Bylaws related to snow and ice
Calgary winters are more safe and 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 bare surface – from public sidewalks bordering their private property within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. Owners of rental properties are responsible for arranging for snow and ice removal when they reside elsewhere.
- Remove a minimum width of 1.5 meters of snow and ice – down to bare surface – from a public pathway bordering their property, also within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. Applicable pathways are those that 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 own 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 and refer to Section 67 for the full set of regulations for snow and ice control.
Many people rely on motorized equipment to clear snow, including City crews. Noise restrictions for using such equipment are lifted for 48 hours after a snowfall ends to clear walkways for safety and accessibility. This means anyone is allowed to operate a motorized snow clearing device (including leaf and snow blowers) — at any time of day/night — during that 48-hour window to remove snow and ice. Outside of that window, night use is not permitted. For more information, download the Community Standards Bylaw and refer to sections 31.1(e) and 31.1(2).
Penalties for failing to remove 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 thereafter within a 12-month period. Tickets issued to repeat offenders may require a court appearance. Unpaid fines will be collected by Alberta Registry Service at the time of license or registration renewal.
Reporting problem properties
Frequently asked questions about this bylaw
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 shoveled 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
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 the cost; a minimum $150 plus GST and administration fees. If not paid, the invoice amount will be added to the property owner's property tax bill.
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.
The City is responsible for clearing snow and ice from:
- Priority roads and applying anti-icing and/or traction material as needed
- Sidewalks bordering and within City properties, down to a bare surface within 24 hours of a snowfall ending
- 500 km of pathway within 48 hours of a snowfall ending
- 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
- Enter cul-de-sacs or other streets that are too small or narrow for commercial snow-clearing equipment
- Haul 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
- Clear permitted, accessible on-street parking spaces
- Clear community post office boxes; Canada Post is responsible
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.
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 a serious public safety implication.
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.
Report a bylaw infraction
Report a problem property online or call 311.
Bylaw related to snow clearing
Clearing sidewalks next to bikeways
Where to put shoveled snow from a sidewalk that borders a cycle track.
Help with snow clearing
Anyone able is encouraged to be a Snow Angel for a neighbour who's away or has difficulty shoveling.
Search our bylaws
To learn about other Calgary-specific regulations, search bylaws by topic.