Winter Maintenance


Winter Road and Sidewalk Maintenance

South Huron’s winter operators aim to provide safe roads and sidewalks to residents in a timely manner. The Municipality has a 24/7 response team that maintains all South Huron’s roads and sidewalks using various equipment such as graders, plow trucks and sidewalk plows.

After a snow or ice event ends, our winter operators prioritize what roads they clear first according to the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, O. Reg. 239/02. A larger snow or ice event may extend the time it takes for operators to clear local streets and residential areas. Please be patient, roads will be cleared by the winter operators as soon as possible. 


Roads are plowed and sanded/salted as soon as possible following a winter event, however we do have priorities as to the order and frequency that they are serviced:

  1. Primary Routes focus on Primary Roads which carry large volumes of traffic including school areas, emergency, fire, and critical areas on hills, curves and bridges.  These roads are our first priority.
  2. Secondary Routes include all low volume local and residential streets.  Please note that these streets are NOT maintained to a bare pavement condition but are plowed and sanded/salted as necessary to provide safe vehicular travel.  They are only serviced after the main routes have been cleared to an acceptable level.


Sidewalks are cleared after snow accumulation reaches 8 cm. Sidewalk clearing is generally completed within 24 hours after the end of the storm; however, when we have a heavy snowfall, or successive winter events back to back, it will take longer to clear all sidewalks.

You can help with our snow removal by clearing snow and ice from your sidewalks as soon as possible after a snowfall to ensure that they are safe for all residents. By keeping the sidewalks clear, it helps to ensure that all pedestrians, especially those using walkers, scooters and strollers, will be safe.

Sanding and Salting

A sand and salt mixture are applied along the Primary and Secondary routes early in a winter event to prevent the formation of ice forming on the road surface.  This allows the plow operators to clear the streets more effectively if time and weather permits.  Critical areas, such as steep hills, curves, bridges, intersections, and approaches to railway crossings receive top priority.  Sand/salt mixture is not used on any roads when temperatures become so low that it can no longer effectively melt ice which is typically -8 degrees Celsius but is also dependent on other factors (i.e. road temperature, humidity level, etc.).

On-Street Parking

Residents are reminded that on-street parking during a snow event is not permitted at any time of the day or night. If you park on the street during a snow event, your vehicle will be ticketed and may be towed. On-street parking during a snow event severely slows down route clearing, and in some cases, prohibits the operator from clearing snow all together. Overnight parking on municipal streets and in municipal parking lots is not permitted as per the Municipality’s Parking By-Law between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. to allow for snow removal to occur. 

Buildings Fronting Main Street

Owners or occupants of buildings fronting Main Street in Exeter from Gidley Street to Simcoe Street are required to clear away snow and ice from the sidewalks and roofs within a twenty-four (24) hour period of a snowfall event, as per the Municipality’s Snow and Ice Removal By-Law

Super Mailboxes

The Municipality does not perform snow removal operations around super mailboxes in urban areas. Please contact Canada Post (1-800-267-1177) for snow removal in our area. 

How can you help after a snowfall event? 

As a resident of South Huron, you can help us in many ways:

  • Report any slippery or dangerous road conditions to us as soon as possible at (519) 235-0310 ext. 251 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). During the holidays or afterhours, please phone 519 235-0310 extension 7. We appreciate your assistance in identifying potential hazards.
  • Please be patient. You can be sure that during a winter storm event we are exerting our maximum effort to return road conditions to a safe travelling condition.  Under severe conditions, it can take considerably more time to get to all streets. If your street has not been plowed, please allow at least twenty-four (24) hours after the storm has stopped before calling.
  • Be a good neighbour. Help those around that may not be able to shovel their own driveways and sidewalks fronting their property.
  • Keep a safe distance from plow trucks on the roads and do not attempt to pass. Vehicles attempting to pass create a safety risk for everyone on the road.
  • Do not park on the street during a snowfall event - or immediately following a snowfall event if plowing has not occurred yet. This includes ensuring that your vehicle does not extend onto the street or sidewalk. 
  • Please do not park your vehicle at the very end of a driveway or across the sidewalk/boulevard area. Plow operators will not able to plow the road properly if there are parked vehicles in the way.
  • Do not place snow from sidewalks or driveways on the street. It creates a hazard for all traffic, and the Highway Traffic Act prohibits the placing of snow or ice on any roadway.
  • If you have a fire hydrant near your property, clear the snow around it. This will ensure that the South Huron Fire Services can access the hydrant in case of an emergency. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there snow at the end of my laneway (windrows)? 
Snow may occur at the end of laneways as a result of our snow removal activities. We will do our best to keep them as minimal as possible, but please keep in mind that they are the responsibility of the resident to clear them. The Municipality will not remove these windrows as we need to maintain efficiency throughout the Municipality. Snow plow operators do not intentionally leave windrows as they have minimal control of the amount of snow that comes off the plow. 
What do I do if a snowplow hits my mailbox?
Our Municipal staff are experienced trained drivers, however during a snow event it can be difficult to see mailboxes. If your mailbox is hit by a snow plow, contact the Transportation Services Department to fix or replace the mailbox. 
What roads get snow plowed first? 
The Municipality will clear the primary roads first, as well as some secondary roads. This allows access for Emergency Vehicles if necessary. These types of roads carry high amounts of volume on a day-to-day basis, which is why they are cleared first. Residential streets are then plowed following the completion of primary and secondary roads. 
When can I expect my sidewalk to be cleared? 
Sidewalks are generally cleared within a 24 hour time frame after a snow storm. 
What do I do if my lawn is damaged? 
After a large amount of snow fall, sometimes damage is unavoidable. Although our roads crew try to be as careful as possible, sometimes it is extremely hard to see where the side walk/curb is when there is an accumulation of deep, heavy or drifted snow. As the weather reaches negative temperatures for a period of time, it allows for the sod to freeze causing minimal damage, however when the sod is not frozen, that is when more damage occurs. Repairs for lawn damage will occur in the spring time when our staff go out to inspect it. Please notify the Public works department to add yourself to the list. 

Winter Driving Information

Before heading out on the roads, but sure to check out the following resources:
  • Provincial highway conditions, including Highways #21 and #4, are provided by the Ministry of Transportation on Twitter (@511Ontario), by visiting Ontario 511 website or by dialing 5-1-1 on your phone.
    • *NEW*: Ontario 511 now has an app that can be downloaded right to your device
  • Road closures and re-openings in our region are first reported by the Ontario Provincial Police using Twitter (@OPP_COMM_WR)


South Huron logo

We work hard to ensure that everyone can access the information and services they need.

For information in alternative formats or assistance accessing information, please contact the Municipal Office at 519-235-0310. 

© 2020 The Municipality of South Huron, 322 Main Street South P.O. Box 759 Exeter, ON N0M 1S6