Back Lanes

Each year, from April to September, crews work to assess every gravel back lane (235 km) in the City to ensure the alley's condition and elevation remain at design standards. Back lanes in need of attention re-graded to ensure a smooth surface that allows for proper drainage and to ensure that catch basins remain clear and unobstructed.

Proper drainage is necessary in the prevention of pothole formations in back lanes. The maintenance of back lanes is also important for utility access, vehicle sight lines, access for back lane driveways and garages and for garbage pickup. 

In conjunction with grading the back lanes, a Bylaw officer is dedicated to monitoring back lanes in the summer. The officer will be inspecting back lanes around the city issuing notices to homeowners who have back lane infractions. Common infractions include:

Community Standards Bylaw #3383-2007:

  • Unsightly premise
  • Nuisance 
  • Graffiti
  • Construction waste 
  • Littering 

Traffic Bylaw 3186/97 Section 92 and 95:

  • Placement of dirt, gravel, concrete or any such obstruction on City property without a permit (this includes sheds and garbage enclosures)
  • Placement or storage of any material or equipment on City property without a permit
  • Trees or shrubs overhanging on City property at an elevation of less than 13.5 feet

Why is my back lane not paved?

When a lot is purchased the cost of local improvements such as water mains, sanitary sewer, storm sewer mains, paved roads with sidewalks on both sides of the roadway, street lighting and paved or gravel lanes is included in the price. In some cases the less important improvements, such as paved back lanes, are not done in order to keep costs down for the purchaser. 

Residents wanting a paved back lane can start a petition for a local improvement indicating that a group of property owners is committing to pay for the local improvement. The majority of property owners sharing the back lane (67 per cent) must agree to the improvement. Everyone along the lane is required to pay his or her share of the work, as the entire length of the lane must be paved, not just portions. 

To find out more about starting a local improvement petition and/or the cost, please contact the Engineering Services Department at 403-342-8158