Winter is here, maximize your enjoyment by being prepared

February 24, 2023

The District of Saanich is proactively preparing for the upcoming winter weather and encourages residents to be aware of weather-related issues that could arise in the coming days and weeks.

Snow and ice removal

When the snow starts to fall, Saanich crews clear roads on a prioritized schedule and aim to clear priority routes within 24 hours. Saanich crews clear snow from municipal facility entrances and parking lots as well as in front of municipal buildings. When cold weather is in the forecast, crews control ice by pre-treating roadways with an anti-icing brine. The brine applied to roads can be effective for up to three days in ideal weather conditions.

Saanich crews ensure priority routes are treated first:

  • Emergency access routes (in communication with Police, Fire and Ambulance)
  • Major roads (high volume roads and connectors to our transportation system)
  • Priority bus routes
  • Pre-identified steep residential hills
  • Priority sidewalks on bridges and pedestrian overpasses/underpasses

Don’t forget that property owners are responsible for clearing snow from all sidewalks adjacent to their properties and are encouraged to assist neighbours when possible.

Updated winter road maintenance and snow and ice webpages:

Closures due to inclement weather

Saanich recreation centres and other municipal facilities and parks may close in the event of snow or other inclement weather. If schools in School District 61 are closed, then all registered programs and lessons taking place before 3 p.m. at Saanich recreation centres will be cancelled. However, please note that centres may remain open. If BC Transit buses are not running, Saanich recreation centres will be closed.  We advise checking with your local recreation centre before heading out. Commonwealth Place 250-475-7600, G.R. Pearkes 250-475-5400, Gordon Head 250-475-7100, Cedar Hill 250-475-7121.

Closure notifications and additional information will be posted on the Saanich website and the corporate (Facebook and Twitter) and Parks, Recreation and Community Services (Facebook and Twitter) social media accounts and shared with local media.

Watch for trees and branches during windstorms

Saanich has a lot of trees, and sometimes they shed some branches. Look for downed power lines and keep a safe distance. Trees or branches on hydro lines should to be reported to BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376.

For municipal parks, boulevards or other public lands and tree issues, please contact Saanich Parks at 250-475-5522 or The same number applies after hours.

Power outages

Most power outages last only minutes, but in severe weather events, the power can be off for longer periods of time. Think ahead by ensuring you have a flashlight, blankets, and a fully-charged cell phone on-hand in the event of a power outage. Never use a camp stove, barbecue, propane, or kerosene heater indoors. Saanich’s Emergency Program has tips on what to include in your emergency kit.

Please consider checking in with neighbours who may need assistance in the event of a power outage.

For more information on preparing your home and business, to report an outage and for outage maps and restoration times, contact BC Hydro at 1-800-224-9376 or visit the BC Hydro website.

Prevent and report flooding

Saanich crews are taking steps to prevent flooding by inspecting critical drainage infrastructure. In the event of a flood on streets and sidewalks, call 250-475-5599 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The same number applies after hours.

Sandbags are available at our public works yard at 1040 McKenzie Avenue if residents need to divert overland rainwater flow during a flood. Residents are also encouraged to avoid fast-moving water in a storm situation.

Tips to prevent flooding in your home:

  • Remove leaves and other debris that prevent proper drainage
    • The leaf collection program is finished for the year but leaves can be placed in your green bin or flower beds.
  • Seal cracks or openings in walls, floors, windows and foundations, and all window wells.
  • Check for moisture along the walls and floor.
  • Ensure that your plumbing and drainage systems are in good working condition.
  • Clear eavestroughs, downspouts, and catch basins of leaves and other debris that may keep water from draining.
  • Keep your drain system clean and in good repair.
  • Make sure that no garbage, leaves, ice, or other debris blocks storm sewer or catch basin grates on or near your property.

Garbage and organics collection

If due to weather conditions, we’re not able to collect garbage and organics, residents are asked to please leave carts out ensuing to not impede snow removal. We will continue collection when conditions improve. Up-to-date information is available at

Need more information?

For updates and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Residents can report issues on Saanich’s website.