CALGARY – Calgarians who hate shoveling their sidewalk and driveway can opt to get someone else to do the dreaded task for them – for a price.
Calgary snow removal companies
Calgary is home to dozens of snow removal companies.
Homeowners can hire per snowfall, on a monthly basis or for the whole winter.
Prices for snow removal from these companies can range from $25 for a one-time snow removal, to $200 or $300 a month (depending on your property size).
If you’re contemplating hiring someone, you can check the Better Business Bureau’s website for a list of accredited businesses.
Naiad Irrigation Systems Ltd. is just one of the many companies in the Calgary area that offers snow removal services.
Owner and CEO Myles Sidorak suggests consumers who are interested in hiring someone for the task should do their research and get quotes from at least three different contractors.
He also advises signing up for your contract early in the year.
Calgarian Ron Dick told Global News he hires a snow removal company as he and his wife tend to be away in the winter.
“It gives me peace of mind,” Dick said. “I don’t want to impose on my neighbours.”
Snow removal – there’s an app for that
Newly launched snow removal app TouchPlow says it hooks users up with “reliable, experienced snow clearance professionals” in their neighbourhood when they want their driveway plowed.
The app is free to download and allows users to choose how quickly they need the task completed.
However, if you’re looking to have your walkway cleared as well, the TouchPlow website warns “not all service providers do walkways.”
“It’s very similar to Uber,” TouchPlow CEO Ken Dale said. “Basically, instead of ordering a driver, you are ordering a plow or a shovel to come to your home and do shoveling on demand.”
“The app actually figures out how much snow is coming in your area. We will even notify you the day before a storm, and normally a provider can get there within the allotted time,” Dale said. “The prices are basic and they go up with the amount of snow, so it’s all figured out by the app.”
Dale said the response in Calgary has been “tremendous,” with about 2,000 users throughout the city.
“The coolest thing about the app is if you’re in Calgary you can put in your mom’s address in Moncton and your grandmother’s address in London, Ont., for example, and you are going to be notified when it snows and you just press a few buttons and they’re going to be looked after,” Dale said.
A similar app called SnowTapp launched in Edmonton last month. The company said they will likely expand to Calgary next winter.
Calgary snow removal rules
Under city bylaws, the owner or occupant of any private property adjacent to a sidewalk is responsible for the removal of ice and snow “within 24 hours after the ice or snow has been deposited.”
If snow and ice isn’t removed from your sidewalk within 24 hours, bylaw officers may issue a warning asking you to clear it within a certain time period. If the sidewalk isn’t cleared within that time, the City of Calgary might clear your sidewalk at your expense.
According to the city’s website, the bill for snow removal varies depending on the “length of the sidewalk and the amount of ice and snow to be removed.”
Calgarians can report uncleared sidewalks by calling 311 or visiting 311 online.
Free salted gravel from the City of Calgary
If you’re going to use a shovel or snow-blower on your sidewalk or driveway, you can get some free help from the City of Calgary.
A sand and salt-coated gravel mixture called “pickle” is available at no charge for use on public sidewalks at dozens of locations throughout the city.
You have to bring your own bucket, and the mixture is not guaranteed to be available as it’s served on a first-come, first-served basis.
Click here to view a list of locations offering free gravel.