Ottawa is closing in on a winter record for snow after 56 centimetres fell on the city in the last three days, but it's a record many residents are not thrilled about.


Andreas Buchmeier, of Almonte, Ont., clears the end of his laneway in the county of Mississippi Mills just west of Ottawa on Sunday. A major winter storm left more than 40 cm of snow in the Ottawa Valley. ((Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press))

The record was set in the winter of 1970-71 when 444.1 cm fell on the Ottawa area. So far this winter, 413 cm has fallen, Environment Canada said.

That's enough, already, some people are saying, as they eye clogged streets and endless mounds of snow.

"Where am I going to put it?" asked Troy MacFarlane as he shovelled his driveway.

"There's no place to put it anymore; like, I've got a 10-foot snowbank in my front lawn. I'm going to start asking for ski passes."

As a result of the storm, there was reduced service on public transit over the weekend. In fact, the O-Train, OC Transpo and Para-Transpo are still on reduced service, but not because of the snow. It's because schools are closed for the March break.

Provincial and city police responded to hundreds of minor accidents over the weekend but there were no serious injuries or fatalities reported.


Snow builds up around the Library of Parliament as the storm moved into Ottawa on Friday night. ((Courtesy of Folsome Corbett))

While the Ottawa International Airport was a bit of a zoo on Saturday and early Sunday with flight delays and cancellations, it appeared to be back to normal by Sunday evening.

Most major roads have been plowed, said Richard Hewitt, who's in charge of road crews, but added it will take most of the week to clear residential streets, sidewalks and bus stops.

"We've got to be reasonable," Hewitt said. "There's no magic wand here. It's a lot of hard work by a lot of people and a lot of equipment out there, manipulating tonnes and tonnes of snow."

The city had almost 600 people using more than 500 pieces of equipment working around the clock over the weekend.

An overnight parking ban remains in effect on streets across Ottawa. Vehicles parked on the street during the ban will be ticketed. On-street parking permit holders are exempt from the restriction.

The city's garbage and recycling collection will be delayed by one day all week.