We at Mirage are commercial and residential snow removal experts who have been operating in Calgary for three generations. We take our job very seriously. It is our responsibility to ensure the properties we service are free of slip-and-fall hazards and cleared in accordance with the City of Calgary’s bylaws so that people may make their way around more easily during the most difficult months of the year.
The City’s specific regulations to manage snow and ice aim to maintain public safety. As a responsible snow-removal company we must be well-versed in bylaws outlining snow-removal timelines, procedures, and standards for both public and private properties. These bylaws are meant to help keep citizens safe and emergency rooms from clogging up with unnecessary injuries. Failure to adhere to the City’s bylaws can result in fines and penalties, such as $250 to the property occupant for a first offence, $500 for a second offence, and $750 for a third offence and each offence thereafter within a 12-month period. Compliance with these bylaws is essential to avoid legal consequences and to also promote community safety.
It’s common knowledge that Calgarians must clear their properties within 24 hours of snowfall ending. But there are several other snow-removal stipulations that city dwellers may not be aware of.
You must clear around your garbage and recycling bins
Whether you keep your green, blue, and black bins in the front or back of your home, it is your responsibility to keep the area around each container clear of snow. The City of Calgary website asks Calgarians to, “Please clear snow a minimum of three metres from the front of the container. Ice must be covered with sand and/or salt to reduce the threat of our staff slipping and falling. For locations that require bins to be pulled out, a clear path needs to be provided for the entire distance needed to complete collection.”
If you use a snow-removal service such as us at Mirage, they should be making sure these stipulations are being met.
You can leave the pathway between you and your neighbour
Communities in Calgary are designed to have periodic walkways between homes to allow people to access back alleys from the sidewalk. There is often confusion as to who is supposed to shovel those. The City’s website makes it clear that residents are not responsible for clearing these pathways, which means they are often messy, slippery, and hazardous. If you live next to a walkway, consider being an extra-good neighbour by shoveling periodically and putting down ice melt when needed.
Only snow from your sidewalk can go on the road
Calgary residents can shovel snow out onto the road, but that snow can only come from your sidewalk. Sidewalks are considered a “public space,” and snow can be moved from one public space to another (the road). This is a useful little tip to remember, as Calgary’s sloped properties can make it difficult to properly pile snow from sidewalks on to lawns.
In the spirit of being a good neighbour, the City asks residents to not pile snow on the road to the extent that it will block access or make it difficult to drive. Please do not shovel snow into a crosswalk, on top of a storm drain, or into a neighbour’s yard.
Disposal for commercial snow removal
City bylaws dictate where and how excess accumulated snow from commercial properties can be relocated, which is crucial to prevent obstruction of public spaces and drainage systems. Our lack of moisture this year does not make this an issue, but during years when there has been a ton of snowfall commercial property owners have had to have their snowpiles physically removed. Contractors such as us must store snow on their property, as the City does not have snow storage facilities for public use. Dumping snow in the Bow or Elbow River is not permitted.
Free salt-sand mixtures are available
The City provides free salt-sand mixtures (called pickle) to residents, which helps break down snow and ice and makes it easier to meet your snow and ice control responsibilities. Find a location near you. Supply is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no guarantee of the pickle’s availability each day. Please limit your haul to one container per visit. You must bring your own container (under 25 kg) and shovel.
Contact us to learn more about our snow-removal services at Mirage
As a full-service property maintenance company operating year-round, we offer commercial and residential snow-removal services in the winter and landscape maintenance, landscape construction, and landscape design services in the summer. We do the heavy lifting for you, so you don’t have to. Check out our portfolio for examples of our work and contact us for more information on how we can work together to increase the safety and accessibility of your property.