In 2021, City Council approved Sidewalk Snow Clearing as part of The Clean Property Bylaw. The Sidewalk Snow Clearing provision was established to help keep our neighbourhood sidewalks accessible for all users during winter for people on foot, using a mobility aid or pushing a stroller. View the report and draft copy of the bylaw.
Here is the basic information for property owners:
- Property owners must clear sidewalks within 48 hours of a snow event.
- The end of a snow event is considered to be when the snow stops falling.
- Properties located within Schedule B of the Clean Property Bylaw are required to clear sidewalks within 24 hours. This area is primarily located within the Downtown.
- Sidewalks must be kept free from snow and ice buildup. Create an even, walkable surface by clearing the sidewalks to the edges and as close to the concrete as possible.
- Snow from sidewalks can be placed on your property or along the curb next to the sidewalk, ensuring it does not interfere with traffic or cover storm drains. Do not shovel or blow snow into the road.
- Property owners that fail to clear their sidewalk in the allotted timeframe could receive a Notice of Non-Compliance.
- If the property owner does not remedy the situation within the specified timeline, the City could take action to have the sidewalks cleared and the costs applied to their property taxes.
To help with icy sidewalks, the City provides sand/salt mix for residents at 19 locations across our community. Bring a shovel and small pail to collect it. Find a sandbox closest to you.
Crews monitor and fill the sandboxes after they attend to ice control activities on the priority road network. Should your community sandbox be empty, please contact Service Regina at 306-777-7000 to let us know and crews will refill it as soon as they can.
Questions & Answers
When is the start of the 48 or 24 hours clock to clear the sidewalk?
The timeline to clear a sidewalk is considered to begin once snow/rain stops falling, or when the wind stops blowing snow onto the roads and sidewalks.
Property owners can also be in violation of the bylaw outside of specific snow events if their walk is not shovelled as appropriate. For example, if high winds are causing drifts across the sidewalk, the property owner is obligated to clear the sidewalk even though it was not a specific snow event.
What does it mean to “clear” the sidewalk?
Property owners must ensure a safe and even walking surface on all City sidewalks adjacent to the property by clearing to the sidewalk edges and as close to the concrete as possible. It should be shovelled within the allotted time to ensure snow and ice does not build up or cause slippery conditions for users.
Where can I put the snow?
Snow removed from sidewalks can be placed on the adjacent property or on the road next to the sidewalk, ensuring it does not interfere with traffic or cover storm drains. Shovelling or blowing snow into the driving lane is a bylaw violation. Snow from driveways and private walkways should remain on the property.
What if City graders dump the snow on our freshly cleared sidewalks?
Snow ridges are a result of plowing the roadway. Our goal is to keep the snow ridges in the curb lane and not on sidewalks. If it happens, we ask residents to call Service Regina and we can schedule our crews to stop by.
Why do I have to keep storm drains clear but graders can just cover it with snow?
Property owners can better control where to shovel/direct the snow. Reducing the amount of snow over the storm drain helps with the melt in the spring.
I live on a corner lot. Am I expected to clear in front and along the side?
Yes, all parts of the sidewalk adjoining your property are expected to be cleared.
I am unable to clear my sidewalks. Where can I get help?
It is important to make arrangements for your sidewalk to be cleared as per the bylaw. Consider asking family or a neighbour for help; there are also many companies that can be hired, or explore a Snow Angels program.
Some community associations run volunteer-driven residential snow removal programs that assist eligible households to maintain their sidewalks through a Snow Angels Community Grant. Contact a participating association to learn more:
- Al Ritchie Community Association
- Argyle North Community Association
- Cathedral Area Community Association
- Heritage Community Association
- Rosemont Mount Royal Community Association
- Queen City Eastview Community Association
How does this bylaw work?
The goal of the bylaw is to ensure that the sidewalks across our community are accessible throughout the winter months. While we will focus on educating residents in the new enforcement areas for the first couple snowfalls, enforcement will occur and fees applied to property taxes should the City have to remedy the issue.
For property owners within Schedule B, there is no change and enforcement will occur as normal.
What happens if I don’t shovel my sidewalk?
Our goal is for residents to help keep sidewalks clear, making them safer in our winter months. Should enforcement be required, City staff will issue a Notice of Non-Compliance to the property owner to clear the sidewalk in a specified timeframe. If the property owner does not comply with the notice within the specified timeframe, the City will take action to have the sidewalks cleared and the costs applied to their property taxes.
How does enforcement work?
Following the end of a snow event, property owners will have either 24 or 48 hours to clear their sidewalks. Bylaw Enforcement Officers will be out in the community and if they see that you have not shovelled your sidewalk, they may issue a Notice of Non-Compliance. You will then need to shovel your sidewalk within the prescribed timeframe. If you fail to do so, the City will arrange to clear the snow and you will be charged for the service on your tax account.
What will the cost of clearing the sidewalk be?
It’s estimated at about $300 and based upon the time, equipment and staffing to clear the sidewalk.
How long will it take for the City to remedy the situation?
This timeline will vary depending on several factors including the number of snow or ice events, properties to investigate, and resourcing of winter maintenance staff to remedy the situation.
I have a rental property. Who has to shovel in front of that place?
Property owners are responsible to maintain the sidewalks in front of their properties. You may wish to have a conversation with your renters and work out an agreement.
What is the Schedule B area?
Schedule B is an appendix to The Clean Property Bylaw which identifies the area required to clear sidewalks 24 hours after a snow or ice event. This area is primarily located within the Downtown.
What if my neighbour doesn’t clear their sidewalk?
If possible, ask if they are aware of the bylaw. They might not realize it’s in effect. If they still haven’t cleared it, you can report the address to Service Regina through Regina.ca or by calling 306-777-7000. The City will schedule an inspection of the sidewalk.
Will the City be clearing sidewalks in front of their properties too?
Yes, the City must adhere to the same level of service as indicated in the bylaw
Why was this considered now?
Following the recent update to the Winter Maintenance Policy, City Council directed Administration to review the current Clean Property Bylaw and provide options for enhanced snow clearing on Regina’s 1,403 km of sidewalks.
Administration conducted a survey of residents and the feedback, along with service requests, strongly suggested that residents want to see increased and consistent sidewalk clearing efforts in our community and were in favour an approach that includes enforcement options.
In addition, this bylaw helps to support an inclusive, accessible community for all residents.
Will the City make any changes to the bylaw and how it’s enforced in the future?
The City regularly evaluates programs and services for improvements. If it’s identified that changes are needed, Administration would bring recommendations to City Council for consideration.
Do other municipalities have sidewalk snow clearing bylaws? If so, which municipalities?
Cities like Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Windsor and Hamilton have established sidewalk snow and ice clearing bylaws in place requiring residents and businesses to clear snow and ice in a specific timeframe. If they are not cleared, fines are imposed.