Significant Weather Events

The Region can declare a Significant Weather Event, under the Province’s Ontario Regulation 239/02, Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways, when the weather forecast and/or actual weather conditions meet hazardous conditions such as: 

  • 20 cm of snow within 24 hours
  • Ice accumulation of 20 mm
  • High Winds greater than 60km/h

The Region will declare a Significant Weather Event to alert residents to the increased risks to Regional roads and bike lanes, and that it will take longer than usual to clear them.

When a Significant Weather Event is declared, the Region will:

  • Inform Council and area municipal staff.
  • Post a news release on
  • Post an update on the Region’s social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Add a message to the Region’s Service First Contact Centre phone line 519-575-4400.
  • When the event has ended, the Region will update the news release on  

How can you help?
During a Significant Weather Event, residents are encouraged to stay off the roads — limit travel to only essential trips outside of their homes — to allow our snow plow crews to do their jobs and clear roadways to give access to emergency vehicles. The Region will make every effort to continue to clear and treat Regional roads and bike paths; however, they might not be maintained as normally expected.

It’s also a good idea to ensure you are prepared before an emergency. Have an emergency plan and your 72-hour emergency kit ready. Visit for emergency tips and ideas.  

City declared Snow Event
Any one of the cities can also declare a Significant Weather Event, as well as a Snow Event – different than a Significant Weather Event. A Snow Event is declared when there is a snowfall of 8 cm or more. The declaration alerts residents that parking on any street is prohibited until the snow event has ended. This allows operators to quickly and safely clear snow and treat roadways without parked vehicles in the way. Check with the individual cities for parking rules, fines and other information during a snow event Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge.

Sign up for Alert Waterloo Region
Get informed! Residents should sign up for Alert Waterloo Region. This service allows residents to receive important public safety messages in the event of large-scale emergencies such as floods, severe weather, or significant power outages. Notifications can be delivered to home phones, mobile phones, text and email.

What else should I know about?
GRT and ION delays or changes
Warming center locations
Waste collection
Waterloo Airport YKF
Snow and Ice Clearing Tips for Homeowners

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