Snow removal operations

There are four stages of snow removal:

Salting consists of spreading salt and/or gravel on roads and sidewalks according to weather conditions. An average of 140,000 tonnes of salt and abrasives are used each winter. To clear the entire city, some 180 vehicles are used for roads and 190 for sidewalks.
Plowing consists of moving snow to the sides of streets and sidewalks. It makes it possible for car and pedestrian traffic to resume quickly. There are 1,000 vehicles for plowing streets and sidewalks (sidewalk tractors, graders, snowplows and front-end loaders). Plowing begins as soon as there is 2.5 cm of snow on the ground and continues as long as the storm lasts, ending several hours after the snow stops falling.
Snow loading involves picking up snow that was plowed to the side of the road during the loading operations. The decision to load snow is made depending on the amount of snow that has fallen and the forecast for the coming days.

Since the winter of  2014, Montréal has used specialized software that feeds the INFO-Neige application (available on the AppleStore and GooglePlay) using open data.  The software was developed by Sidekick Interactive and informs residents of planned snow removal operations and their progress, as well as parking restrictions, on their mobile devices.

During a snow removal operation, trucks take snow to one of 28 disposal sites.
The average volume of snow taken to disposal sites per year is 12 million cubic metres – 300,000 truckloads. Meltwater from disposal sites is recovered and treated according to environmental standards.

Since the winter of 2014, Montréal has used specialized management software to optimize snow removal operations (loading, transportation and elimination) and monitor billing.

Duration of snow removal operations

The city’s snow removal operations are the result of a moment-to-moment cooperation between residents, the public sector and the private sector.

Maximum snow removal-loading times for all streets

At the discretion of the boroughs, snow can be blown on riparian lands.

Time needed to remove snow may vary depending on:

  • Density of snow.
  • Outdoor temperature
  • If new precipitation falls during a snow-loading operation, priority will be given to salting and clearing so that automobile and pedestrian traffic is not obstructed. The loading operation will resume afterwards.
  • Montréal’s urban environment and population density.

Smart snow removal

Smart snow removal consists of offering Montrealers practical, accessible snow removal solutions, making it easier for them to travel and to park their vehicles. It includes all technological procedures associated with snow removal, such as snow elimination (SIT-Neige), the dynamic snow removal map show and the INFO-Neige application, which show planned snow removal operations and those that are in progress.

Please note that street signage concerning parking during snow loading operations always prevails over information found on the map.

The INFO-Neige MTL app

The Info-Neige MTL app, available on the App Store and GooglePlay, uses the city’s open data.

Questions about the application?

Contact Sidekick Interactive by e-mail à weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Snow removal planning map

The online map provides the same information as the mobile application. It shows parking spaces that are free of charge during snow loading operations.

Video of the map:

The SIT-Neige system

SIT-Neige is short for Système Intelligent de Transport de la Neige (Smart Snow Transportation System) SIT-Neige is management software that aims to optimize snow removal operations (loading, transportation and disposal) and monitor billing. With this software, snow transportation data can be compiled electronically.

Video of the system: