Canada’s weirdest laws: in Beaconsfield, Que. it’s illegal to melt snow with drinking water

It’s likely that Beaconsfield residents are aware it’s a bad idea to hose down snow with water as it could turn their driveway into a skating rink.
It’s likely that Beaconsfield residents are aware it’s a bad idea to hose down snow with water as it could turn their driveway into a skating rink. (Photo: iStock)

In the last week, many parts of Canada were bombarded with snowstorms. That left many of us trying to dig ourselves out of snow banks by any means necessary. . . unless you’re a resident of Beaconsfield, Quebec that is.

See: Canada’s weirdest laws: in Souris, P.E.I., it’s illegal to build a snowman taller than 30 inches

The city is so worried about its drinking water supply that it not only created a whole drinking water bylaw but also a prohibition that strictly forbids “. . . at all times, to use drinking water to melt snow or ice on driveways, grounds, patios or sidewalks.” It’s unclear why the city specified these locations as it seems the prohibition affects almost all outside surfaces.

The fine for using drinking water to melt snow or ice is between $100 to $300 for a first offence.

The city was inspired to create its restrictive drinking water bylaw after the province of Quebec asked its municipalities to create strategies on the use and conservation of drinking water. Apparently, this bylaw was Beaconsfield contribution.

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Some people are puzzled as to why this law is even necessary, as it seems using water to get rid of snow isn’t such a good idea as the snow would likely turn into ice, which is equally as difficult to get rid of, not to mention creates a slip-and-fall hazard. It’s also likely that Beaconsfield residents are aware it’s a bad idea to hose down snow with water, because it could turn their driveway into a skating rink.

Beaconsfield is no a stranger to the land of strange bylaws. Another bylaw that has landed the city on strange law lists, is the rule that says it’s an offence for residents to have more than two colours on their houses.

Given it looks like we’ll have a long, hard winter, make sure that if you find yourself in Beaconsfield before spring, you have a shovel or snow brush handy.

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