Everything there is to know about snow removal in Montréal

Snow, ice, rain, black ice: snow removal in Montréal is a galactic challenge. Learn about how Montréal’s teams successfully complete their mission of clearing snow from the 10,000 km of streets and sidewalks despite the obstacles and vagaries of the weather.

Day and night, all winter long, thousands of men and women go to work for you to clear snow and spread salt and abrasives on Montréal’s streets and sidewalks. Their primary objective is to act as quickly as possible to facilitate travel for residents.

Impact of climate change

In winter, climate change is causing temperature fluctuations and increasing precipitation of all kinds: snow, freezing rain, ice pellets.

It can be very difficult to prevent ice from building up on sidewalks. A mixture of salt and small stones, while imperfect, remains the most effective choice for facilitating travel on icy streets and sidewalks. Salt melts ice when temperatures range between 0⁰ C to -15⁰ C. Crushed rock increases the grip of tires and boots when salt loses its effectiveness.

Find out how our teams deal with it.

How to accelerate snow removal

To help our crews clear the snow faster, leave your garbage, recycling and brown bins on your own property. 

Park your car parallel to the sidewalk, 30 cm (one foot) away from it. However, when snow removal is in progress, park your car on another street, where it’s allowed. 

Above all, keep a safe distance from machinery and stay visible. 

What other actions can be taken to speed up snow removal operations?

How many streets require snow removal?

Few cities have to handle the size, density and climatic conditions of Montréal. The city stands out for its turnkey snow removal services. In many other large cities, citizens must remove snow from the sidewalk in front of their home themselves.

Learn more about the strategies used to coordinate work across such a vast area.

What is done with all that snow?

On average, five snow loading operations are required during winter. Each of these operations takes four days and four nights of work to remove 15 cm of snow. 

Montréal is one of the few cities in the world that collects snow and stores it on huge lots where it will take months to melt. The melt water is filtered and the waste contained in the snow is transported to the dump. Another portion of the snow is discharged into the city’s sewer system. The water flowing through it melts the snow, which then turns into water to be cleaned and returned to the river.

What is the best way to find your parking space as quickly as possible during a snow removal operation?

Can the snow be left in place?

Montréal receives about 190 cm of snow and 175 mm of rain or freezing rain in winter.

Our snow removal teams make an effort to clear the streets and sidewalks as quickly as possible to make it easier for residents to get around. 

Couldn’t we just pile up the snow in the streets? Make the most of winter? Find the answer in this video!