By Sheri Selway

There are MANY reasons to enjoy living in the North End! It’s walkable to so many places, parks, rec centre, schools, churches all close by.  But one of the things that warms my heart is how we, on our block, deal with snow.

So far this year we have been lucky, not much snow.  But it’s coming, I just know it!  But so far this year, every time I got up and looked out the window in the morning and saw snow, my sidewalk was already cleared!  Not my driveway, not my walkway to my front door, but my sidewalk was cleared!  I think I know who did it, but it sure made me feel good!  Thank you!

We neighbours would shovel the walkway and sidewalk of an older, single woman, or tenants who go to work early. Sometimes the sidewalk at the Public Works building on Ferrie and Mary would also get shoveled!  Sure, the City would eventually get it done but we know that the reason for shoveling the snow is because neighbours walk there.  Kids go to school – (well eventually!) And people wheel their carts to the Food Basics for shopping.  The reason we shovel show is for the people who USE the sidewalks!

It amazes me when I am walking and I see a front walkway shoveled to the driveway – but not the sidewalk. Or walking down the sidewalk, no one shoveled the “entrance” to the alley, making me detour onto the street.  The whole block is cleared EXCEPT the laneway entrance.  Surely someone could shovel it!

Some businesses and stores are great, others not so much. But they too are neighbours, so I approach them personally or with a note before phoning the City.

Another pet peeve is the sloped sidewalks at driveways.  They get SO slippery.  I really appreciate extra sand and salt there!

People living on the corner houses have a bit more shoveling to do, I know.  But I am so impressed when the corner house shovels away from the curb and creates a pathway to cross the street.  The other day the crosswalk paint was icy on John Street, so we used the City “sand box” at the corner to sand the icy sections.

So, remember. We are “Not Just Another Neighbourhood!” We are a community who looks out for each other.  When we do extra shoveling, remember, we are helping those who are walking by.   Even if the neighbour is not your “best bud”, we can help each other out.

  1. When you shovel your sidewalk, shovel someone else’s too!
  2. Make sure your driveway “slope” is sanded and not slippery.
  3. Check out the corner…. can people cross easily?
  4. Don’t shovel the snow INTO the road because cars can slide and cause an accident.
  5. Do not block the sewer grates with snow, so melt water can reach the drain!

One last caution – be careful.  There are often reports of heart attacks and injury due to snow shoveling.  It’s not an Olympic Event (maybe it should be!)  Change the hold on the shovel every 10 scoops, take breaks, keep warm.  Try to tell someone where you are just in case you fall.

The City currently clears 397 km of sidewalks, including all sidewalks adjacent to schools and ALL the sidewalks in the former Ward 12, known as the “Ancaster area”.   Hamilton also has a Snow Angels program for low-income seniors and people with disabilities.  Although they are NOT accepting any new clients, you can volunteer your services.  High School students can get their volunteer hours by shoveling snow!

For more information about Snow Clearing from the City of Hamilton, including tips, what to do if you fall and are injured due to inadequate snow clearing, and how to file a by-law complaint, please click here.