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How was your Christmas? Mine was green! For the first time since I moved to Northern Ontario in 2005, there was no snow on Christmas Day and no ice on the lakes.

Dec. 25th. It's green!

Dec. 25th: Christmas Day at the beach.

 

Canadian Tire was getting desperate...

Canadian Tire was getting really desperate to shift that winter merchandise. But they didn’t have to worry for long…

"Betty" in the snow

Dec 29th: “Betty” in the snow.

 

Yes, winter is back… and I’m sitting here at 3:00 in the afternoon wondering if the City will ever be around to plow my road today*. I’m on vacation this week, but regardless I don’t think I’d have been making it into work today.

So I was really interested to read about “Track My Plow,” a service that currently operates in the Owen Sound, Simcoe, and Huntsville areas of Ontario–all prime snow belt territory. Just click on the map and follow a plow along its route! The service is still in test mode, but the plan is to expand it province-wide eventually.

The downside is that this only tracks plows on provincially maintained highways and not your local city streets. But if the technology is already there, why not track local plows too? Real-time information on bus services is now available for example, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have information on local plow routes. It would remove so much uncertainty and allow people to plan their days a little better.

If you’re setting out on a long journey, as many people are at this time of year, it’s well worth checking road conditions and possible road closures before you leave. The Ontario Ministry of Transport provides Ontario 511, a telephone service and Twitter feed with updates on latest conditions.

Not in Ontario? Check the road conditions for your province:

Alberta

B.C.

Manitoba

Nova Scotia

Quebec

Saskatchewan

*It eventually showed up at 4:00!

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