Ice prevention and snow removal


When extreme weather comes to UBC Vancouver, Facilities is responsible for managing snow and ice within the Vancouver campus. The roads around UBC (Marine Drive), approaching UBC (University Boulevard from Wesbrook Mall to Blanca Street) and West 16th Avenue from Blanca Street to Marine Drive are maintained by The The Mainroad Group under contract with the Provincial Government of BC.

The weather at UBC can be unpredictable and variable—as UBC has its own micro climate which can be quite different from lower lying areas. Custom weather feeds are monitored to get accurate predictions of what’s coming and how we need to respond in order to make the campus as safe as possible, as soon as possible.

Updates during extreme weather

In extreme weather situations, updates on campus conditions, classes or exams are posted on

We recommend UBC students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to also download the UBC Safe Vancouver app and turn on your push notifications to receive immediate information (e.g. weather advisories, class cancellations, etc.) and updates that are impacting the entire campus. Learn more about the UBC Safe Vancouver app on the Safety & Risk Services website.

For information on UBC’s winter weather protocols for faculty and staff, visit the Human Resources website [CWL required].

For more information on the Weather and Thermal Stress Safety, visit the Safety & Risk Services.

For tips to help you stay upright during the winter season, visit UBC’s Emergency Preparedness website.

To report slippery conditions, please contact the Facilities Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

Priorities for ice prevention and snow removal

Facilities’ Municipal Services and Custodial Service teams provides ice prevention and snow removal services with the full complement of staff during regular working hours. To ensure a safe campus, our teams also works outside of regular working hours, with a reduced crew and scope of work. The map below identifies priority roads, sidewalks and pathways that our crews will work towards when dealing with an ice or snow event. Once the priority routes are cleared, crews will focus on clearing other areas of campus.  In an extreme winter weather event, it is suggested that you stick to the routes which have been identified on the map below in order to get where you need to go on campus safely and without incident.

If you see any areas  that need our attention, please contact the Facilities Service Centre at 604-822-2173.

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Snow removal and Ice prevention

Facilities’ fleet of snow removal and deicing vehicles start early in the morning to plow and treat as many roads, sidewalks and pathways as possible before the first students, faculty, and staff arrive. Weather is unpredictable and crews do their best to make sure the campus is ready for regular operating hours.

We can only plow when there is at least 4 cm of snow. We work in priority order to ensure the highest risk areas of campus are accessible first—places like the bus loop, hospital, day-cares, and arterial roads. We then move onto academic and student building access. Main and accessible entranceways to campus buildings are prioritized. So please use main entranceways during extreme weather and be careful if you have a secret shortcut.

Salt and brine are applied to ensure ice can be managed appropriately to minimize our environmental impact. To ensure effectiveness, we typically brine roads, sidewalks and pathways during dry cold weather as a preventative measure.

When weather is extreme, we provide information to the campus administration group to inform key decision making and minimize disruptions. Please be safe around our equipment and teams when we are working as equipment may be noisy and conditions are challenging. Remember to dress well for winter conditions – good boots are essential.

Facilities teams work on call to treat campus primary roads, sidewalks and pathways; as needed.

Roads approaching UBC and Neighbourhood areas

The roads approaching UBC are managed by The Mainroad Group under contract with the Provincial Government of BC. These roads include:

  • Marine Drive from W 41stto East Mall
  • W 16thfrom Southwest Marine Drive to Blanca
  • University Boulevard from Wesbrook Mall to Blanca
  • Chancellor Blvd from East Mall to Blanca

Facilities provides support to the University Neighbourhood Association (UNA) when resources are available. For more information on the UNA snow removal plan, please visit the UNA website.

For information on roads managed by the University Endowment Lands (UEL) please visit the University Endowment Lands website.