MONTREAL -- Montreal began its snow removal operation at 7 p.m. Monday after 11 cm of sleet and ice fell on the city this weekend.

“Even though there isn’t much accumulation on the ground, it is already very compacted, which means it could turn to ice and not melt,” said Jean-François Parenteau, executive committee member responsible for snow clearing. “That’s the reason for this preventive measure.”

He noted there was “no benefit” in waiting for more, unconfirmed snowfall before removing the heavy ice and snow.

According to the city, there are roughly 10,000 km of streets and sidewalks in Montreal and accesses to hospitals, public transit and major arteries will be prioritized.