Winter is on its way! City reminds residents to prepare for winter weather


With cold and rainy weather, icy roads and possibly snow coming, it is a great time to start preparing for winter weather and storm conditions.

To help avoid flooding during heavy rain or melting snow, residents are asked to clear leaves and debris from catch basins at storm drains near their properties.

Property owners or occupants are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their properties within 24 hours, so that pedestrians have a safe place to walk and can stay clear of oncoming traffic. The City will clear sidewalks around parks, bridges, commuter trails and major City facilities as quickly as staff can get to them. Please exercise extreme caution when using trailways along side riverbanks in high flow conditions.

Trails, boardwalks, bridges, stairs and playground equipment can become slippery and hazardous when there is rain, snow and ice. To report any concerns or issues in Nanaimo's parks and trails, please call 250-756-5200 or email

During a snowfall, the City's priority is to plow and maintain priority 1 routes which are emergency routes and all major roads. Residential areas are plowed and maintained within 96 hours unless snow and icy conditions return crews back to priority 1 routes. Roads become narrower as plows clear snow to the sides. To help, residents can park in their driveways, or on even sides of the road on even days, and odd sides of the road on odd days.

Drivers must slow down and leave extra clearance for snow plows, salt trucks and ice equipment. Drivers should not pass when equipment is operating. For all methods of commuting, be extra alert, aware, be seen and stay safe in any inclement weather.

To report a concern or make a suggestion regarding snow and ice control, please contact the City of Nanaimo Public Works department at 250-758-5222 or

Link to Strategic Plan: n/a

Key Points

  • During the winter season, the City of Nanaimo focuses on maintaining good winter driving conditions on: Priority 1 routes - emergency routes and all major roads; Priority 2 routes - secondary roads; and Priority 3 routes - residential culs-de-sac and dead ends.
  • When snow plows and salt trucks are operating, drivers must keep back a safe distance and may not pass. To help plows clear a wider path on roads, residents can park in their driveways, or on even sides of the road on even days, and odd sides of the road on odd days.
  • Bylaw 5000, Section 22 (1) requires residents and businesses to clear sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall or freeze. Residents can also help minimize flooding by keeping the catch basins in front of their homes free of leaves, debris, snow and ice (if it is safe to do so).
  • When possible, residents are encouraged to stay home during times of heavy snow or icy roads.


"So far it has been a mild winter, but we can expect rain, ice and likely snow will occur. Residents should be as prepared as possible and use extra caution when driving and walking in winter conditions."

Director, Public Works
City of Nanaimo

"During a snow event, City crews will work to salt and clear debris from parks and trails as quickly as possible, but users are urged to use caution and be aware of the conditions that come as a result of the unpredictable weather we often see at this time of year. When the temperature dips below freezing, boardwalks can get icy."

Manager, Parks Operations
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • During an extreme weather event, stay informed by listening to your local radio stations, checking the City's website and social media sites for updates.
  • Stewart Avenue, Brechin Road, the Nanaimo Parkway (Highway 19) and the old Island Highway (19A) are maintained by the BC Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure. Please report any concerns or issues to 1-877-215-6006 or email
  • Nanaimo's Roads and Traffic Services is responsible for maintaining approximately 1,500 lane kms of paved streets.
  • Salt is only effective at melting ice up to -6 degrees Celsius.


John Elliot
Director, Public Works
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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