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Winter reminders: be safe around plows & more

January 30, 2015 -

Yup. It's winter. The City and Utilities Kingston offer residents these seasonal reminders:

1. Be a good neighbour. Show your family, friends and neighbours you care about their comfort and safety – keep the sidewalk in front of your home clear of snow and ice. 

2. Be a snow angel. Snow angels are people who notice when neighbours need help clearing a driveway or a stretch of sidewalk of snow and ice and decide to do it for them. Do you know someone who could use a helping hand?

Have a snow angel? Go to to find out how to get a special free toque and letter of appreciation to give to your kind neighbour.

3. Be safe around snow plows.

Drivers: stay three car-lengths behind a snow plow to allow for a safe stopping distance. NEVER cut off a snow plow.

Pedestrians and parents:

  • Assume the snow plow driver has NOT seen you.
  • If you see a snow plow, move off the sidewalk and into a yard where you can be seen.
  • Do NOT play on, or make forts or tunnels in roadside snow banks.
  • NEVER approach a snow plow, even when it has stopped.

See for more about how the City uses snow plows.

4. Keep gas meters clear. Although your outdoor gas meter is designed to withstand winter weather, heavy or hard-packed snow and ice can be a safety hazard. Keep snow and ice from building up on and covering your meter. Concerned Utilities Kingston customers can call the 24-hour line at 613-546-1181 or visit for tips and information. Concerned Union Gas customers can call its emergency line at 1-877-969-0999. 

5. Make hydrants visible. Residents and snow removal companies are reminded not to shovel or blow snow onto hydrants. We thank citizens who take the time to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants, providing access to fire fighters in case of emergency.

6. Clear snow and ice from fire escapes, exit doors and other emergency exit points to allow for a safe exit in the event of a fire emergency.

7. Place garbage and recycling where it can be clearly seen and safely collected. Choose a collection area at a safe and visible ground-level location, such as:

  • the right side at the end of your driveway (as you face the street),
  • if you do not have a driveway, place it on the boulevard closest to the curb,
  • or, if there is no boulevard, place it on the right side at the end of your walkway.

Keep a path from the road to your collectibles clear of snow and ice. Safe placement helps avoid worker injury.  Keep workers safe: please remove bungee cords and other tie-downs from green bins and garbage cans set at the curb.

8. Do not park overnight on City streets. Overnight parking is prohibited on City streets until March 31, 2015. This bylaw ensures that cars are kept off the streets so that snow plows can effectively respond to winter weather events. You can be fined or towed for violating the bylaw.

Please note the following are prohibited at all times:

  • parking in the middle of a cul-de-sac
  • parking on a boulevard
  • blocking a sidewalk with a vehicle

9. Businesses: keep sidewalks clear of hazardous snow and ice. If you front onto public sidewalks you must remove any snow or ice – including roof-top snow, ice or icicles hazardous to pedestrians –  "as soon as is practicable but, in any event, not later than 12 hours after the end of the precipitation that caused the snow and ice."  Those who don't will be charged the cost for clearing and could face a fine of up to $5,000. It is also illegal to move snow on to streets or sidewalks.

10. Remove icicles hazardous to pedestrians. Every building owner/occupant in Kingston must remove the snow and ice, including icicles, from the roof of their building when it poses an immediate danger to pedestrians. Those who do not will be charged the cost for clearing the icicles and could face a fine of up to $5,000.

11. Prevent water from freezing around electrical lines.  Keep your eaves troughs free of debris so water runs safely away before it freezes. Ice can build up where overhead electric service wires attach to your home—a dangerous and costly situation. Consider that the root of the problem may be poor attic insulation. Never attempt to clear ice from or around electrical service wires yourself. Concerned Kingston Hydro customers can call the Utilities Kingston 24-hour line at 613-546-1181. Concerned Hydro One customers can call 1-800-434-123 – available 24 hours a day, every day.

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About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focusses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. Please visit and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston



Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, media relations officer, 613-546-4291, ext. 3116, or call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.