What is Adopt-a-Driveway?
A volunteer-based snow removal program to where volunteers adopt the driveway of a community member in need this winter! The snow shoveling skills of volunteers help ensure that seniors and/or people with disabilities are able to safely leave the house for errands and appointments, and allow caregivers and service providers to access the home to provide care!

Who can participate?
1. Homeowners: Clients must be 60+ years-old and/or have a disability and have an income of less than $30,000. Maximum 40 households for the 2020-2021 season.
2. Volunteers: Sign up individually or rally your co-workers or sports team to sign up as a group (a great team builder! ). Do you think your team can adopt the most driveways? You could even win an award if so!

Want to Help?
1. Become a Volunteer:
Contact to begin the onboarding process!
Amy Weiler –
Alister Brown –

When does the City plow?

• The City plows when snow accumulation reaches 8 centimetres or three inches. • When streets require plowing, they are cleared within 24 hours after the end of the storm. Heavy snowfalls or multiple storms can sometimes extend this period.

Why are some roads plowed before others?

For the purpose of snow clearing, the routes are classified as follows:

• Primary – these roads are cleared first since they carry the highest volumes of traffic. These roads are used to access school zones, bus routes and emergency services.

• Secondary roads – are plowed after the primary routes have been completed. These would be considered residential side streets.

Why does my Street get plowed last?

• Once the primary roads are completed each route is sectioned into blocks. After each snow event, the direction of plowing the blocks are recorded so it is alternated for the next event.

It looks like the City did not plow my street?

• While trucks are out during a snow event the focus at first is the primary roads. During this time the Secondary roads can get hard packed down, so when the plow truck passes over it may not scrape much away.

• The salt put down by the truck to soften this hard packed snow causes it to “fluff” up and the traveling road area may appear like it was not plowed.

What is a windrow?

• A snow windrow is a ridge of snow that is left behind after a snow plow or grader passes by.

Why does the snow plow leave a windrow at the end of my driveway?

• Plow operators do not intentionally block driveways with snow. The plows have limited control over the amount and direction of snow that comes off the plow.

• Windrows left by snow plows form plowing operations are not removed by the City. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to do so.

When does the City salt the roads?

• Salt trucks are dispatched at the start of a snowfall and at the first sign of roads beginning to ice. Primary roads are salted when conditions require it.

• Priority salting is on overpasses/hills, curves and intersections.

• Spot salting is implemented at the beginning of a snow event to maintain safe travel and conserve salt on secondary roads.

• Staff regularly examines new methods of de-icing and anti-icing technologies. Our goal is to be proactive in reducing the amount of salt while maintaining the safety of City roads.

When can I expect my sidewalk to be cleared?

• The standard for addressing snow accumulation on a sidewalk after the snow accumulation has ended is to reduce the snow to a depth less than or equal to 8 centimeters (3 in)

• Sidewalks located on overpasses, primary roads, commercial areas, and schools are plowed and salted first.

• Sidewalk clearing is generally completed within 48- hours after the end of the storm. If there is a heavy snowfall or winter events back-to back, it will take longer to clear the sidewalks.

Why can’t I push snow out onto the road?

• Depositing snow or ice on the street creates hazardous traffic conditions and this could result in an accident.

• Under By-law 145 of 1991 – The City does not permit piling or placing snow on any sidewalk, street or City owned parking lots. All snow on your property should be piled next to the opening of your driveway.

• Property owners should be aware that they will be held responsible for snow placed illegally by their plow contractor.

What happens if the City plow has damaged my boulevard/lawn?

• Residents who are unsure of who to contact regarding snow plow damage to their property are asked to contact Public Works at 519-332-0330.

• Once the damage is verified by City Staff – they will be added to a list for restoration to be completed in the spring.

• The City is not responsible for the repair of a sprinkler system if it was installed on City property.

What preparations are in place for snow events?

• Weather conditions are electronically monitored and patrol routes are driven to monitor continuously changing weather conditions.

• Anti-icing is completed prior to weather events on overpasses, hills and curves to prevent snow from bonding to the roadway for safer travel and better plowing results.

• The City will also employ contracted snow removal equipment to help supplement City resources.

What is a Significant Weather Event?

A significant weather event is an approaching or occurring weather hazard with the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the highways within a municipality.

As per the Ontario Municipal Act, the City of Sarnia may declare a Significant Weather Event when the weather forecast or actual weather condition includes one or more, but is not limited to one or more, of the following conditions:

  • Environment Canada has issued an alert under its Public Weather Alerting Program;
  • Significant snow accumulation during a 24-hour period;
  • Ice formation that occurs with no warning from the weather forecast;
  • High winds leading to large snow drifts;
  • Cold temperature when de-icing operations will not be effective.

What happens when the City declares a Significant weather Event?

Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, made under the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, gives municipalities the authority to declare a Significant Weather Event when a weather hazard is approaching or occurring and has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the highways in which the municipality has authority over.

When a municipality declares a Significant Weather Event, the declaration suspends the standard timelines required for municipalities to meet their winter maintenance objectives. All roadways and/or sidewalks are deemed in a state of repair with respect to snow accumulation and/or ice conditions until the municipality declares the significant weather event has ended. 

During a declared Significant Weather Event, the standard for addressing winter maintenance is to monitor the weather and to deploy resources to address the issue starting from the time the municipality deems it appropriate to do so.

Will roads be closed during a Significant Weather Event?

A declaration of a Significant Weather Event is not a notice of roads closures. The declaration is to notify the public that due to current or forecasted conditions, caution is to be observed when travelling on the municipality’s roads and sidewalks, and that it may take longer than usual to bring the condition of the roads and sidewalks back to optimal conditions.

However, residents are urged to remain at home and avoid driving unless travel is necessary when a Significant Weather Event is declared.

Where can I find that the City has declared a Significant Weather Event?

In the event that a Significant Weather Event is declared, the City will, within its best efforts, communicate applicable details to the public through the following methods of communication:

  • Posting a notice on the City website
  • Sharing the notice on City’s Facebook and Twitter social media accounts

The City of Sarnia will provide its best effort to ensuring that roads are at its optimal condition. If a Significant Weather Event is declared, please use caution when travelling on the roads and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.