Caution | Outdoor water restrictions in effect

Stage 3 outdoor water restrictions are in effect. Learn more about how City services are impacted and what you can do during this stage.

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Calgary winters are safer and more manageable when everyone pitches in to clear snow and ice. While The City does its part clearing roads, designated pathways, sidewalks and other high-use public areas, section 67 of the Street Bylaw requires Calgary property owners to:

  • Remove snow and ice – down to the bare surface – from public sidewalks bordering their private property within 24 hours of a snowfall ending.
  • Remove a minimum width of 1.5 meters of snow and ice – down to the bare surface – from a public pathway bordering their property, also within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. Applicable pathways run parallel and adjacent to a street, with or without separation between the pathway and street (e.g. a grass boulevard).
  • Pile snow from their private driveway or walkway on their property (e.g. front lawn). Snow from a public sidewalk or pathway may be shoveled onto another public property, such as a road.

See below for further details and penalty information. Or download the Street Bylaw (Section 67) for the full set of regulations for snow and ice control

Noise exemption


Many people rely on motorized equipment to clear snow, including City crews. Despite subsection 28(1)(e), a person may operate a snow-clearing device powered by an engine for the purpose of commercial and non-commercial removal of snow and ice from streets, parking lots and sidewalks during the 48-hour period following a snowfall, rain or freezing rain, subject to the right of the director to withdraw this relaxation on a site-specific basis. For more information, download the Community Standards Bylaw​ (Sections 31.1(e) and 31.1(2)).

Penalties for not removing snow


Property owners/occupants who do not comply with the bylaw and subsequent notices issued by The City may be subject to:

  • An invoice to the property owner from The City for clearing the sidewalk on their behalf. The cost is a minimum flat rate of $150 plus GST and an administration fee. The amount will be added to the owner's annual property tax if not paid by the invoice due date.
  • A fine of $250 to the property occupant for a first offence. Repeat offenders may be fined $500 for a second offence and $750 for a third offence, and each offence after that within 12 months. Tickets issued to repeat offenders may require a court appearance. The Alberta Registry Service will collect unpaid fines at the time of license or registration renewal.

Frequently asked questions


Where am I allowed to put the snow I've shovelled?

The bylaw states:

  • You may shovel snow from a public space (e.g. sidewalk) onto another public space (e.g. road).
  • You may not shovel snow from your private property (e.g. driveway) onto a public space (e.g. road).

In the spirit of being a good neighbour, please do not pile shovelled snow:

  • On a road to the extent that it blocks access
  • Into a crosswalk
  • On top of a storm drain
  • Into a neighbour's yard

What are property owners responsible for?

Property owners are responsible for:

Snow and ice clearing

  • Clearing snow and ice from a sidewalk that borders your property, down to a bare surface, within 24 hours of a snowfall ending.
  • Clearing a minimum width of 1.5 meters of snow and ice from a pathway that borders your property, also down to a bare surface and within 24 hours of a snowfall ending.
  • If you own a rental property but reside elsewhere, you're still responsible for ensuring adjacent sidewalks and pathways are cleared, regardless of who does the work.
  • If a windrow limits your access to a sidewalk, private driveway, or on-street parking, you may choose to clear them at your convenience. The City does not clear windrows. Our crews make every effort to minimize their size.

Snow removal Notices

  • The property owner is responsible for acting on a City Notice to clear the snow and ice by the time ordered on the notice.
  • If not acted on, The City will clear the sidewalk and invoice the property owner for a minimum of $150 plus GST and administration fees. If not paid, the invoice amount will be added to the property owner's property tax bill.

Fines

The property occupant may receive a fine for failing to clear the sidewalk within the required time. The occupant is responsible for paying the fine by the due date noted or attending Court to defend it. Unpaid fines are payable to Alberta Registry services when renewing a driver's license or vehicle registration.

What is The City responsible for?

The City is responsible for performing winter maintenance on:

  • Priority roads, applying anti-icing and/or traction material as needed
  • Sidewalks bordering City properties, down to bare surface within 24 hours of snowfall ending
  • 600 kilometres of pathway
  • Reducing windrows at 500 crosswalks and wheelchair curb ramps, within 72 hours of a snowfall ending
  • Transit properties, including bus pads
  • Pedestrian overpasses and bridges
  • Level out ruts on residential roads

The City does not:

  • Plow snow to bare pavement on residential roads
  • Remove snow from residential areas
  • Clear back lanes or alleyways
  • Clear sidewalks bordering private homes or businesses; the property owner/occupant is responsible
  • Clear sidewalks bordering public or private schools; the school is responsible
  • Clear windrows (see below)
  • Clear engineered walkways between homes
  • Typically The City does not remove or clear snow from permitted accessible on-street parking spaces. The City will respond to accessibility issues at these spaces, if required.
  • Clear community post office boxes; Canada Post is responsible

Fines

The property occupant may receive a fine for failing to clear the sidewalk within the required time. The occupant is responsible for paying the fine by the due date noted or attending Court to defend it. Unpaid fines are payable to Alberta Registry services when renewing a driver's license or vehicle registration.

Who clears windrows created by a City plow?

The City does not clear windrows. Property owners are not required to clear them but may choose to for easier access to a driveway or on-street parking space. Our crews make every effort to minimize their size.

How do I file a complaint and what happens to it?

If you know of a bylaw infraction and would like to report it, please call 311 or file a report online.

To help us respond faster, please be ready with the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • The address of the property related to the complaint
  • A brief and concise description of the complaint

The information you share will remain confidential. No anonymous complaints will be accepted - you must identify yourself.

Complaints made to 311 are assigned a file number and forwarded to a peace officer for investigation. Due to the high volume of complaints registered and limited City resources, it can take several days before an initial visit occurs. Complaints are handled on a priority basis. Priority is given to complaints with serious public safety implications.

For recurring complaints with the same property, please include the relevant dates to help bylaw officers with the investigation. Learn more about recurring bylaw complaints.​

Filing a complaint


If you know of a snow and ice bylaw infraction and would like to report it, please call 311 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-CITY (2489) (from outside Calgary), use the 311 app or online below.

To help us respond faster, please be ready with the following information:

  • Your name and address.
  • A primary and alternate phone number.
  • The address and exact location of the property for which you wish to register a complaint.
  • A brief and concise description of the complaint.
  • Note: 24 hours must have elapsed since the last snow fall within the City of Calgary before you can submit a complaint.

This information will remain confidential. No anonymous complaints will be accepted - you must identify yourself with the 311 service representative. To report other snow/ice issues, please visit our Snow and ice concerns page.

Learn more about filing a bylaw complaint and the process.

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