Winter Operations FAQs

Winter Operations – Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t the plow direct snow away from my driveway?

Snow routes must be plowed in the safest and most efficient way possible. Plows are very large and heavy. They do not maneuver the same as smaller lighter vehicles. When it is safe and appropriate to do so, operators use plowing techniques to mitigate the amount of snow that ends up indriveways. However, windrows (snow at the end of your driveway) are unavoidable.

It is important to note that some properties, such as the corner property when entering a roadway from the right and the first home at the bulb of a cul-de-sac, will naturally have more snow in their driveway than their neighbours. This is because the blade sweeps a larger area of snow while they are turning right than if they are driving straight. Most of our plows have a fixed blade, meaning the operator cannotredirect the blade. 

The Town will not clear the snow deposited into your driveway. 

If you have a physical or medical condition that may affect your ability to clear this snow, we recommend asking a friend, a neighbour or consider hiring a private service. High school students can earn community service hours towards their diploma – reach out to our community youth! You can also try out the Snow Angels Canada, it is a free national platform connecting neighbours in need to neighbours who want to volunteer.  Residents who need help with snow shoveling can post a request for service, and volunteers who are ready to shovel can sign in and search for people nearby to help. (Please note the Town does not own or operate this online platform.)

When clearing the bottom of your driveway, we suggest piling your snow on the right side of the bank (when looking out to the street). This way the plow truck will not push the snow back onto your driveway. Please remember, Section 170 (15) of the Highway Traffic Act prohibits depositing snow onto the roadway.

Why has my street not been cleared yet?

In order to make sure that critical services like Police, Fire and Paramedics can do their job, our first priority is always the main roads and arteries.

In heavy snowfall events, our plow trucks may have to clear these same roads repeatedly before they can reach other areas. This is why you may notice that some residential streets have been cleared and yours still hasn’t. Don’t worry! Our crews will keep going until all streets have been reached. Typically, it can take anywhere from 6-8 hours after snow has stopped falling to clear all the roadways of accumulation.

You can now check to see when your street, or a neighbouring street, was last plowed using our Snowplow Tracker .

If you have not seen a plow on your road in excess of 6 hours after snow has stopped falling and you have checked the Snowplow Tracker to confirm the plow has not attended, you may contact us to alert us that the plow has not been to your street. We will send your concern to the appropriate staff.

In an emergency do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1, even if your road is not cleared. Police, Fire and Paramedic services will contact the Town if they cannot reach an area.

We receive many calls from residents asking for roads to be cleared because they need to get to an appointment and want the road opened immediately. We can’t respond to these requests as our resources must follow their designated routes.

Please note: Our plow trucks do not clear private roads or sidewalks as this is the responsibility of the property owner or local association.

Why aren’t the plows clearing Snow from Yonge St?

Some of the roads in Innisfil are under the care and jurisdiction of the County of Simcoe. Yonge St, the 5th Sideroad, the 10th Sideroad, parts of Highway 89, and parts of Innisfil Beach Rd are all County roads. Town plows will not clear snow from these roadways and concerns regarding their maintenance should be brought to the attention of the County of Simcoe.

My kids want to build a fort in the snow banks at the side of the street/snow pile in my cul de sac – is it okay for them to do that?  

There are lots of great ways for kids to get outside to enjoy the winter weather, but we do not recommend that they build a fort in either the snow banks along the street or the pile of snow in the center of the cul-de-sacs because it is not safe.  Crews  routinely have to cut back these banks to make room for more snow and a child could be seriously injured (or worse).  There are fun recreation programs to keep the kids active and the toboggan hill at Innisfil Beach Park is another great alternative. 

Where can I get a replacement blue bin? The plow hit mine!

You may pick up a replacement bin at Town Hall or from the County of Simcoe. A friendly reminder that all of your waste, recycling, green bins and related materials need to be at least 4 feet away from the end of your driveway. Our plow trucks have to do their best to fully clear the street and at times the force of the snow can be powerful. Helpful tip: When looking at your home, place the bins to the left against the bank (not on top of the bank). The bank will act as a brace. This will help keep the bins in place if they are hit with snow. Please visit the County of Simcoe website   for more information.

Who should be clearing the snow away from Canada post mailboxes?

Canada Post is responsible for clearing the snow around their community mailboxes.

If you are unable to access your mail box, please contact Canada Post Customer Service at 1-800-267-1177.

The mailbox at the end of my driveway was hit by the plow. What do I do?

The Town does not replace mailboxes that are damaged as a result of snow thrown from the plow blade.

Please ensure that your mailbox is installed as per the guidelines from Canada Post  to avoid damage from snow removal operations.

If your mailbox was installed using Canada Post’s guidelines and there is evidence that the damage occurred as a result of contact with the plow’s blade, not due to snow load, please contact us  to report the damage.

If we need to replace your mailbox, it will be replaced with a standard metal box. We do not replace like with like.