Let it snow … and break out those shovels!

One year ago, we were facing an epic Vancouver Snowmageddon. This weekend the flurries begin and it's a good reminder to all to prepare for salting and shovel duty on the sidewalks that line your property. Last Christmas, we ranted about the difficulty faced by those in wheelchairs or pushing strollers (and really, anyone at all) to walk our slippery streets when the snow is left to ice over. Don't be the one all the neighbours scowl at as they walk past.

One year ago, we were facing an epic Vancouver Snowmageddon. This weekend the flurries begin and it’s a good reminder to all to prepare for salting and shovel duty on the sidewalks that line your property. Last Christmas, we ranted about the difficulty faced by those in wheelchairs or pushing strollers (and really, anyone at all) to walk our slippery streets when the snow is left to ice over. Don’t be the one all the neighbours scowl at as they walk past.

Your sidewalk should look like this:

A well-maintained sidewalk on 5th St. Photo: Waferboard
A well-maintained sidewalk on 5th St. Photo: Waferboard

NOT this:

Naughty property owners on 4th St. have doomed pedestrians to slide down icy 4th St. Photo: Dennis Sylvester Hurd
Naughty property owners on 4th St. have doomed pedestrians to slide down icy 4th St. Photo: Dennis Sylvester Hurd

Despite sidewalk woes, I do love the snow. Here are some of my favourite snowy photos from previous New Westminster snowfalls:

A quiet, snowy street in New West. Photo: Graham Ballantyne.
A quiet, snowy street in New West. Photo: Graham Ballantyne.
A creative snow elephantman at the Quay. Photo: BCOL CCCP
A creative snow elephantman at the Quay. Photo: BCOL CCCP
Snow covers the playground at Queen's Park. Photo: juki_ruki
Snow covers the playground at Queen's Park. Photo: juki_ruki
The cannon at City Hall. Photo: Waferboard
The cannon at City Hall. Photo: Waferboard

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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4 comments

  1. The winter of 2006, I had a contract to do data entry at the courthouse on Carnarvon. I live at 5th at 11th so I walked to work, many days in the rain and/or snow. I was DISGUSTED with residents too lazy or cheap to do their sidewalks. In fact, I'd estimate 5% were shoveled and 95% were a hazard. The snow that winter went on for weeks so I ended up walking to and fro on the city streets with the cars. Scary! (What's really ironic about this, is that my data entry job was to start files for people who were suing others for slip-and-fall type injuries)

    Seeing as this city is so pedestrian friendly, I sincerely hope people get their tushes in gear and start shoveling when needed. If someone is genuinely unable to do it themselves or unable to pay a service or neighbourhood kid, point me to them and I'll come over and help out! 🙂

  2. We were walking home from the farmer's market this morning (nice to meet you and Jocelyn!) and passed a beautiful house and my husband said, wow that's a nice house and I said yeah but they didn't shovel their walks last year. (It is a house halfway up a steep hill and I remember stopping in front of it, puffing after pushing the kids in the stroller up the hill and yelling at it. The house and its inhabitants.

    No one answered.)

    Yes, I am still bitter. Being stuck in the house for 2 weeks with two kids under 3 has scarred me for life.

  3. I'm already grumpy about the non-shovellers. Please, City of New Westmisnter, give me a bylaw infraction book. I don't want to be all Grinchy, but seriously. Like Chelle, I am all for helping out my neighbours who are unable to do it themselves- we have shovels and we are good natured and will do it cheerfully and without expectation of payment for people who are truly not able. But able bodied people should really just STFU and do it. It's part of being a homeowner and a good neighbour. Also, people who own houses but for whatever reason choose to leave it vacant and live elsewhere? No excuse. Ask a neighbour or pay a service to do it for you.

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