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Here are the worst roads in Ottawa, according to CAA

Despite efforts from the city of Ottawa to make repairs, Carling Avenue reigns supreme as the worst road in Ottawa, and one of the worst in Ontario.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has released its annual list of the worst roads in the province. Carling Avenue topped the local list for the 19th year in a row.

"Carling Avenue is a 19-kilometre roadway with varying pavement conditions. Renewal of the road sections are planned in coordination with other future projects in the corridor and is contingent on competing priorities across the city," said director of asset management services Susan Johns in a statement. The city did work on Carling between Merviale Road and Melrose Avenue and between Booth Street and Bronson Avenue in 2022. More work is planned for 2024, as well.

CAA of North and East Ontario communications director Julie Buen told CTV Morning Live says Carling Avenue always makes the provincial list of worst roads.

"It's the fourth worst in the province… and the number one in the city, along with Heron, Bank, Bronson and Hunt Club." Buen said. "One of our voters said Bank is like off-roading in the city."

Buen said the annual survey, which is aimed at highlighting the need for infrastructure improvements, expanded to pedestrians and active transportation users like cyclists.

"There was a lot of engagement, a lot of spicy comments," she said.

The survey collects anecdotes from regular road users, but tries to highlight those experiences in a way that gets the attention of politicians.

"The bigger story here is that 29 per cent of Ontario's highway kilometres are in poor condition and 49 per cent of non-highway kilometres are in poor condition," Buen said. "This study is really about collecting this anecdotal user data and giving it to the municipality and decision-makers."

Carling was the only Ottawa road on the provincial list this year. Topping the list of the worst roads in Ontario was Barton Street East in Hamilton. County Road 49 in Prince Edward County was third overall in Ontario.

Buen says there are a lot of factors that make people consider Carling the worst.

"It's not just potholes, it's the sidewalks, it's poor intersections, it's not being able to cross safely," she said. "This survey has been going since 2003 and the same roads keep appearing so there's still work to be done."

The city has made efforts to improve conditions on Carling Avenue, but at 19 kilometres, efforts are taking several years to complete. The city says this year's road work on Carling between March Road and Shirley's Bay Complex was scheduled to start Monday.

Robin Teeft is a pedestrian and his daily walk includes crossing Hunt Club Road and Bank Street, ranked two and five, respectively on the list of Ottawa's worst.

"It’s a very dangerous place to get from here to there or back again," says Teeft, who must navigate slumped sidewalks and raised concrete pads. "They could smooth them out but everything is going to crack again when winter comes along and with asphalt it’s hopeless … this is a major freeway for everything that moves faster than a walk."

For Joanne Kennedy, Heron Road and Bank Street are her sore spots.

"People don't respect the limit and you have so many intersections that are big and it can really be chaotic, so you really have to really time yourself from leaving your house to where you want to go if you’re using Bank Street,” says Kennedy, adding that Heron Road is a bumpy ride that can test your focus and your car's shocks. "You've got the right turns, you've got the left turns, you've got intersections, you've got crosswalks; it's a real mind map. You really have to know the road before you tackle it."

The city of Ottawa kicked off the 2023 construction season on Monday. It includes $800 million worth of spending on various projects around the city, including a $47-million project in the area of Albert, Slater, and Bronson.

"The City’s road resurfacing efforts for this season encompass a total of 107 roads, including various pavement preservation procedures, such as thin overlays, slurry seals, and surface treatments. Additionally, there are 44 ongoing projects from the previous year that have been carried over," said Johns.

City roads manager Bryden Denyes told CTV News Ottawa in an emailed statement that city crews have filled 133,785 potholes this year, as of last week. The city maintains more than 13,000 kilometres of roadway.

Across the river in Gatineau, Que., you can find Quebec's worst road of the year. CAA Quebec says Georges Street in Gatineau is the worst of the worst provincewide. Gatineau's Cook Road also made the list.


  1. Barton St East, Hamilton
  2. Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto
  3. County Road 49, Prince Edward
  4. Carling Avenue, Ottawa
  5. Finch Avenue West, Toronto
  6. Laclie Street, Orillia
  7. Steeles Avenue East, Toronto
  8. Aberdeen Avenue, Hamilton
  9. Lakeshore Boulevard East, Toronto
  10. Hurontario Street, Mississauga

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Tyler Fleming. Top Stories

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