Ontario Snow Removal Costs 2023

Navigating the icy grip of winter in Ontario means more than just bundling up – it’s also about keeping your driveways and sidewalks clear. But with snow removal costs as variable as the flurries themselves, you’re likely wondering what you’ll need to budget for this essential service. From Mississauga’s fluctuating rates to the impact of severe weather conditions, we’ll delve into the factors that shape the price of keeping your property snow-free.

You’ll find that in Ontario, snow removal expenses can range significantly, with hourly rates starting from $49.14 and seasonal contracts averaging $418.6. But it’s not just about the numbers; it’s the behind-the-scenes costs, like skyrocketing insurance rates for snow clearing businesses, that add layers to the pricing puzzle. Stay with us as we explore the ins and outs of Ontario’s snow removal costs, arming you with the knowledge to effectively plan your winter budget.

Factors Affecting Ontario Snow Removal Costs

Geographical Location

Your home’s location plays a pivotal role in determining snow removal costs. Ontario, with its vast landscapes, sees a range of prices dictated by local weather patterns and accessibility. For instance, living in Mississauga, you’ll find that rates for residential snow removal vary as they’re influenced by the locality’s specific conditions. Venturing into areas with heavier snowfalls, like parts of Manitoba or Quebec, you’ll notice a surge in rates due to the additional efforts needed to manage severe weather.

Regions nestled in the far north or areas frequently hit by storms witness a spike in snow removal expenses. These localities often endure a high volume of snow, necessitating more plowing, which leads to increased labor and equipment use. Rural and hard-to-reach areas can see a price jump too, thanks to the meticulous approach required to navigate around potential obstacles and the greater distances service providers must travel.

Snowfall Average

As you’d expect, the average snowfall directly impacts the frequency and intensity of snow removal services, thereby affecting the cost. Houses in areas known for their intense winters, such as in New Brunswick, should brace for higher snow removal costs. Here’s a quick glance at the average rates based on snow depth:

Snow Depth (Inches)Average Cost (Per Hour)
6 or less$49.14 – $77.95
6 to 12$90.34
12 to 18$115.09
18 or more$139.85

It’s evident that with each increment in snow depth, there’s a tangible leap in price.

Remember, while you might spot cheaper rates in regions with sporadic snowfall, contractors in these areas may increase their prices due to the infrequency of work. Conversely, in areas with consistent snowfall, companies often offer contractual deals based on the expected annual snow totals, which might provide you with more cost-effective solutions.

Keep in mind the frequency of snow removal too. Areas with persistent snow may require more regular service visits, which, although potentially raising your winter budget, can be a necessary spend to keep your property safe and accessible throughout the season. The key here is to balance the need for frequent snow clearance with the availability of cost-efficient contract options that snow removal companies might offer.

Types of Snow Removal Services

Residential Snow Removal

When considering Residential Snow Removal services, you’re looking at a range of options tailored to your home’s specific needs. Whether you’re in a detached single-family home, townhouse, or condo, these services ensure safe and accessible driveways and walkways during the harsh Ontario winters.

Typically, residential services include snow plowing, snow blowing, and shoveling. Pricing usually follows a per event or per visit model, often with the choice of purchasing a full-season contract. Snow plowing rates average from $30 – $95, while snow blowing or shoveling can cost you about $25 – $75 per hour. Keep in mind, the cost generally reflects the size of your property and the amount of snow to be removed.

For those times when snow piles up, roof-clearing may also be needed, generally setting back homeowners between $250 – $500. Don’t forget additional services such as salt and sand application, essential for preventing slips and falls. These are priced around $20 – $40 per application.

To manage costs effectively, consider a monthly service ranging from $170-$300+ for a standard lot. This may include multiple areas like patios and walkways. It’s crucial to account for typical snowfall patterns when selecting the right service, as areas prone to heavier snowfall may incur higher fees.

Commercial Snow Removal

As for Commercial Snow Removal, the stakes are higher, given the scale and the need for constant accessibility. Businesses, particularly those with customer footfall, can’t afford the risk of unattended snowfall causing accidents or impeding operations. That’s why, if you’re a business owner, expect a significant price difference compared to residential services.

Commercial properties often require snow plowing for parking lots, walkway clearing and salting, and possibly snow relocation services where the snow is moved off-site. The size of the operation and frequency of snow removal can vary widely based on the property type—be it a retail space, industrial complex, or office building.

Because commercial spaces are typically larger with more complex needs, prices reflect the increase in labour, equipment, and often the addition of salting and sanding. It isn’t uncommon for commercial contracts to run higher given that multiple contractors and more frequent visits might be necessary.

Here’s the breakdown you might expect in terms of hourly rates: $20 x 2 workers = $40 for two hours of work, not including equipment and material costs. Businesses may also require tailored estimates and contracts to remain operational throughout snowstorms, bringing snow removal rates per event into the mix.

To sum up, the scope of commercial snow removal is extensive, requiring robust logistics and consistent service, hence driving up the pricing. Whether you’re budgeting for the season or seeking ad hoc services, you’ll want to keep these figures in mind as you plan your snow removal strategy for the wintry months ahead.

Pricing Models for Snow Removal

When considering snow removal services in Ontario, you’ll come across different pricing models. Each model offers unique advantages, and the choice depends on your specific needs. It’s essential to understand these models to select the best option for you.

Hourly Rate

Opting for an hourly rate is a straightforward approach. Snow removal companies charge for the actual time spent working on your property.


  • Transparency: You pay for the exact amount of time spent on snow removal, which aligns costs directly with service.
  • Flexibility: Good for unpredictable snowfall, as you only pay for services when you need them.

Real-World Example:
Imagine a scenario where a sudden, heavy snowfall covers your driveway. You need immediate clearance. An hourly rate service suits this one-off job. If the professionals charge $49.14 per hour and finish the job in two hours, your cost would be $98.28.

Per Plow Rate

The per plow rate model charges you for each time a snowplow clears your driveway or parking space. It’s effective for frequent snowfalls.


  • Predictability: Know your costs upfront per visit; helpful for budgeting throughout the winter season.
  • Simplicity: No need to monitor time spent, as the charge is per action, not per hour.

Real-World Example:
Consider your driveway requires clearing after each snowstorm. If the average cost per plow is $59.86, and you experience 5 plowing needs over the season, your total expenditure would be about $299.30.

Seasonal Contract

A seasonal contract encompasses the entirety of the snow season, providing multiple services for a set fee.


  • Cost-Efficiency: Often more affordable than per-service rates when dealing with a heavy snowfall region.
  • Comprehensive Care: Regular maintenance ensures consistent accessibility and safety.

Real-World Example:
You have a large driveway and live in an area with consistent snowfall. A seasonal contract costs you around $418.6. Assuming you would require at least 10 services throughout the season, the per instance cost would only be about $41.86 – potentially offering significant savings over per plow or hourly rate models.

Understanding these pricing models empowers you to make an informed decision tailored to your circumstances. Whether you prefer the predictability of a seasonal contract, the transparency of an hourly rate, or the simplicity of a per plow rate, you’re now equipped to navigate the offerings of Ontario snow removal services effectively.

snow removal safety precaution

Additional Factors to Consider

When you’re scoping out snow removal services in Ontario, remember to weigh some critical variables which will invariably influence the overall cost.

Driveway Size and Complexity

Your driveway’s size and complexity are substantial factors in calculating the cost of snow removal. The area that needs clearing affects both the time and resources necessary to do the job:

  • Bigger Driveways: Larger driveways require more labor, increasing the cost.
  • Design Complexity: A straightforward rectangular driveway is quicker to clear than one with multiple curves or steep inclines.
  • Surface Type: Gravel or unpaved driveways complicate the plowing process and may require additional care to avoid damage.

For a vivid illustration, consider this: clearing a two-car-wide-and-deep driveway is likely to start at $280, while homes with additional walkways range from $600 to $750. Corner lots can escalate costs significantly, up to $1,100 – $1,400, largely due to the perimeter sidewalks and the extended area they represent.

Access to the Property

Your property’s accessibility plays a noticeable role in the cost-effectiveness and ease of snow removal. Key considerations include:

  • Ease of Plow Entry: Limited access means manual shoveling or smaller equipment might be required, placing upward pressure on labor costs.
  • Obstacle Navigation: Properties peppered with landscaping features or unique architectural traits might need more meticulous and thus costly snow removal services.

It’s clear that the less straightforward the access, the more time and care required to complete the task, translating directly onto your bill.

De-icing and Salting Services

Finally, the de-icing and salting process is an integral part of maintaining a safe property during the winter months. The benefits of these services are clear-cut:

  • Safety: Proper application of salt and ice-melt solutions greatly reduces the risk of slips and falls.
  • Preventative Measure: By pre-emptively salting, you effectively diminish the chance of ice taking hold, simplifying snow clearance and saving time in the aftermath of a storm.

Although adding de-icing services might boost the initial cost, it results in a safer, more accessible property, making it a wise investment, especially for commercial locations where heavy footfall is expected.

Tips for Saving on Ontario Snow Removal Costs

Clear Snow Regularly

One surefire way to manage snow removal costs is by clearing snow as it accumulates. Small, frequent clearings can prevent the need for more extensive, and consequently more expensive, snow removal sessions. By keeping on top of snowfall, you ensure it doesn’t harden or turn to ice, which is tougher—and costlier—to remove. Also, under specific Ontario regulations, timely clearance of snow can prevent potential fines.

Benefits of Regular Snow Clearing:

  • Reduces physical strain and the risk of injury
  • Prevents snow from compacting and becoming ice
  • Minimizes the need for de-icing chemicals
  • Keeps access ways clear and safe

Remember, service contracts often include unlimited visits without extra charges for frequent storms, ensuring your expenditure remains predictable despite the number of snowfalls.

Combine Services with Neighbors

Pooling resources with neighbors to hire a snow removal service is a savvy strategy. When several houses in close proximity collaborate on a shared contract, savings can be significant. Group rates are often lower because it’s more efficient for a company to service adjacent properties in one trip. Additionally, by streamlining their operations, snow removal services might pass on savings to you and your neighbors, leading to a win-win situation.

Key Advantages of Group Contracts:

  • Overall reduced cost per household
  • Increased bargaining power for lower rates
  • Foster stronger community ties

Combining services can lead to a higher priority for your street, potentially getting your driveways cleared faster.

Get Quotes from Multiple Contractors

Receiving and comparing quotes from different contractors is an effective way to ensure you’re not overspending on snow removal. As rates vary widely based on location and service levels, collecting several estimates is essential. Transparent discussions about your budget, driveway size, and preferred service level can contribute to a more tailored, cost-effective solution.

Essential Consideration for Quotes:

  • Ensure quotes are based on similar service levels for fairness in comparison
  • Verify response times and clarify any additional charges for rapid clearing
  • Consider customer satisfaction ratings as part of the value for money equation

By securing multiple quotes, you’ll have a competitive edge and a clearer idea of the market rates, putting you in a stronger position to negotiate your contract terms.

Through these tips, you’re not only ensuring that your property stays safe and accessible throughout the harsh Ontario winters but also that you’re doing so in the most cost-efficient way. Keep in mind effective communication and regular maintenance are the cornerstones of achieving significant savings on snow removal services.


You’re now equipped with practical strategies to tackle Ontario’s snowy season without breaking the bank. Remember, it’s all about being proactive and resourceful. Regularly clearing snow, teaming up with neighbors, and comparing quotes can make a significant difference in your winter expenses. Stay ahead of the snow and enjoy a safe, accessible property, confident that you’re managing snow removal costs effectively.

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