Toronto launches pothole blitz ahead of long weekend

Apr 14, 2022 | Headlines, News

Toronto is holding a week-long blitz of 2022 ahead of the Easter long weekend to

repair as many potholes as possible around the city if the weather permits.

Around 40 crew with approximately 100 staff will be working 12-hour shifts, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., every day this week to repair potholes on major roads, expressways, and neighbourhood streets.

“During the week-long blitz, we hope to add approximately 5,000-6,000 possible repairs,” told Mark Mills, a road operations manager with the City of Toronto to Humber News.

Mills said the repair of a pothole can take from a few minutes up to half an hour depending on the size.

“We estimate this year we will repair approximately 175,000 potholes,” he added.

But some question the timing, especially ahead of a holiday weekend.

“It obviously needs to happen, but I think there’s a time and a place,” said Sabrina Santangelo, an Interior Decorating student at Humber College.

“It’s just a lot of necessary but unnecessary traffic at the same time,” she added. “I’ve been in a few almost accidents by other drivers, so I feel like it’s more of a safety thing that needs to be taken care of.”

Anna Marie Thomas, Director of Consumer and Industry Relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, told Humber News that unrepaired potholes can do a number of things to a vehicle.

“It can damage the alignment, it can damage your tires, it can damage your rim.”

Teresa Di Felice of the Canadian Automobile Association also said that potholes are a significant problem in Toronto.

“The volume of traffic and the types of that volume – with a mix of different size vehicles, different weight vehicles – just makes it a right place for a significant number of potholes to develop,” said Di Felice, who is the CAA’s Assistant Vice President for government and community relations in South-Central Ontario.

Di Felice told Humber News that when the CAA gets a call from drivers after their vehicle is damaged because of poor road maintenance, the association refers them to repair companies and mechanic shops in their area.

Thomas also had advice on steps to take if you vehicle is damaged.

“The city has an online claim submission form that you can submit the damage to. The thing to remember, you must make that claim with the city within 10 days,” Thomas said.

“Definitely take pictures of the pothole, measurements and collect as much information as you can in order to substantiate your claim,” Thomas added.

Thomas said that to get the insurance benefits from any pothole damage, drivers must have optional coverage on their vehicle and they will have to pay their insurance deductibles.

“If you’re going to go through your own insurance to have damage caused by a pothole repaired, you have to have collision coverage on your vehicle,” she said.

Di Felice said, “depending on the severity of the damage, some people feel that if it’s going to cost them more to pay their deductible than it is to repair, then it might not be worth it.”

“We did a survey in January and 41 per cent of people experienced damage as a result of road conditions, but 82 per cent have never filed a claim.

Nine per cent filed it with their auto insurance company, seven per cent with their government entity that was responsible for the road, and only two per cent filed a claim from both,” Di Felice added.

Infographic by Melike Hilal Gumus
Infographic by Melike Hilal Gumus

“We proactively patrol all of our roads and we assess them daily,” Mills said.

Mills said the city decides to launch a blitz depending on the number of potholes found, and the volume of reports from the public.

“It’s typical for us to have three or four blitzes over pothole season.”

He added that March, April, May and June are the peak pothole repair period as the temperatures fluctuate and the roads get affected by freezing and thawing..

The city said the week-long blitz will be causing delays on road and the public is being asked to be mindful of work zones.

“We shouldn’t see any road closures to repair potholes, what you will see is intermittent lane closures. Could take again five minutes, or it could take maybe half an hour,” Mills said.

“Give yourself extra time and give our crews the time and space that they need to do this job. They are there to help, and this is our never-ending quest to keep these roads in the state of good repair,” he added.

The city is encouraging people to report potholes either by calling 311, using the 311 app, or or going online.