Ottawa's snow mountain just keeps piling up

Standing more than 50 metres tall and covering the area of several football fields, the snow storage facility on Clyde Avenue is Ottawa's largest, a towering monument to winter that remains long after the spring melt has finished with the rest of the city.

Snow trucked to Clyde Avenue storage facility piled more than 50 metres high

A high-velocity snowblower sends a plume of snow to the top of the growing pile at the city's storage facility on Clyde Avenue. Some years, it takes until August for all this snow to melt. (Halle Cotnam/CBC)

Standing more than 50 metres tall and covering the area of several football fields, the snow storage facility on Clyde Avenue is Ottawa's largest, a towering monument to winter that remains long after the spring melt has finished with the rest of the city.

That's where the CBC's Hallie Cotnam caught up with Bryden Denyes, Ottawa's area manager for core roads, to learn more about the work that goes into stashing all that snow.

"This snow is predominantly from the downtown core area and a little bit south of the facility here," Denyes explained on Ottawa Morning.

The snow is blown into trucks, then dumped here. To get it piled so high, the city contracts special high-velocity snowblowers that launch it to the top of the mound.

Area manager Bryden Denyes shows off the equipment used to throw the snow to the top of the pile. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Avalanche risk

It can be dangerous work.

"Once we have some warm temperatures there's always a risk of it sliding down, hence the avalanche risk," Denyes said.

The snowblower — and the worker operating it — are dwarfed by the pile, which has grown to more than 50 metres tall. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

Depending on the amount gathered, Denyes said the pile can last well into the summer before it all melts away.

"I've seen the snow here as late as the end of August, so it all depends on the summer we have."

Once that finally happens, the site undergoes a complete cleanup before the snow starts flying again. 

With all the snow we've had you may be curious about where the city puts it all. 5:46

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.