Potholes are prevalent during the spring due to freeze and thaw cycles. This can create driving challenges, and can be an irritant and eyesore for motorists. 

Here is what you need to know about potholes and how the city addresses them.

How they Form

Potholes become much more prevalent during the spring due to the freeze/thaw cycle. Water seeps into cracks in the pavement, saturating the soil underneath.  Temperatures drop and the water in the soil freezes and expands, pushing up the asphalt.  The constant traffic load breaks the asphalt causing surface holes.  Further traffic load and weather conditions continue to cause the granular base to erode leaving the potholes.

Repairing Potholes

City crews regularly patrol streets to identify potholes and other deficiencies. In the spring, patching is typically done but it is only a temporary fix used until hot asphalt plants open in mid-May. Unfortunately, the patches can deteriorate quickly when subjected to the ongoing freeze/thaw cycles, traffic and wet weather.  Potholes can easily redevelop in the same location daily.

Potholes are prioritized based on severity with the most severe being patched first. Problematic areas may also have a combination of cones or signage warning motorists of potential risks.

Report a Pothole

Please help us identify locations that require attention. If you would like to report a pothole, please call Public Works at 705-474-4340.  Please provide a detailed description of the pothole’s location.  The size of the pothole is very important, as those that are large, deep or threatening to traffic are addressed first.

Making a Claim

When making a claim against the City for pothole damages it's important to note that the City will not be responsible for damage if it has met the Provincial "Minimum Maintenance Standards for Highways" (MMS).

The MMS comprise a series of standards for various aspects of road maintenance (patrolling, salting, clearing snow and pothole repair) which vary, depending on the speed limit and traffic volume on a particular roadway in accordance with these standards:

  • Potholes in higher speed roads and high-volume roads are repaired more quickly than ones on side streets.
  • On main (arterial) roads, the City strives to repair potholes within four days from the date they are reported.
  • On secondary collector roads, the City has seven days to repair potholes. 
  • On side streets, the City has 30 days to repair potholes.