The Regional Municipality Of York


Declaring a Significant Weather Event

Snow Plow with Transparent Triad Background

The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents to slow down and give yourself extra time and space going to your destinations when driving in poor weather.

In extreme weather conditions, York Region may declare a significant weather event. An alert can be issued when severe weather is approaching or occurring, and there is potential for significant danger to road users. Examples of severe weather include freezing rain, significant snowfall, strong winds, blowing snow and reduced visibility.

During winter road conditions, motorists should:

  • If you are driving, drive according to conditions and give yourself extra time to get to your destination
  • Have winter tires on your vehicle
  • Clear snow, ice and frost from all windows, headlights, tail lights and roof
  • Make sure your windshield fluid and vehicle fuel is topped up
  • Carry a roadside emergency kit
  • Let us do the driving by taking YRT
  • Follow York Region on Twitter for road updates
  • Slow down and respect pedestrian’s crossing the road 

If you are travelling, please give snow plows plenty of room by:

  • Driving a safe distance behind the snow plow; you may see them but they may not see you if you are following too closely
  • Only passing snow removal vehicles when a safe passing area is available and the lane is clear of snow or treated with salt or sand; do not pass on the right
  • When passing a plow, be sure to leave plenty of space; plows are wider than most vehicles and portions of the plow and blade may be obscured by blowing snow
  • Not travelling beside a plow; they can shift sideways after moving snow drifts 

How does the declaration impact residents?
  • Residents may not notice a change in road operations compared to other winter events. York Region will be monitoring weather conditions closely, deploying all available resources to address snow and ice accumulation

Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, allows municipalities to declare a significant weather event when:

  • A weather event is approaching or occurring
  • The weather hazard has the potential to pose a significant danger to users of the highways which they have authority over
  • Environment Canada has issued an Alert

What are Minimum Maintenance Standards?

    How have the Minimum Maintenance Standards changed?

    • The Minimum Maintenance Standards (MMS) were amended in May 2018 to allow municipalities to declare a significant weather event
    • Standards for bicycle lanes and sidewalks were also updated

    York Region is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 1,200 kilometres (or more than 4,300 lane-kilometres) of roadways across all nine cities and towns. During the winter months this includes snow plowing, snow removal, sanding, salting and use of salt-brine to help prevent ice buildup on roads.

    Side streets and sidewalks are maintained by local towns and cities. The 400 series highways are maintained by the province of Ontario.

    Visit the Regional roads page for an interactive map of Regional roads.

      How can residents find out if York Region is declaring a significant weather event?

      Follow @YorkRegionGovt on Twitter or view the latest posts here:

      York Region’s Road and Traffic Operations Centre can be reached by calling 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75200 or by emailing 

      Declaring a Significant Weather Event,weather event is approaching,weather hazard dangerous,environment canada weather alerts York Region may declare a significant weather event when Environment Canada issues warnings for one or more of the following conditions, blizzard, blowing snow, flash freeze, freezing drizzle. The Regional Municipality of York en-US News

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