Significant weather event declared by Environment Canada and City of Ottawa

Environment Canada has identified hazardous weather for Thursday, December 22. As a result, the City of Ottawa has declared a Significant Weather Event. The Roads and Parking Services team will be out maintaining the City’s sidewalks, roads and the winter cycling network, but it will take longer than usual to restore them to regular conditions.

A major winter storm is expected December 22nd into the holiday weekend. Visit the Environment Canada Stittsville-Kanata forecast website page for updates. The hazards predicted by Environment Canada are:

Snow, heavy at times, with amounts of 10 to 15 cm by Friday afternoon that is to begin this evening, transitioning to rain on Friday morning. There is a risk of freezing rain taking place during this transition period. Strong winds with gusts of 70 to 90 km/h will develop on Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday reducing visibility during this time due to blowing snow. A flash freeze is expected on Friday afternoon that will produce icy and slippery surfaces.

Avoid travel if possible. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery. Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight. For information on emergency plans and kits go to Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to or tweet reports using #ONStorm.

The City of Ottawa has said that a winter weather parking ban will be in effect from 10:00am on Friday, December 23 until 7:00am on Saturday, December 24. During a winter weather parking ban, parking is prohibited on city streets so crews can plow easily and effectively. Vehicles parked on the street during a ban may be ticketed and towed. Though on-street monthly parking permit holders are exempt from this restriction when they are parked in residential parking permit zones, we encourage those who can, to find off-street parking options to avoid getting snowed-in.

Available parking
During winter weather parking bans, residents will have access to select OC Transpo park and rides as well as certain recreation centres. Some City parking garages are available for parking during winter parking bans, however it is important that residents take note of what time they need to remove their car. Visit for more information about which City facilities are available during winter weather parking bans.

To help accommodate vehicle owners who do not have access to off-street parking during the winter parking ban scheduled from 10 am on Friday, December 23 to 7 am on Saturday, December 24, Roads and Parking Services partnered with Parks Maintenance and Forestry Services, the Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services team as well as the Ottawa Public Library to provide temporary off-street parking options at City of Ottawa Recreation Facilities with parking lots and Ottawa Public Libraries.

Please be aware that given the forecast, surface of these lots may be icy and/or covered with snow. In addition: 

  • Anyone using these parking lots are encouraged to assess conditions on entry, to park in clear areas and to exercise cautions when walking.
  • Please only park in parking lots that are clearly identified as serving City recreation facilities and Ottawa Public Libraries.
  • Vehicles should be retrieved by 7 am Saturday, December 24.  

For a complete list of parking lot locations, please visit or

Please exercise caution when using City sidewalks, roads and the winter cycling network. Travel during this time should be avoided and we are advising everyone to complete their errands before the event is scheduled to begin later this evening. Anyone who is required to travel during this event is asked to plan ahead and to give themselves extra travel time.

Be in the know about snow:

  • Subscribe to our electronic email alerts. If you subscribe to e-Alerts, you will receive notification each time a winter weather parking ban is put in place, extended or lifted. There is no charge for this service, and you can unsubscribe at any time. 
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates
  • Residents can also download the City of Ottawa app on their Android or Apple device to receive up-to-date information on winter parking bans and other City news.

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