If you're on the road in Toronto this weekend, chances are you'll be seeing crews out in force conducting what the city is calling a "pothole repair blitz." 

Mayor John Tory announced the operation Friday morning at the yard on Eastern Avenue where the city keeps its salt trucks and snow removal equipment, saying double the usual number of repair crews will be on the job Saturday and Sunday.

"We've been hearing a lot about it because this particular weather pattern this year has been a recipe for potholes," Tory told reporters.

The weather pattern Tory is referring to is the rapid freezing and thawing that's been plaguing the city this winter, creating more potholes than usual.

Potholes are created when water gets into cracks of the pavement. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water turns to ice and expands, gouging holes in the asphalt. When the thaw sets in, the road is weakened as cars drive over the pavement and push it down.

"They are more frequent in the spring because you get the thaw. That is why this weather, this particular winter, has been a recipe for potholes because we've had the very cold weather," said Tory.

Typically, the city has 25 crews out on the road repairing potholes, Tory told reporters, but this weekend that number will more than double to 55.

John Tory

Mayor John Tory was at Eastern Yard today to announce the pothole repair blitz happening this weekend around the city. (John Grierson/CBC)

"The objective is to have a pothole filled within four days of it being reported and that's a standard that they try to adhere to. And obviously, depending on the numbers, depending on blitzes like the one we're going to have this weekend, they can get ahead of or get a bit behind on it."

This time last year, 7,700 potholes were patched and so far this year, 6,043 potholes have been repaired. Typically, the city fills about 200,000 potholes a year.

Asking the public to report potholes

Tory is encouraging anyone with information about potholes to report them to the city. Crews will assess the potholes and repair the biggest and most serious ones first.

"The bottom line depends on the reporting," said Tory."The city sees some of these as they are out doing their patrols and as they are out fixing potholes, they will fix the ones that they come up with."

"They need the information from you."

To report a pothole, the city says to call 311, email 311@toronto.ca or click on this link.

When reporting a pothole, the city wants residents to provide the following details:

  • The location of the pothole, such as the nearest cross streets and a street address, if possible
  • The pothole's exact location on the roadway, e.g., in the eastbound curb lane
  • The estimated size of the pothole.