Community

Markham ‘ready for winter’ with bigger snow-clearing fleet

Jack Frost hasn’t officially arrived just yet, but the City of Markham is “ready for winter.”

It has added additional equipment to its operations fleet and assures crews will be working hard to keep roads “safe and moving,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti reports.

Crews maintain and clear more than 2,100 lane kilometres of road and more than 1,175 kilometres of sidewalk. Snow clearing begins with largest and busiest roads, known as arterial or primary roads, followed by secondary roads that serve schools, community centres, industrial and commercial areas. Residential roads and lanes are the last to be cleared.

If you don’t see plows immediately following a snowfall, you’re asked to be patient and check plow status using the Winter Maintenance App at markham.ca/Winter. After plowing, it’s normal for some snow to be left on the surface of roads and lanes, especially on local roads. While they’re safe to drive on, remember to drive according to weather and road conditions.

The City uses brine, salt and sand to prevent roads from becoming icy and a sand/salt mixture to treat sidewalks. Salt is only effective at temperatures of -12 degrees Celsius and above so exercise caution. Markham’s Salt Management Plan promotes environmentally friendly salt use, storage and transportation, the City reports.

Residents can explore the outdoors by visiting one of the many park pathways available through the Winter Parks Pathway Maintenance Program. It covers about 26 kilometres of asphalt or concrete pathways, which will be cleared within 24 to 48 hours following the end of a winter event that leaves five centimetres or more of snow.

Five outdoor public skating rinks will be open again this season, weather permitting. The rinks are constructed and maintained by the City and will be located at Huntington Park, Victoria Square Park, Milliken Mills Park – all of which will be lit at night – and Markham Museum and Milne Dam Park. A flag system at each location will signal when the ice is safe to use. Onsite parking is available at all locations. The Markham Civic Centre outdoor refrigerated ice rink will also be available this season. Visit markham.ca/Skating to check the status of rinks.

Meanwhile, you’re urged to stay off Markham’s ponds, stormwater ponds and waterways. Because those ponds are designed to have water flowing in and out of them all year long from rainfall and snowmelt, the ice unpredictable and an unsafe place to play, the City warns.

The East Markham Operations Yard near the northwest corner of Ninth Line and Major Mackenzie Drive will enhance winter maintenance response times across the entire City. Photo from the yard’s 2021 opening courtesy of the City of Markham.

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