Twelve drivers whose vehicles were damaged after driving over a deep pothole on Colonel By Drive are joining forces to seek compensation from the city.

Holly Ralph was in Ottawa visiting family and friends when she blew two tires on her parents' Toyota Yaris at the corner of Colonel By Drive and Seneca Street. 


A dozen vehicles all fell victim to this pothole on Colonel By Drive. (Courtesy Holly Ralph)

She said she was shocked at the size of the pothole.

"It shakes your whole car from side to side. I'm about five foot three, five foot four, and I could probably fit in it," said Ralph.

Ralph pulled her car to the side of the road, where she discovered she was not alone. Eleven other drivers had fallen victim to the same pothole, with some cars suffering thousands of dollars in damage.

"There was one young mother of three, who was in the car with her three children. And she's a single mom, so she said 'I don't know how I'm going to afford this,' said Ralph.

City has filled more than 25,000 potholes this year

Ralph collected photos, license plates and phone numbers of all the drivers and submitted everything to the RCMP and to the National Capital Commission, which owns the parkways. 

"We're hoping that because there are 12 of us, because we've documented everything properly, we have pictures ... It will go somewhere," she said.

Her claim was then forwarded to the city, which maintains and repairs the road.

The city sent her an automated response, which said once her file was opened she would receive a letter with a claim number and the name of the investigator assigned to her claim.

The City of Ottawa has already patched more than 25,000 potholes since the start of 2013. In an average year the city fills between 130,000 and 180,000 holes at an annual cost of $6 million.