potholes toronto

Pothole season is back but Toronto's roads aren't as bad as previous years

Every year as the weather changes from bitter freezing to spring thaw, the roads in Toronto take a beating.

This winter, the city has really experienced some weather. From the major winter storm that shut down roads in January, to deep freezes to thaws and then back to deep freezes again — the weather has been changeable.

All this freezing and thawing does a number on asphalt.

"It's absolutely the best recipe for potholes, the rain and the snow and then we have plus five and minus ten the next day, it's just the perfect storm for pothole season," Mark Mills, a road operations manager with the City of Toronto, told CTV.

Potholes are created when water penetrates the top layer of asphalt through cracks in the road. After the moisture freezes and expands, sections of the pavement are forced up.

Approximately 25 crews spread out across the city fixing potholes with hot-mixed asphalt this week.

Damage to cars from a pothole could cost anywhere from $41 and $3,500, Sean Cooney-Mann, a store manager at OK Tire told CityNews. Cooney-Mann noted there are bigger craters and potholes in the roads these days because of extreme weather due to climate change.

The City of Toronto budgets between $4 million and $5 million to address potholes every year.

Despite the bad weather this winter, it seems like the number of potholes is actually lower this year compared to others.

Potholes filled from Jan. 1 to Feb. 25 was at 11,985 this year compared to nearly double that last year for the same time period. In 2018, a whopping 75,283 were filled. Annually the number filled has also declined — from 244,426 in 2018 to 120,420 in 2021.

potholes toronto

City of Toronto chart

However, that is just the number of pot holes filled — it doesn't necessarily mean there aren't more out there.

Low temperatures and snow and ice cover makes it extremely difficult to work with hot asphalt because it cools very quickly, the city notes.

With fresh snowfall in the forecast, it might take a bit longer to get to repairs.

People can report potholes through 311 or online.

Lead photo by

CJ Burnell

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