With 40 centimetres of snow covering the streets and sidewalks of Montreal, the time has come to haul the snow away.

Hit by the heaviest snowfall of the season, Montreal began its fourth snow removal operation as of 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Plowing has been underway since Tuesday evening, but with the snowfall almost over, crews are switching gears to haul the snow away to dump sites.

City officials said their priority is to clear snow from hospitals, major arteries, and bus stops and metro stations.

Clearing away the snow will likely take a week or more.

As is customary, crews are operating 2,200 vehicles to remove snow from 10,000 km of streets and sidewalks.

The mayor and other city officials urged drivers to respect no-parking signs and to avoid being towed.

"We're talking here about a major loading operation," said city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.

"It's going to take maybe up to eight days. We're going to stay focused on that loading operation as long as needed."

For those who go outside and don't know where their car went during a snow removal operation, they can find out on the Info-Remorquage website.

To know where snow cleaning operations are underway, people should check the Info-Neige app, but remember that street signs take precedence.