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Maintaining Winter Sidewalks

Snow's Gotta Go

Snow and ice that remains on sidewalks is hazardous for everyone, but especially for people with limited mobility who may be severely injured from a fall on ice or snow. Uncleared walkways also make it difficult for people who deliver services in our city - mail carriers, meter readers, delivery drivers, firefighters and paramedics.  That is why the Community Standards Bylaw requires that you clean the public sidewalks around your property removing all ice and snow.

Property owners are also responsible for clearing snow from every walk and driveway on or beside a property with buildings normally occupied by people, including derelict buildings or vacant properties.

When you remove snow promptly after a snowfall, you play an important role in keeping our city moving safely in difficult weather. The safety of your neighbourhood is in your hands this winter.

Freeze-thaw Cycles

While properly removing snow prevents a build-up of ice over the winter, freeze-thaw weather cycles cause water from melting snow to run on to cleared walks. The water then becomes ice when the temperature drops.

You are still required to keep the walks around your property safe during freeze-thaw cycles, either by keeping them ice-free or by spreading sand or gravel to give pedestrians traction.

As a courtesy, the City sometimes provides free sand that can be picked up from green boxes outside your nearest Community League.

Tips for Sidewalk Clearing

Keeping a sidewalk clear of ice and snow can be a bit of a struggle during Edmonton winters.

These tips for sidewalk snow removal can help you keep the walks around your property safe.

Reporting a Concern

Complaints are accepted between November 1 and May 1, and only when it has not snowed for at least 48 hours.

If you have a concern about a neighbour's uncleared walk:

  • Discuss the concern directly with your neighbour
  • Offer to help them keep it clear if needed by becoming a Snow Angel and volunteering
  • Record the address of the violation and a description of the problem if you can't resolve the problem directly with your neighbour
  • Call 311 or register a complaint online
  • Provide your name, address, phone number, and the details of your concern in case your testimony is required in court

Responding to Your Complaint

After you call 311, the City takes these steps to help with your issue:

  1. A file is created specifying your concerns
  2. A Municipal Enforcement Officer (MEO) opens an investigation
  3. The officer investigates your complaint within 4 business days
  4. The MEO may issue a warning notice with directions to remedy the problem within a specified time frame, or issue a $100 fine immediately, depending on the circumstances
  5. The officer may issue an order, which allows the City to fix the problem and bill the property owner for the cost
  6. The City may contact you to appear as a witness, if the matter goes to court

Tickets will be issued to business owners if walks are not cleared around the property as indicated in the Community Standards Bylaw.

Protecting Your Privacy

The information you provide will be used to process your complaint, but your name and address will not be made available to anyone else. For more information on how the City protects your privacy visit Freedom of Information and Privacy.

For More Information

Community Standards Branch


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Fax 780-496-6054