Shoveling tips for a Canadian blizzard

Well, I’ve been living in this great country for 27 + 6 years now, and I’ve been around the block a few times. That’s ’cause in a proper Canadian snowstorm, you have to go back over your sidewalk and driveway over…and over…and over…and over…until the storm is finished.

Bob and Doug McKenzie - show shoveling in Canadian winter

Photo of Bob and Doug McKenzie Whoever said, “Do the job right the first time and you’ll never have to do it again” never shoveled snow off a Canadian driveway, eh?

 

I think we Southern Ontarians may have gotten a bit complacent over the last couple of years and we’ve forgotten what a real Canadian winter looks like, eh? Since Snowmageddon caught us all by surprise, I figured that as a reference for next time, I should share some helpful shoveling tips.

The Top 5 Snow Shoveling Strategies for a Canadian Snowfall, Eh.

1. The Perfectionist: This method involves shoveling the same stretch of pavement over and over until every last snowflake has been lifted and deposited neatly on the lawn. Be prepared for some backbreaking labour as you scrape your sidewalk clean. There may be some demolition involved as you pulverize and remove the icy footprints rudely left behind by passersby during previous snowfalls that you somehow didn’t get to in time. If necessary, you may have to pull out your metal garden spade for the iciest bits, but if The Perfectionist is your goal, then gosh darn it, that’s the price you pay, eh?

2. The A-Little-Off-The-Top: Favoured by those for whom perfection is seriously overrated, this method involves skimming off the fluffy top layer of snow and leaving the smooth packed under-layer clinging to the pavement. Drawbacks include those pesky lawsuits that spring up when your mail carrier slips and breaks a wrist.

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Ben demonstrates The A-Little-Off-The-Top
©PicklesINK 2013

3. The Leap-Frogging Snowplow: A back-saver in a proper Canadian blizzard, especially when you have a long driveway (“Oh honey, look at the driveway! You could fit 6 cars in it easily! Isn’t that great? What down side could there possibly be?”), this method involves using your shovel to plow the snow as far as you can before it gets too heavy, then skimming off the top to continue working your way towards your deposit area. It’s important to use your hands to push the shovel – under no circumstances should you push the shovel handle with your torso if you like your lowest ribs intact.

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Properly graduated snow pile placement for The Leap-Frogging Snowplow
©PicklesINK 2013

4. The Off-Roader: NB – This method works best with winter tires. This is easily the quickest of all the strategies, so it’s great for busy people with places to be. The Off-Roader involves starting your car, aiming for the end of the driveway, and taking a run at it. Back in and out of the driveway several times, each time entering the driveway in a slightly different line than before. With skillful maneuvering you should be able to achieve a shoveled “look” by flattening the majority of the snow on your driveway. Downsides include icy tire tracks that will remain until spring. **NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SIDEWALKS**

Tire track

Ice tire track, a side-effect of The Off-Roader
©PicklesINK 2013

5. The RIGHT Way: ‘Nuff said.

Snowblower

When the going gets tough, the tough get snowblowers.
©PicklesINK 2013

I hope you will find this helpful during this beautiful winter season (especially if Mother Nature dumps any more of this %^$%#* on us!).

~ karyn

Did I miss any? What is your method of choice?

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