Maintenance and Traffic Management


Fixing Potholes is a Big Job

Potholes are created when water penetrates the top layer of asphalt through cracks in the road. After the moisture freezes and expands, sections of the pavement are forced up. The weight of vehicles going over this section of road breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out. Potholes are more frequent in the spring, after the freeze/thaw action following winter.

To combat the problem, the City of Toronto’s Transportation Division has assigned a larger number of work crews to the job of fixing potholes and similar road defects. The crews pour hot asphalt and rake it into the pothole. Then they tamp down the asphalt and smooth it out until the road surface is improved.

It costs about $25 to repair a pothole. Crews repair the potholes within four days of it being reported.

It’s a job that keeps City crews busy. In 2014, more than 360,000 potholes of all shapes and sizes were fixed by city staff. It’s also an expensive job. It costs the City about $6 million each year to fix the problem.

This is one problem, however, where the public can help. If you see a pothole on a city street, call 311 or report it online.

You can also report potholes from your smartphone using a supported mobile app. See here for details.