What happens when it starts to snow in Ladysmith?

First Priority

  • Clearing snow from all emergency establishments such as the hospital, RCMP, fire station and ambulance station.
  • Maintaining all main roads (4th Avenue, 1st Avenue, Dogwood Drive, Davis Road and Chemainus Road) on a 24 hour basis as the snow continues to fall.  At this time the main concern is keeping the roadway open to traffic.
  • Clearing snow from the main hills throughout Town.

Second Priority

  • Road widening -- the snow is pushed back to the curb to make room for traffic, as well as the possibility of another snow fall.
  • Local Neighbourhood Roads (collector roads) will be cleared after the main roads (listed above) are completed.  Through roads will be cleared first, and then cul-de-sacs.  If the snow continues, or starts again, the crews will return to the priority main roads.  When the snow stops it takes approximately 48 hours to clean all 60km of roads in Ladysmith.

Town crews will work extended hours during a snow event in order to keep main roads passable.

When possible, residents are asked not to park on the roads, to allow room for ploughs.

Once the snow is cleared, priority is to clear all catch basins for melting snow, as well as town public parking lots.


Town of Ladysmith Bylaw 1988, No. 1309 requires residents to shovel any sidewalk bordering their property by 10:00 a.m. following a snowfall. This applies to businesses, residential properties, and organizations such as Island Health and School District 68.  The only exception is that the Town does shovel the downtown sidewalks along 1st Avenue.

Shoveling your sidewalks will help to ensure the safety of your fellow citizens.  And, if your neighbour needs help, please be a snow angel for them.

Catch Basins

Clearing catch basins that are plugged with snow will help make a big difference in alleviating localized flooding as temperatures warm after a snowfall.

Ladysmith residents can help out by clearing storm drains in front of your home to prevent water from pooling on roads.

Fire Hydrants

After a snowfall, help us, help you, by clearing out the snow around fire hydrants and don't pile up snow around them. Make sure there is 1 metre (3 feet) of clearance around the Hydrant and clear the path to the street.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the plough push the snow into my driveway?
Shovelling snow is hard work and it is understandable that you may be frustrated when the plough driver deposits snow into your freshly shovelled area. Operators are aware of the inconvenience and attempt to avoid the problem wherever possible.  However, please keep in mind that it is not feasible for the plough to be lifted or stopped at each driveway as it passes.  A great way to reduce the amount of snow that is pushed into your driveway is to pile the snow you've shovelled on the right side of the driveway (as you are looking at the driveway from your house).

Do I have to clear the sidewalk bordering my property?
Yes, snow is required to be removed from sidewalks by 10:00 a.m. following the snowfall, by the home owner, commercial property owner or the occupier.  The Town deeply appreciates the efforts of those citizens who regularly assist their elderly and/or disabled neighbours in this regard.  For your convenience the Town makes available a salt/sand mixture to assist residents with their efforts to keep sidewalks clear and safe.  The mixture is available (seasonally) for pickup  at no cost, from the marked container outside the Public Works Yard.

Does the Town Tow Vehicles During Snowfalls?
We ask that residents park their vehicles in their driveways or on their property and remove any basketball hoops or skateboard ramps to keep the roadway clear for the Town crews.  Yes, the Town does tow vehicles during snowfalls from time to time in order to ensure routes are clear, especially for emergency traffic.  To find out if your vehicle has been towed by the Town, call  Public Works at 250.245.6445

Contact us
During regular office hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), call 250.245.6445, or email info@ladysmith.ca. If there is an emergency requiring City assistance outside of regular hours, call 250.245.6445 and listen to the prompts for details.