Ottawa's shovelling sensei goes to new widths to clear snow

Premji Kerai has a reputation in his Upper Hunt Club neighbourhood for keeping his wide driveway clear of snow. How does your shovelling job stack up?

Premji Kerai has earned a reputation among his neighbours as a wizard with the white stuff

Crystal clear: On serious snow days, Premji Kerai breaks out his snowblower. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Premji Kerai has earned a reputation in his Upper Hunt Club neighbourhood as something of a master when it comes to the fine art of shovelling snow.

It's true, he goes to new lengths — or widths, to be precise. Despite his double garage and wide driveway, Kerai nevertheless manages to push the snow past the grass line.

"I just want mine to be nice and wide so I don't feel claustrophobic," he told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

He does most of the clearing by hand, but when a plow dumps a big pile of snow at the end of his driveway, it's time to bust out the snowblower.

"If we get 30 centimetres or even more, I sometimes come out two or three times and just push it to the side [by hand], and when the snowfall is over I come out with a snowblower and blow it away," he said.

Kerai is all smiles as he demonstrates his snow-clearing technique. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Kerai starts work at 7 a.m., so he'll start shovelling as early as 6 a.m.

If his wife needs to leave before then, he makes sure to clear a path for her so she doesn't pack down the snow by walking or driving on it.

Still, he's not sure he deserves the reputation he's garnered.

"In the early days I was [meticulous], but I'm not as meticulous as I was. Once upon a time I would scrape it right down to the asphalt and really clean it good. Now, with freezing rain and all that, it's very hard to keep it down to asphalt," he said.

"I've had enough. Living in Canada for 32 years, [I've had] enough of snowblowing."

Even masters have their limits. After 32 Canadian winters, Kerai says he's 'had enough' of the snow. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

How are the rest of you coping with all this snow?

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning


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