Why does Ottawa get so many potholes in the winter?

The City of Ottawa posted an explanation for residents about the freeze-thaw cycle that leads to potholes all over the City. Here it is, along with a video that gives residents a better idea of how crews patch these holes during the winter months:

With freeze-thaw weather cycles comes the deterioration of road surfaces and potholes.

During the thaw, the water gets down in the crevices of the road. When the freeze returns, the water expands – popping out asphalt and increasing the size of the holes, especially when vehicles drive over them.

We met with the City’s asphalt crew to learn more about how potholes are formed and how they work to repair them.

The City’s crews do their best to respond to reports of potholes. It’s a big job and last year alone 193,000 were filled.

If you spot a pothole, you can help immediately by:

  • Calling 3-1-1, 613-580-2400 (TTY: 613-580-2401)

We appreciate your help with reporting potholes to ServiceOttawa or 3-1-1 (613-580-2400) - and so will everyone who shares the road with you!