When a winter storm hits, the City's Municipal Works Department responds quickly to ensure City streets and sidewalks remain safe and passable for motorists and pedestrians.

Here's what we're caring for and digging out:

  • 275 kilometres of roadways
  • 200 kilometres of sidewalks

Here's what impacts snow clearing operations. Residents can assist with the clean-up effort by keeping these points in mind.

  • severity of snow and ice accumulation
  • time and available resources
  • motorists passing or following snowplows closely
  • vehicles parked on the street
  • vehicles parked in driveways blocking the sidewalk

The City of Cornwall has a number of salt/snowplow trucks and sidewalk snow clearing units available to assist with clean up efforts. Contracted companies also assist with snow clearing activities.

The city provides two levels of service based on minimum maintenance standards. The city has eight primary routes and fourteen secondary routes. The snow clearing activities for both the primary routes and secondary routes are independent of one another and respond to winter events in a timely fashion based on their own triggers and time lines.

Check out this map of the primary and secondary snow clearing routes in Cornwall.

If you have questions or concerns, call Municipal Works at 613-932-5354.

 Snow removal by residents

Residents are responsible for snow removal on their property. The rules for resident snow removal are listed here (or available in full in the Streets By-law) :

  • Residents may not throw ice or snow onto the roadway or sidewalk.
  • Residents may not throw snow onto a boulevard that doesn't adjoin their property. They may not throw snow onto their neighbour's boulevard, or the boulevard across the street.
  • Residents may not obstruct the line of sight of drivers or pedestrians by throwing snow onto the boulevard.
  • Residents may not throw snow from their property onto any part of the right-of-way.
  • Residents may not throw snow on or against a fire hydrant.

Keep in mind that...

  • If you witness an issue, you can report a problem online or call 613-932-5354.
  • Please be courteous – do not throw snow onto your neighbour’s property. Any such conduct is not governed by City by-laws but could be subject to a civil claim.

  • Snow blowers are exempted from the Noise By-law.
  • If your property is damaged by a snow plow, you can report a problem online or call 613-932-5354. The City does not assume responsibility for damaged or lost mailboxes.
How does street snow removal and salting work?

The level of service for streets depends on traffic volumes and posted speed limits. The City has two levels of service for municipal roads:

  • Primary roads have high traffic volumes and higher posted speed limits. They may also have a bus route. Examples of primary roads include Ninth Street and Brookdale Avenue.
  • Secondary roads have much lower traffic volumes and lower posted speed limits. Residential roads are also considered secondary roads.
  • A cul-de-sac is considered a secondary road. Normally, it would be plowed after an 8 centimetre accumulation and completed within 16 hours after a snowfall.

The level of service for winter snow clearing operations is based on provincial minimum maintenance standards.


Normally, primary roads are salted after snow has started to fall and before the road surface ices up. Once the primary roads have been cleared of snow, they are salted again to obtain a mostly bare pavement condition. Secondary roads are normally salted after snow has fallen and before icing begins. Once the secondary roads are cleared, salt is applied to provide adequate vehicle traction. During freezing rain events, all roads are treated as soon as possible.

 When are sidewalks cleared? 
Sidewalks are typically cleared after the snow accumulation is greater than 10 centimetres. Sidewalks on primary roads and secondary roads with schools are plowed first, followed by the balance of the residential sidewalks.
 Who is responsible for clearing snow around bus shelters and bus stops?
Cornwall Transit is responsible for snow clearing around bus shelters. Call Transit at 613-930-2636.
 Who removes snow from around fire hydrants?

The water distribution department removes snow from around fire hydrants. This work takes time and is completed in between other tasks. Crews systematically work their way through the City. While residents can report buried fire hydrants, the crew will work on one area at a time to reduce travel time.

Residents are welcome and encouraged to shovel around their fire hydrants to help out our efforts. This will save precious time in case of fire, if a hydrant is needed by firefighters. It takes precious time to locate, dig and connect to a buried fire hydrant. This is time that firefighters do not have when they are responding to a fire.

For more information about snow clearing, please contact the Roads Section of the Infrastructure and Municipal Works Department at 613-932-5354.

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Municipal Works
1225 Ontario Street, Box 877, Cornwall ON, K6H 5T9

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