Reminder on snow removal procedures at York University

campus winter vignette

York University’s Facility Services would like to remind the York University community about its snow removal procedures on campus. York University’s Grounds team maintains a 24/7 presence on site during the winter months Monday through Friday. On the weekends they are present from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For snow fall accumulation of less than 4 cm: Grounds staff start work at their regular scheduled time (6 a.m.). This allows adequate time for quick action to remove light snow and ice. York University staff are on site 24/7 during the winter months Monday through Friday, and on the weekends they are present from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in order to begin clearing and applying de-icer materials as needed.

For snow fall accumulation of 4 cm or more: Grounds Management will call in additional staff to begin plowing, salting and sanding the roads for snow fall accumulation of 4 cm and more, and special heavy machinery will be brought in to plow the large exterior lots. When snow continues to fall and accumulation exceeds 4 cm, all available staff and machinery are put into action. The staff undertakes this work because the safety of the community is their top priority.

Prior to a snow fall: Grounds staff applies de-icers to major pathways including roads, fire routes, bus stops, walkways and parking areas. When inclement weather arrives, Grounds staff are on site and provide continuous service throughout a snow event. Depending on the timing of the snow fall, Grounds staff will work well into the evening and throughout the night to ensure the campus is fully serviced and ready for the morning.

Order of priority for snow removal:

  • Primary roads, including fire and bus routes, escape doors and stairways
  • Major sidewalks, main building entrances ramps, curb cuts and parking spaces used by individuals with disabilities
  • Secondary sidewalks and secondary building entrances
  • Secondary roads and parking lots

The City of Toronto requires that every owner or occupant of any building, must within 12 hours after any fall of snow, rain or hail has ceased, clear away and completely remove snow and ice from any sidewalk on any highway in front of, alongside or at the rear of the building. Business and property owners are responsible for ensuring that all ice and snow is cleared on sidewalks, driveways, parking spaces, steps, ramps and landings within 12 hours of snowfall to provide safe access for people and vehicles.

Accessibility of paths on campus: Grounds Management makes reasonable efforts to keep paths clear. However, significant weather events can create challenges for some community members. If you have a medical situation in which your  mobility is affected, it is strongly recommended that you discuss strategies and resources with Student Accessibility Services (students) or Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being (for employees). Some options may include Van Go, Go Safe, alternate routes, etc.

In the case of significant weather events:

  • Check if the University is open at the York University weather status page.
  • Ensure you are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for safety.
  • If you have concerns about getting to class, check if there are other ways to participate or obtain the information (video conferencing, notes, recordings, etc.).
  • If you encounter accessibility issues due to snow, ice, etc. on campus, report areas that require attention to the Facilities Services Work Control Centre at 416-736-2100 ext. 22401 or email
  • All community members who encounter a safety challenge while outside during inclement weather should email and/or call Security at 416-736-2100 ext. 58000.

For more information, visit the Facilities Services website.