactive Service Locator. This page will allow you to enter your Niagara Falls address and it will return what Road Classification it is in. The Road Classification is used to determine when Snow plows are dispatched to remove snow on your street.

Snowplow Damage

Report damage

Has a sidewalk plow or road plow damaged your property? Fill out a Snowplow Damage Form to let us know.

Remove Obstacles

Please remember to keep obstacles such as landscaping hedges, rocks, private curbing and underground irrigation systems off of the City's right-of-way.  This includes the boulevard and up to your property line.  Any underground irrigation system placed on City property that is damaged by a plow will not be replaced by the City.  Operators can find it difficult to maneuver a trackless sidewalk plow around overgrown hedges and shrubs that abut the sidewalk. 

Why does the sidewalk plow sometimes damage the sod?

Some older sidewalks in the City are undersized in comparison to the sidewalk plow blade.  The machine plow blade is 5 feet in width and when angled is 4 feet 2 inches.  The blade needs to be wider than the machine wheel base which is 4 feet wide or material would simply be pushed back onto the walk by the wheels once the plow blade has gone by. Typically sidewalk widths in Niagara Falls are 4 feet to 5 feet wide.  As the angled plow blade width is 4 feet 2 inches it should be noted the margin for error is minimal.

When the City plow or other City repair work has damaged the sod can I fix the area myself and get reimbursed?

Yes. If the sod was damaged from City operations and you wish to repair the area yourself please contact the Municipal Service Centre at 905-356-1355 ext. 6510 to speak with the Customer Service Coordinator. This includes but is not limited to damage caused from a City road plow, City sidewalk plow, watermain break repair, curb stop repair, hydrant repair or City tree removal (except for Capital Construction Projects still within warranty).

  • Property owners must first notify City staff of your intentions, prior to commencing restoration work or purchasing any necessary materials.
  • City Staff will mark and measure the site in order to determine the amount of materials needed and the total reimbursement amount. The City only reimburses for the area damaged by City plow operations.
  • The property owner will be notified of the reimbursement amount and will be required to sign an acknowledgement form outlining the details of the reimbursement including the costs. This form also acknowledges that the City is not responsible for the quality or ongoing maintenance of the sod, including watering.
  • Once the property owner signs and returns the acknowledgement form they may purchase the materials and carry out the work.
  • This reimbursement is for materials only (soil, seed, sod). Labour costs are not included and will not be repaid. Upon completion the property owner must notify the City and provide staff with proof of purchase in the form of receipts or invoices. A City employee will inspect the site and approve the reimbursement.
  • Upon approval a cheque will be mailed to the property owner.  Please allow 30 days for the cheque to be processed.
  • Property owners who choose this option are still eligible for the $10 sod watering rebate.  The City of Niagara Falls is not responsible for sod that dies due to lack of watering. Please call the Municipal Service Centre to activate the rebate at 905-356-1355.

This is a faster option for those who do not want to wait for the City contractor to complete all the various repairs on their city-wide work list, which includes asphalt, concrete and sod repairs.  These repairs can take some time to complete and be scheduled well into the Fall depending on weather and the total sites included in the city-wide restoration program.

Snowplow Operations

During a winter storm, the City of Niagara Falls sends many Snowplows out to help clear the roads of ice and snow. View the Public Notices page to see if there are any active operations.

Leaf and Snow Buddies of Niagara

We need you to be a Leaf and Snow Buddie!

Leaf and Snow Buddies give students the opportunity to be matched with a senior, helping keep their driveway/pathway clear of snow and rake leaves from their lawn. This assistance will help prevent falls. The role of Buddies is to be available to remove snow and leaves when they are called or when there is a snowfall. The program is a great opportunity for students to gain volunteer experience, receive community service hours and help out in their community.  For more information, visit Community Support Services of Niagara.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Leaf and Snow Buddies are in desperate need for more volunteers!  Please consider being a volunteer. Currently the program is no longer able to add seniors to their waitlist as they simply cannot meet the needs of everyone who wants the service.

Winter Maintenance Tips

Looking for some tips to help you get through the winter? Winter Tips provides some useful information to aid you.

Snow Fencing

The City of Niagara Falls has snow fencing throughout open areas and fields. There is approximately 1,170 rolls or 17.8 km in total of snow fencing. The areas where snow fences are placed are sometimes changed and depends on new homes being built in the area and tree removal.

Anti-icing the RoadwaySlippery winter road

In preparation for oncoming snow, identified arterial roads will be treated in advance with Pro Melt. This product prevents the snow from bonding to the road surface as it is packed down by traffic. It provides a window of opportunity for staff to keep friction control on the road surface prior to a full scale plowing being commenced (up to 3 days prior). It also allows the liquid salt to work at a lower temperature when salt would otherwise stop being effective (10F or -12C), it will work up to (-25F or -30C).  The product consists of liquid calcium and magnesium.  It is superior to the brine that was previously applied.  This anti-icing product is safe for the environment.

Pre-treated salt is also used on the roadway. The product ClearLane® used is a superior deicer for effective winter road maintenance that is anti-corrosive, better for the environment than traditional road salt.  It is treated with Xanthium Gum to make it adhere to the road surface.  It is a pre-wet sodium chloride product made from a patented liquid magnesium chloride formula, which means more stays on the road and less is used. It melts at a lower temperature and has a colouring agent (green) that provides a visual effect for the operator to see the spread patter as it is applied to the road.

Sidewalk Winter Maintenance

Local/Residential sidewalks are salted and/or plowed when accumulation exceeds 8 cm in the vicinity of designated areas:

  • Business Areas
  • Along School Routes
  • In front of Public Buildings including Churches
  • Along Bus Routes during the normal working day

Visit the Roadway Service page for service levels.  You can view the various Sidewalk Route maps online also.