Public Consultations on Formalizing Guidelines for Snow Plow Driveway Markers

The City is formalizing current guidelines for snow plow driveway markers and is seeking feedback.

Markers used by private snow plow contractors to identify their customers’ driveways are prohibited by various Ottawa by-laws. However, a pilot program has been in place during recent winters to allow them on a trial basis, subject to specific guidelines.

The guidelines (detailed below) are primarily intended to standardize the use, locations and appearance of these markers, protect residents and the City’s snow clearing and removal equipment from unsafe installations, and minimize disruptions to neighbourhoods.  They are communicated to snow plow contractors when they apply for or renew their annual business licenses.

Current Guidelines

Guideline Detail
Earliest marker installation date October 20
Latest date markers to be removed April 30
Prohibited location Not on an outer boulevard

(area between a sidewalk and the travelled portion of the street)

Permitted location on property

(where there is a sidewalk)

Minimum 0.61 m (2 feet) from sidewalk
Permitted location on property

(where there is no sidewalk)

Minimum 1.22 metres (4 feet) from the travelled portion of the street
Maximum height of marker 1.22 metres (4 feet), measured from the ground
Maximum width of marker 10.1 centimetres (4 inches)
Permitted material of marker Wood, plastic, or fiberglass – cannot be supported by metal bars
Maximum number of markers 2 (one on either side of the driveway)
Permitted information on marker Company logo and telephone number only – no advertising or other information

There has been a high rate of compliance with the existing guidelines, and relatively few complaints, during the pilot program. Most complaints have related to non-compliance with the guidelines (too early installation, too close to the street, metal markers, etc.). At the same time, company information displayed on markers has been useful in identifying contractors illegally dumping snow on City streets/sidewalks.

The City is now looking to formalize the rules for snow plow driveway markers and is seeking feedback.

I highly encourage all residents to participate in this public consultation. Your comments on the current guidelines can be sent by e-mail to Leslie Charles at or submitted through an online survey.

The deadline for comments is July 20, 2017.