Buckle up, Ontario! The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has finalized their 2021 list of Ontario’s worst roads and cottage hotspot Prince Edward County is home to the top spot.
Victoria Road in Prince Edward County was voted the worst of the 10-road list. Potholes, lacking pedestrian infrastructure, and crumbling pavement were all considered when the advocacy group narrowed down the most unpleasant—and dangerous—roadways in the province.
Veronica O’Sullivan, a Prince Edward County resident, knows the roads in the area well. She takes County Road 49, the fourth-worst on the list, every day to work. This same highway was Ontario’s worst road in 2016.
“The road is not adequate for the number of tourists,” she says. The region has been getting more tourism in recent years and the road maintenance just hasn’t kept up. “They drive into town in their nice new cars, risking them on these bad roads.”
Specific issues? Bumps, cracks, and potholes, O’Sullivan says. “They just patch it up when really it needs to be replaced.” Roads like these are both damaging to your car and dangerous in bad weather.
“I lost a hubcap last year,” she says. She has a friend who was in agony driving down the 49 after a tailbone injury. “I can’t even drink coffee driving down that road,” O’Sullivan adds, “the cup would knock out my teeth from the bouncing.”
Sometimes she’ll opt for another route, one that includes a ferry, to avoid the county road.
While some cities, like Toronto, have been busy working on their problem roads for years, the list serves as a reminder to motorists like O’Sullivan of just how long their municipalities are taking to repair their roads.
CAA has been chronicling Ontario’s worst roads since 2003, with a hiatus in 2020. The campaign aims to make roads safer for Ontarians by helping local governments understand what road improvements are crucial to commuters. The Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) verifies the list.
“As people continue working from home and travelling locally during the pandemic, we are seeing different roads appear on the list. We should continue taking advantage of these lighter traffic patterns as an opportunity for necessary road repairs,” says Tina Wong, CAA’s government relations specialist. You can view the roads by region, such as the Greater Toronto Area, the Niagara Region, and Northern Ontario.
Whether you’re in a bus, on a bike, or behind the wheel of the family minivan—drive safe.