The fluctuating temperatures that have wreaked havoc on the Rideau Canal Skateway are also causing potholes on Ottawa city roads.

A "freeze-thaw" cycle has been hard on some city streets, particularly ones in the downtown area, according to City of Ottawa road services manager Luc Gagné. 

City road crews have filled 10,800 potholes from Jan. 1 to Feb. 5 of this year. In the same time frame last year, city crews had only filled 9,200 potholes.

"So far it's been up and down with the temperatures," said Gagné. "You know, the freezing rain on Wednesday was a perfect example."

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 11 days when the temperature reached a high above 0 C, and 25 days when the high was below freezing, according to data on Environment Canada's website.


The City of Ottawa has filled nearly 11,000 potholes so far this year. (CBC)

"The thaw process generates moisture, generates water," said Gagné. "That water gets into the cracks in the roads. What it'll do is when it goes down below zero and freezes, it expands, and puts pressure on the asphalt."

Gagné said he believes the city's roads are "in decent shape," overall.

He added that if residents notice a particularly bad pothole to call 311, or report it online.

Hillary Johnstone