Winter Roads and Sidewalk Maintenance

On this page

1. When it Snows

2. Our Roads

3. Overnight Parking Ban

4. Winter Salt / Sanding

5.  Brine

6. Sidewalks

When it Snows

The City of Timmins winter road and sidewalk maintenance follows the Minimum Maintenance Standards of Ontario. Plowing begins when there is an accumulation of five centimeters, or two inches, of snow on major arterial and collector roads like our Connecting Link, Algonquin, Riverside, Shirley, or Airport Rd. The amount of allowable snow accumulation is determined by the classification of road. Roads and highways are classified based on average daily traffic and posted speed limits. The Public Works Department has created a presentation specific to the City of Timmins outlining the classification of local roads and how maintenance is carried out.


Our Roads

Roadways are cleared during a snowfall to reduce risk to motorists and pedestrians. Priority is based on road classification as determined by the Minimum Maintenance Standard of Ontario. Depending on the severity of weather, the City of Timmins may declare a Significant Weather Event. A Significant Weather Event means that conditions are severe enough to pose potential hazard to drivers. During a Significant Weather Event, the standards we follow in the Minimum Maintenance Standards of Ontario for snow accumulation on roads are suspended until the Significant Weather Event is over. The City is required to monitor the weather and send out plows when it is practical and safe. The City declares a Significant Weather Event to be over once normal plowing operations can resume.

During normal winter conditions, road plowing priorities are:

1. Major arterial and collector roads (Class 1&2)

2. Secondary collector roads

3. Residential, commercial, and minor hard-surfaced roads

4. Rural country roads

View our City of Timmins Road Classification


Overnight Parking Ban

The winter overnight parking ban helps ensure that the Public Works Department can complete snow removal and plowing operations to keep Timmins’ roads safe and clear. Each year from November 1 until April 30, any vehicle parked on the street between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. will be subject to a $50 fine and the vehicle may be towed at the expense of the owner (unless you are in an area exempt from the winter parking ban).

Outside of the overnight parking ban, The City of Timmins will inform residents of winter road maintenance with temporary “no parking” snow removal signs (yellow background and black text), posted before snow removal begins. Remember to look for signs posted on your street to ensure parking has not been restricted in your area. Since snow removal is dependent on ever-changing weather conditions, the weekly schedules are posted on the Snow Removal and Street Cleaning Updates page.


Winter Salt / Sanding

Sanding / Salting is provided on a required basis in order to provide traction and break down snow and ice on the surface of the road. Salt is used on specific major arterial and collector roadways to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement surface, this is effective up to -15C pavement temperatures. Road salt loses its effectiveness once temperature begins to drop below -9C and is completely ineffective when it’s colder than -15C. When salt becomes ineffective, these major arterial and collector roadways will be sanded in order to provide traction. The secondary collector, residential, commercial and rural country roadways are sanded once the temperatures fall below 0C. Winter sand contains a small measure of salt to prevent freezing and allow for smoother distribution. The City’s snow removal program helps control the amount of sand left on the roads in the spring by removing excess snow throughout the winter.



Public Works uses a 29% brine solution, a simple salt/water mixture, to replace solid rock salt on major high-traffic arterial roads and collectors when temperature, humidity, and conditions are right. The use of brine reduces the amount of salt, which means less cost, less corrosion on the road surface, and less environmental impact.

Brine melts the same way as solid rock salt, but because it’s applied as a liquid, it can begin to work immediately. Brine sticks to the pavement better than dry salt and is more effective in lower temperatures. When applied, the brine solution prevents a bond between snow and pavement, keeps snow from being compacted by vehicle traffic, and makes plowing easier. Brine works before a storm, when the road surface is bare, and can be applied up to two days prior.

When and where the City applies brine depends on the weather and the road classification. The City will continue to use solid rock salt or sand on secondary roads, residential roads, and rural country roads.



After it stops snowing, the City has 48 hours to reduce the snow depth on maintained sidewalks to 8 cm’s or less with a minimum width of 1 metre as outlined in the Minimum Maintenance Standard of Ontario. The Public Works Dept. determines which sidewalks will be maintained to allow enough room for snow storage (snow stored on roadside) and lane width. In certain areas, no sidewalks OR only one sidewalk may be cleared during the winter season due to limited space. View the full list of sidewalks that are not maintained during the winter.

During normal winter conditions, sidewalk priorities are:

1. Sidewalks on high-volume roadways with significant pedestrian traffic

2. Sidewalks in Downtown Timmins

3. Sidewalks adjacent to schools and places of worship