Snow-removal operations are underway in Montreal and its 19 boroughs after 20 centimetres blanketed the city Monday and Tuesday.
Work began at 7 a.m. Thursday morning with priority being given to major arteries and narrow streets, according to city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.
Nearly 2,200 vehicles were dispatched to tackle the city’s 10,000-kilometre network of streets and sidewalks.
While some expected the snow to be carted off as early as Wednesday, on New Year’s Day, the city decided to postpone it until Thursday as a matter of convenience for residents.
“We wanted the citizens to enjoy celebrations before we’re going to be back with loading operations,” he said, explaining the city didn’t want to make parking even more difficult during the holidays.
Sabourin said Thursday’s operations are progressing faster than usual.
“We’re going to be done Monday, by the end of the day for the last streets,” he said.
On average, crews can cover 2,500 kilometres a day, or 25 per cent of the city, but Sabourin said they’ll likely hit 30 per cent Thursday.
Operators on the ground say it’s fast because there is no traffic, and with the mild temperatures, there’s no ice or need to scrape the sidewalks, according to Sabourin.
Residents also have their part to play to ensure operations run smoothly.
Sabourin is reminding drivers to respect no parking signs and to place trash where it won’t interfere with snow removal.
To make parking easier, the city, in collaboration with Stationnement de Montréal, is making 1,369 spaces available in various parking lots. Parking is free from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. but some restrictions apply. You can find more information on the Stationnement de Montréal website.
Officials say that how you park is almost as important as where you park.
It is recommended that you park your car at least 30 centimetres from the curb, fold back your rear-view mirrors and avoid parking at an angle.
Those who have the misfortune of being towed during snow-removal operations can get help finding their vehicle on the city of Montreal website.