Winter Operations Update - Saturday, January 13 - Morning

Mother Nature pulled out all the stops and unleashed winter on the Capital. The city has received between 20 and 25 centimetres of snow accumulation with higher amounts in localized areas. There is more to come!

Crews have been going nonstop since accumulation began Friday evening. Our night shift has been working all night to stay ahead of this storm, and this morning, the day shift took over where they left off. The snow was falling fast. Blowing, drifting and reduced visibility made it challenging for our operators to keep up with this storm. Patience is a virtue today!

Forecast and conditions

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until later this morning. Heavy snow will transition to periods of light snow this morning with another 5 to 10 centimetres expected. Gusting winds up to 60 kilometres an hour will create blowing and drifting snow that will reduce visibility at times. The daytime high is expected to rise to zero, but cold air returns tonight and a sharp drop in temperature with a wind chill value near minus 14 is expected. This will create icy and slippery conditions on the transportation network.

Conditions remain hazardous today and non-essential travel should be avoided. If you must be out, take extra care when walking, driving or cycling on the transportation network.

Our response

All available resources are deployed and working around the clock. Operators have had to take it slow due to poor visibility and accumulation rates of 5 to 8 centimetres per hour in some areas. This means many areas may look like a plow has not been by, yet crews have made more than one pass overnight. It is actively still snowing so our focus today remains on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads, bus routes, the Transitway and the winter cycling network. Crews will start clearing residential streets this morning and will continue throughout the day and into the evening.

Please be patient. With the amount of accumulation, blowing, and drifting snow; it is going to take crews time to clean up. Sidewalk machines have switched to blowers on some routes which takes more time to effectively clear a path for pedestrians. With the rising temperature, the snow will become wet and heavy. It will take longer to get through the entire transportation network, but rest assured, crews are hard at work.

Winter weather parking ban is in effect

A Winter Weather Parking Ban is in effect until 7 pm tonight. 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

  • Consider postponing non-essential travel – the transportation network is still snow covered and residential streets will be difficult to navigate
  • 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   
  • 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 them.
  • 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.

Next steps

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 we work through our snow clearing operations.

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