Ottawa motorists are fuming over the rise in gasoline prices, following a 15 cent a litre increase over the past five days.

And industry experts are warning motorists should brace for a summer of expensive fill-ups, with prices hovering in the $1.80 to $1.90 a litre range.

“It’s ridiculous, just ridiculous,” said Luigi Vigliotti as he filled up the gas tank on Sunday.

Vigliotti says his truck remains parked more often now, due to the high cost of gasoline.

"I bought myself a little Toyota Yaris to go to work with instead of a truck just because of all of the mileage I do during the week for work,” Vigliotti said. “This was supposed to be my new truck but now it’s become my Sunday vehicle.”

Gas prices in Ottawa have jumped 15 cents a litre since last Wednesday, with gas selling for 177.8 cents a litre at most stations on Sunday. 

President of Canadians for Affordable Energy Dan McTeague said Friday that gas prices were expected to jump 12 cents a litre over the weekend to 185.9 cents a litre as refineries switch to the summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive. Prices increased four cents a litre on Saturday, and McTeague said it appeared stations were holding off on the full increase over the Easter weekend.

“It’s very expensive. After this car I’m going to switch to hybrid or electric because that's how much I don't like the gas price,” Nicole Salivi said.

“I just spent $84.50 for 44 litres. I’m happy that I’m driving a MINI, but it is what it is, I suppose,” Gregory Parker said.

If you’re hoping for relief from higher gas prices moving into the summer, experts say the current prices are just setting the stage for an expensive summer for motorists.

”I think $1.80 to $1.90 is the new normal,” McTeague told CP24 this weekend. “We will see, mark my words, $2 a litre on several days throughout the summer this year. So we’re into a new era.”

Predictions like $2 a litre for gas is pushing some to change their summer plans.

“I’m not travelling too much this summer because of the gas prices,” Raissa Leyan said. “Usually I go to Montreal and come back for the weekend, but I don’t know if I can do it.”

Gas prices were sitting at an average of 177.8 cents a litre on Sunday. One year ago, reports the average gas price in Ottawa was $1.20 a litre. In April 2020, gas prices were at 73 cents a litre.