Winter Road Maintenance


We make use of Environment Canada and meteorological services to monitor when cold weather is coming.

What happens when cold weather is forecasted?

In anticipation of an event and depending on the current weather conditions, crews may pre-treat priority routes with an anti-icing brine to reduce potentially hazardous conditions.  The anti-icing brine can stay on the road for several days, helping to reduce the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement surface providing a safer driving condition. 

Winter Driving

Snow and Ice control services are not intended to eliminate all hazardous conditions on municipal roads at all times. They are intended to assist vehicles which are properly equipped for winter driving conditions and being operated in a manner consistent with good winter driving habits.

If you need to go out during a snow event, consider taking BC Transit or better yet, stay home.

Snow & Ice Program

Public Works makes use of Environment Canada and meteorological services to monitor and predict when cold weather is coming.  When cold weather is predicted, our crews will attempt to pre-treat priority routes with de-icing brine. 

We are responsible for over 600 km of road network.  Unfortunately, our trucks and crews can’t be everywhere at once.  Therefore, it’s important that we follow the priorities and routes set out in our snow and ice control plan in a systematic and timely manner.

To ensure that our emergency services and main roads are maintained, we have set priorities for snow and ice control.


Snow & Ice Priorities

FIRST Priority routes consist of:

  • Major and collector road networks consisting of high-volume roads and streets that connect us to our transportation system.
    • Examples of major streets include McKenzie, Quadra, Shelbourne and Cedar Hill.
    • Examples of collectors include North Dairy, Feltham and Reynolds.
  • Designated BC Transit bus routes including specific transit hubs and bus shelters.
  • Pre-identified steep hills. We attempt to get to these within 24 hours of a heavy snowfall.

The snow and ice crews are in communication with emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance) to ensure a unit is made available to assist with responding to emergency calls.

SECOND Priority routes consist of:

  • Lower traffic volume minor collector roads and residential streets.
    • Priority is given to lower traffic volume minor collector roads and residential streets scheduled for greener garbage collection during the snow event to ensure collection continues.

Priority routes may be plowed and drivable within 24 hours of a snowfall, but this timeline may be extended because of weather conditions.  We make every effort to get to the second priority routes within 72 hours of a snowfall. Some exceptions may apply:

  • During heavy snowfalls or prolonged storm events:
    • We will maintain our first priority routes until they are drivable. This means that our response to secondary priority routes will be delayed.
    • If we are clearing our second priority routes and it starts snowing again, we will re-direct our resources back to the first priority routes.

We will respond to emergency services (Police, Fire, Ambulance) issues only; all areas of the municipality need to be considered and systematically dealt with to ensure efficiencies of all our resources.

For further information contact Public Works at 250-475-5599, 24/7.


When are bike lanes cleared of snow?

Cyclists are to use caution when riding in winter conditions.  We do our best to incorporate bike lanes when clearing our roads although at this time, we're not equipped to clear snow from any of the protected bike lanes.

Who clears sidewalks?

This is dependent on the location of the sidewalk.  It's up to residents to keep the sidewalks around their property clear. Saanich Parks clears snow and ice from our municipal facility entrances and parking lots using a similar priority sequencing system. Public Works is responsible for clearing sidewalks on designated bridges and pedestrian overpasses/underpasses in our road network and assists with clearing designated bus stops and shelters.

Off Ramps and Highways

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is responsible for all highway maintenance activities including snow clearing of our off ramps and highways within Saanich.  This service is currently contracted out to EMCON Services Inc. who are available 24/7, year round at 1-866-353-3136.