OTTAWA -- With winter fast approaching, the City of Ottawa is hoping landlords, neighbours and friends will provide parking spots to help move vehicles off snow covered roads during overnight parking bans.

In response to an inquiry from Councillor Keith Egli, the General Manager of Public Works and Environmental Services Department Kevin Wylie says winter weather parking bans will be issued this winter to assist with snow clearing operations, despite more vehicles parked at all times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wylie says the city is encouraging residents to reach out to people in their neighbourhood for a parking spot if an on-street parking ban is issued, while free overnight parking will be provided at select city garages and park and ride lots.

Councillor Egli asked city staff about plans for regular snow plowing and removal in light of the fact that more cars will likely be parked on city streets as people continue to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Wylie says, "Staff anticipate that during the pandemic situation more cars will be parked on the street as people work from home."

Wylie says new this year, the city and Bylaw and Regulatory Services staff have developed communications encouraging residents to reach out within their communities to neighbours, friends or businesses to make arrangements for alternative parking during the winter weather parking ban.

Staff will also reach out to the larger landlords asking if they can provide free parking and/or the use of visitor parking to the residents during the hours of the parking ban.

The city will provide free overnight parking at select municipal parking garages during parking bans. Select OC Transpo Park and Rides were used last winter for parking.

The City of Ottawa issues an overight parking ban when seven centimetres or more of snow is in the forecast. 

Wylie tells Egli that "winter weather parking bans are a vital tool we have to ensure cars are not parked on the road, which allows snowplows to get closer to the curb to clear snow not only for the roadway, but also catch basins."

"Additionally, having the streets clear of vehicles allows staff to complete their snow clearing more efficiently in one run-through and avoids having them return to re-clear the same road, which is not financially or operationally desirable."

Staff will begin a communication campaign in late October about the winter weather parking ban process for both Councillors and residents.


The inquiry was filed by Councillor Keith Egli, not Councillor Mathieu Fleury.

The story has been updated.