Winter Operations Update - Friday, January 12 - Afternoon

The Capital experienced minimal snow accumulation in December and into the new year, but Mother Nature is making up for lost time. Get your tuques on, shovels ready and hunker down, Ottawa - a winter storm is on the way!

Forecast and conditions

Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Ottawa region with total accumulations of 15 to 25 centimetres expected and peak snowfall rates of 3 to 5 centimetres per hour. That’s a lot of snow – and falling fast! Snow will begin this evening and quickly become heavy at times tonight, before transitioning to periods of light snow Saturday morning. Strong winds gusting up to 70 kilometres an hour, combined with heavy snow, will cause significantly reduced visibility at times.

Be prepared to adjust to the changing conditions of the transportation network. Take extra care when walking, driving or cycling in affected areas. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to quickly accumulating snow, and visibility may, at times, be suddenly reduced to near zero.

We encourage those who can to plan ahead today. Please complete errands and find off-street parking, as travel should be avoided unless it is essential.

Our response

The Roads and Parking Services team has been preparing equipment and filling the salt domes. We’re ready to respond to this winter storm, along with our many partners across the City. All available resources will be deployed and working around the clock. Our supervisors are keeping an eye on the forecast today and will monitor the transportation network this evening and overnight. Once accumulation begins, our focus will be on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads, bus routes, the Transitway and the winter cycling network. Crews are expected to move into residential neighbourhoods tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, our Parks Maintenance partners will be out in full force, clearing City facility parking lots (with a priority on Fire and Paramedic stations) as well as lots serving parks and outdoor rink locations.

Given the nature of this event, the snow will be wet and heavy and it will take some time to clean up.

A daytime winter weather parking ban is being called

A Winter Weather Parking Ban will be in effect tomorrow Saturday, January 13 from 10am to 7pm. When vehicles are removed from our streets, the Roads and Parking Services team can clear snow efficiently to create a wide-open roadway.

Your parked vehicles must remain off the roads for the duration of the Winter Weather Parking Ban unless you have an eligible parking permit or are accessing parking in our exempted commercial main streets. And, though eligible parking permit holders are exempt, we encourage those who can to remove their vehicles to prevent them from being snowed in. 

The City of Ottawa has added an additional 18 parking lots for residents to park for the duration of the ban, but vehicles must be removed when the ban is lifted. Information on all parking options during a winter weather parking ban is available on

Residents can stay in the know about our winter weather parking bans by signing up for e-alerts at, or by downloading the City of Ottawa app.

Resident support is required

  • Flashing blue lights mean we are hard at work. If you see a sidewalk plow approaching, please step aside into an open driveway. Always remember to stay at least 3 car lengths behind our vehicles – never pass.
  • There is no need to create a service request for routine snow clearing. We are on the job and our efforts are currently needed out in the community; service requests should only be created for emergencies.
  • Unless you have an eligible parking permit or are parked in an exempted commercial main street area  your parked vehicles must remain off the roads for the duration of the Winter Weather Parking Ban. Information on alternative parking options is available on   
  • Are you ready? To help ensure your safety and the safety of your family, now is a good time prepare your emergency kit.
  • Consider shovelling around your fire hydrant. Be a hydrant hero! An area of 1.5 metres around the hydrant allows our partners at Ottawa Fire Services to gain quick access to keep our community safe.

Next steps

Roads and Parking Services will continue to monitor this system and the transportation network. The strong winds and variable conditions will make things difficult to navigate  we will adapt and try to stay ahead of this winter storm. Support from our residents is crucial as we respond to this event.

We are committed to keeping you informed as we progress through the event and will provide another update tomorrow morning. Thank you for your patience and understanding as this winter storm unfolds.

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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1