General road and sidewalk maintenance

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Road maintenance

Potholes and Road Maintenance

The City improves road conditions by:

  • Patching potholes and repairing the road surface
  • Patching potholes with hot asphalt in both summer and winter 

To report any road deficiencies such as potholes, please visit ServiceOttawa.ca or call the City at 3-1-1.

To learn more about pothole repairs you can watch this video:

Image: A pothole on the Road Text: Every year, potholes form as a result of the freeze-thaw cycles of winter.

Image: Traffic congestion at an intersection

Text: Potholes are formed by a combination of traffic vibration and water that seeps into cracks in the road.

Image: Cars driving on a busy roadway Text: Because of this, potholes appear more frequently in high traffic areas.

Image: A broom and a shovel siting in a City vehicle

Image: Shovels sitting on the back of a pothole truck

Text: The City takes a proactive approach to maintaining potholes year-round, and crews are in high demand throughout Ottawa’s thawing period. Image: Pothole repair trucks drive down a road Text: Staff check the roads on a regular basis to identify which areas need immediate attention.

Image: Pothole repair worker carrying a broom

Text: The work is prioritized based on the severity of the pothole and the traffic impact.

Image: Pothole repair worker shovels water out of a pothole Image: Pothole repair worker places asphalt in the pothole

Image: A machine compacts the asphalt over the pothole

Text: Crews remove water and debris from the pothole, fill it with asphalt, and compact it down to create a tight bond with the existing pavement.

Image: Workers place pothole patching equipment into a truck

Text: On average, Crews fill around 250,000 potholes each year.

Image: The back of a City of Ottawa truck displays 311 and Ottawa.ca text

Text: If you see a pothole, you can report it online at ottawa.ca or by calling 311

Ditches, culverts and catch basins

  • Crews remove snow and ice from some ditches.
  • Where required, culverts are thawed using a steamer
  • Crews clear roadway catch basins of ice and snow to promote drainage to minimize potential flooding

To report an issue, please visit ServiceOttawa.ca(link is external) or call the City at 3-1-1.

Gravel roads and shoulders

  • Gravel roads are graded to create an even roadway surface
  • After the frost has lifted, crews perform spring maintenance operations, which includes the continued grading of gravel roads and shoulders to re-establish an even road surface for smooth and safe driving after the winter months.

To report an issue, please visit ServiceOttawa.ca(link is external) or call the City at 3-1-1.

Road closure search tool

For citywide information on current road closures, construction and detours, use the roadwork and street closure search tool(link is external).

Reporting a street light outage

The City operates and maintains street lighting. To report a street light outage, please contact the City by calling 3-1-1 or by e-mail at streetlighting@ottawa.ca(link opens email application) and provide an address for the street light location.

Please note that street lights are different from traffic lights (red/yellow/green).  To report a traffic light outage please contact 3-1-1.

Replacement of damaged mailboxes

Damage to rural mailboxes often occurs during winter, but a mailbox may be damaged by other types of road maintenance equipment. Find more information on Replacement of damaged mailboxes.

Additional information:

Farm equipment on the highwayOpens in a new tab or window(link is external)

Ontario Ministry of Transportation(link is external)

Use and care of roads by-law

Spring clean-up - Street Sweeping

The annual spring clean-up includes using sweeping machines on all paved roads and hard surfaces. This will remove debris and materials that have accumulated throughout the winter that could pose dangers to traffic, pedestrians/cyclists and clog catch basins.

We begin our street sweeping operations in early spring when most of the snow and ice has melted from the edge of the roadways. We cannot sweep in the evenings when temperatures drop below zero as the water we use on the road can form into ice, creating dangerous conditions.

Residents are reminded to not rake or blow leaves, lawn clippings or other debris onto the roadway. This is an infraction of the Use and Care of Roads (By-law No. 2003-498).

Street Sweeping is done in several phases:

  • Sidewalks, bus stop pads and medians are cleaned first by a variety of methods using sidewalk sweepers, flusher trucks and hand brooms.
  • City streets are swept by a flusher truck, which uses water pressure to flush the debris to the side of the curbs. A vacuum sweeper truck then picks up the majority of grit, debris, small particles and dust.
  • This operation might be repeated several times to ensure a clean surface. If vehicles are parked on the street, the unswept area is noted and crews will return to sweep that portion. If you think a street has been missed, please visit serviceottawa.ca to complete an online request.
  • In our suburban communities, we will be working around the clock to complete our street sweeping operations. Residents can expect to see our vehicles out working through the night. 

Street Sweeping in Concentrated Areas:

Concentrated street sweeping was completed on April 12, 2022. 

  • Concentrated sweeping is conducted in core neighbourhoods which include the downtown core, Vanier, New Edinburgh, Sandy Hill, Glebe, Centretown, West Centretown, ByWard Market, Lowertown, Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South and Overbrook. These neighbourhoods receive concentrated street sweeping as a result of continuous on-street parking, which prevents effective sweeping. This type of street sweeping is usually conducted between 7 am and 7 pm.
  • On-street parking restrictions are in effect in these neighbourhoods when marked. All Street Sweeping operations are weather dependent.
  • Temporary “No Parking” signs are posted prominently. The parking restrictions apply to all vehicles, including those with on-street parking permits.
  • Vehicles parked where temporary “no-parking” signs are posted will towed to nearby streets. Towed vehicles are usually moved just a few blocks over.
  • If you are unable to find your vehicle on your own, please call 3-1-1.