Breaking down the winter by-laws/traffic act: what do they mean?

Vaughan’s snow-removal program keeps the public safe during the winter months with services that include plowing, windrow clearing and salting. We’re winter ready, prepared to look after more than 2,000 kilometres of road and 1,000 kilometres of sidewalk.

Our crew uses liquid anti-icing material as part of our anti-icing program, which involves applying a premium salt brine solution to select roads, including bridge decks, sharp curves and steep inclines prior to a storm. This reduces overall salt usage and helps prevent ice from forming in these areas during the early stages of a storm.

But there are a number of ways that residents can assist with our winter operations. One of those ways is being familiar with the by-laws and traffic act that are related to snow clearing and parking. Here is a breakdown of those rules and what you need to know:


RULE #1: Residents must clear snow and ice from any sidewalk that borders their property within 24 hours after a snowfall has ended (By-law no. 300-93 and amendment no. 56-96).

This by-law applies to you if you are:

  • The resident or tenant of a home
  • The owner of vacant land
  • The owner of occupied or unoccupied institutional, industrial and residential buildings

This by-law requires that you:

  • Clear away snow and ice from any sidewalk that borders your property, whether it be in front, alongside or at the rear
  • Do so within 24 hours after snow, rain or hail has ended
  • Put down sand or salt if the sidewalk is still slippery after it’s been cleared


RULE #2: Residents cannot shovel snow or ice onto roadways (Ontario Highway Traffic Act, Section 181).

Shovelling snow or ice onto the street is against the law. Not only does it put snow back onto the streets once snowplows have passed, but it also poses a safety hazard for pedestrians and drivers.


RULE #3: Residents must not block sightlines with posts, fences, trees and the like (By-law no. 244-2005).

It’s crucial to keep important street sightlines clear and unobstructed, especially during the winter months when snow removal crews and windrow machines are out and about. Obstructions that are not permitted on public land include:
  • posts
  • fences
  • trees
  • hedges
  • retaining walls
  • wooden or cement curbing


RULE #4: Overnight parking is not permitted on any street in Vaughan between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. (By-law no. 1-96 as amended).

It’s very important that residents ensure they aren’t parking on the street between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., particularly during the winter months.This helps to keeps roads clear for emergency vehicles and improve snowplowing services, especially on narrower streets where it might be difficult for the snowplows to get through.

For more information about Vaughan’s winter operations:




Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at


  • |
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *