We take our civic duty seriously in these parts. The City of Calgary bylaws holds both residential and commercial property owners responsible for the sidewalks around their properties.
So, if you fail to clear snow from around your property within a day, it can lead to a fine from the City of Calgary – not to mention slip and fall accidents for which you can be held liable.
Here’s what the Calgary snow removal bylaws say:
- Remove snow and ice – down to bare surface – from public sidewalks bordering their private property within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. Owners of rental properties are responsible for arranging for snow and ice removal when they reside elsewhere.
- Remove a minimum width of 1.5 meters of snow and ice – down to bare surface – from a public pathway bordering their property, also within 24 hours of a snowfall ending. Applicable pathways are those that run parallel and adjacent to a street, with or without separation between the pathway and street (e.g., a grass boulevard).
- Pile snow from their private driveway or walkway on their own property (e.g., front lawn). Snow from a public sidewalk or pathway may be shoveled onto another public property, such as a road.
Most importantly, you have 24 hours to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks bordering your property.
Homeowners in Calgary are responsible for clearing the following:
- Sidewalks that border the property (to a minimum width of 1.5 meters)
- Sidewalks and pathways that border any rental properties that you own
Clearing windrows is optional but you may want to remove them if they block access to a sidewalk, private driveway or on-street parking.
The City will not clear windrows but will reduce their size at crosswalks and wheelchair curb ramps within 72 hours of the end of snowfall.
If the areas you are responsible for are not cleared, you will receive a snow removal notice from the City of Calgary.
If the snow and ice have not been removed by the time ordered, you will receive an invoice for clearing the sidewalk. This is charged at a minimum flat rate of $150 (plus GST) plus an administration fee, which will be added to your annual property tax if not paid by the invoice due date.
This is on top of a fine of $250 for a first offence, $500 for a second offence, and $750 for further offences within a 12-month period.
Any unpaid fines can be collected by the Alberta Registry Service when you renew your driving license or vehicle registration.
Note that you don’t have to clear roads or designated sidewalks bordering or on City property as the City is responsible for clearing these and other designated areas.