Snow Removal

When and how we clear the road for you

Seven months out of the year, the Public Works Department prioritizes snow removal and de-icing municipal roads.

To preserve the environment, spreading salt on the roads is kept to a minimum, on main arteries and on steep hills. For the most part, a combination of sand and less that 5% road salt is spread on corners and slopes.

Public safety and being environmentally responsible are our main preoccupations when setting maintenance standards based on these priorities.

To allow snow removal from the road network in an optimal and safe manner, the Municipality of Morin-Heights has regulated certain provisions governing the permitted practices and related to operations (By-law 569 2019).

The municipal road network, 107 km long, is maintained by the employees of the Public Works Department (64.8 km) assisted by a contractor (42.2 km):

Excavation et transport David Riddell

  • Route 364
  • Route 329 Ouest (du Village)
  • Blue Hills sector
  • Salzbourg sector
  • Jackson sector
  • Kirkpatrick sector
  • Bordering Wentworth-Nord, for Wentworth-Nord

What can one expect during a snowstorm?

The territory is divided into routes to ensure quality of service. As soon as there is an accumulation of 2,5 cm of snow, the snow removal vehicles will pass on all municipal roads until the end of the storm.

In case of a major snowstorm, ice storm or heavy snow fall, the time required to complete a route may double.

Normally, in the days following a storm or heavy fall, the service might take away
snow from the center if the village and crucial corners.

As soon as snow starts falling, the Department spreads abrasives on numbered roads as well as connecting roads. Further, the village’s sidewalks are cleaned.
Normally, the day after the snowstorm or snow fall, the Department starts removing the snow from the center of the village and the main intersections.

According to the quantity of snow fallen over the winter, the Department will push the snow to the side, two to four times a year, in order to maintain the minimum required width of the roads.

To allow the Department’s to give an optimum service, citizens should not:

  • Encroach on the road’s right of way;
  • Park on the streets;
  • Push snow onto the roads;
  • Push snow around fire-hydrants.

Snow removal operations

  • At the start of a snowstorm, municipal teams are dispatched to clear the main arteries, major roads and connecting ones to open the way.
  • When sidewalks and trails are covered with ice, once informed the teams are sent as early as possible.
  • The Municipality does not use salt on residential streets and it is to be expected that they will remain covered with packed snow.
  • On residential streets, a 2.5 cm accumulation is required on the ground for the teams to go out; the Municipality will not clear them every time it snows.
  • Where it is necessary to remove the snow from the village area, teams will be dispatched after the storm ends.
  • We will use the maximum space available along roads to push the snow.

Transporting Snow

As soon as snowbanks have reached a height which could hinder road safety, the snow has to be removed. Once again, snowbanks are removed according to the road classification on the network and space available at each location. One of the following means is used:

  • Snow blowing: where there is space is available, a snow blower and a front loader will transport snow to nearby vacant lots. It is a more economical than transporting it to a depot;
  • Pushing snow to the side: where there is space is available, snowbanks are pushed 3-4 feet on the shoulder by the snowplough;
  • Snow removal: When it is no longer possible to push snow on the shoulder, only then, the snow is taken away. It is loaded and transported on a truck to the snow depot. Presently, the Municipality uses the Saint-Sauveur depot. Snow dumping sites are regulated by strict laws from the Sustainable development, Environment and Parks Ministry.

Of the three above-mentioned methods, transporting the snow is the most expensive since we need to use tipper trucks to get to the Saint-Sauveur depot. Hence it is used as a last resort.
Road salt use

1- Salt and abrasives

Being able to use roads, no matter how bad the weather is, is essential. We need to get to work, have access to services & activities, including emergency services. Winter road safety in a municipality depends on efficient use of road salt. Icy and snowy conditions can have dramatic repercussions on public safety, the networks’ capacity, and travel time. Spreading salt and abrasives on roads is an essential service provided by the Public Works department.

Sodium chloride (NaCl), commonly known as salt, is mixed in with the abrasives on part of our road network to improves driving conditions and road safety. We favor the use of abrasives over salt which we use only at the end of a storm in order to eliminate the thin layer of ice formed on the asphalt and only when the temperature is superior to 20°C.

2- How does it work?

Road salt will dissolve by drawing the heat from the air and asphalt, as well as the moisture in the air, snow and ice. Once dissolved, the briny solution will gradually melt snow and ice until they disappear or the salt is entirely dissolved.
Its action

Road salt acts the same way antifreeze would, meaning when the salt is mixed with water as an additive, the freezing point of the solution is inferior to water’s 0°C. Salted water freezes at -21,1°C. For this reason, salt is called an antifreeze additive since it lowers water’s freezing point.

3- Did you know?

  • Road salt is a product from a natural source;
  • Road salt is the same as table salt;
  • Salt has endothermic properties, meaning it needs heat to dissolve itself;
  • For optimal results, the spreader must drive at 30-40km per hour;
  • Salt must be spread in small heaps on the crown of the road, or the highest point of the road. As the briny solution forms, it follows the natural slope of the road and spreads over the entire surface area.

Its impact on the Environment

In 2001, Environment Canada has determined that salt is damaging to the environment when used in excessive quantity and has encouraged municipalities to use it judiciously. The Municipality has decided to do its part using salt more efficiently without compromising public safety.

No more salt is spread on residential streets and secondary connecting roads, except if they have steep hills. In colder temperatures when salt no longer effective or when snow is packed on the road’s surface, we use abrasives such as sand or gravel. These products do not make snow melt, but help increase traction.


Parking lots are cleaned once the road network is cleared.


The Town Hall is opened from
Monday to Thursday
8:30 to 12:00 and from
12:45 to 16:30, and Friday
from 8:30 to 12:00

567, chemin du Village
Morin-Heights (Québec)
J0R 1H0

Telephone : 450 226-3232
Fax : 450 226-8786