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And the worst road in Toronto is …

Readers speak out on which roads are the worst in the city and why

Published June 15, 2013

Condo construction, utility upgrades and winter weather have turned many Toronto streets into a patchwork of potholes and uneven pavement making driving, cycling, even walking, an unsteady endeavor.

After asking readers to tell us which routes they think are Toronto’s worst we’ve come up with the top 10 bad roads in the city.

While some complained about certain intersections, the vast majority focused on potholes and patchy pavement that make for a bumpy, fender-rattling ride:

Charles Street

From Jarvis St. to Yonge St., condo construction has been going on along this road for the past few years and will likely continue for some time causing many motorists and cyclists to wonder whether anything will be done until the last building project is completed.

Smackdown: Are cars the victim or the problem? Have your say!

“If you want to experience the bumpy thrill of off-roading without leaving downtown, try Charles St. from Jarvis to Yonge,” writes David Laurence.

Laurence is a Toronto photographer and graphic designer. On the way to his office in the west end weekday mornings, he drives through mid-town and the city centre dropping off his wife and daughter at work and school.

Because of its poor condition Charles St. deserves a “Third World Road Award,” says Laurence.

Other readers feel the same way.

“It’s basically an off-road course. All the trucks have sunk the road bed. It will get worse before it gets better,” says Brian O’Donnell.

Writes Peter Howell: “It’s got so many pot holes, bumps and obstacles, it’s like the road to Baghdad Airport.”

Jeff MacLean adds: “It’s quite fun to drive — totally uneven. You have to drive, at most, 20 km/hr around the awkward ups and downs.”

Chris Kalantzis claims “the city has done next to nothing to repair the years of abuse” from large trucks and perpetual condo construction.

Says Dianne Yaneff: “I barely crawl through that area to protect my new car. Can’t some of those holes be filled in?”

Stephen Buckley, general manager of Toronto’s transportation services said relief for motorists bouncing their way along Charles St. may come before the end of the year.

The road is slated for a major fix in 2014, but that may come sooner if engineers determine the erosion of the road bed warrants action before next year.

Lakeshore Boulevard

Slow moving and congested with traffic, the stretch of Lakeshore under the Gardiner Expressway can be a scene of gridlock at any point from early morning to late evening. Motorists fear falling concrete and work by crews to repair it.

“Lakeshore under the Gardiner is the one road I’ll find my way around, not so much because of falling Gardiner pieces or bad maintenance, but because it freaks me out a little and seems to have the same distracting effect on other drivers,” Albin comments online.

Pottery Road

At the top of the Bayview Ave. extension, between the Loblaws store and a strip plaza, this shortcut to Moore Ave. seems to have always been in disrepair.

Ed Larkin has “no idea why it is still part of Pottery Road, but that’s what the sign says. There is virtually no original road left, just potholes.”

Richar Degagne says “it is simply an accumulation of asphalt patches joined over the years, and it sure wakes you up when you’re zooming off Bayview at night.”

Eastern Avenue

From the Don Valley Parkway to Jarvis St., Eastern Ave. twists and turns and turns into Front St. at Parliament St. It has been the scene of constant road, water main and utility work as development takes place through the Don Lands, Distillery, Corktown and St. Lawrence neighbourhoods.

“Always lots of construction and a terrible road,” writes Robin Bates.

Simon Wormwell says: “It’s like a carnival ride. Hold on to your coffee . . . !”

Sherbourne Street

Along various stretches of Sherbourne St., between Queens Quay and Bloor St. E., where condo construction, city infrastructure work and a bike lane project continue.

Khush Panthaky writes: “I’d urge you to drive faster than five or 10 km/hr. (between Lakeshore Blvd. and Front St.) Drivers cringe for every second that passes.”

“Toronto has the worst paved streets in the western world and Sherbourne is bad, top to bottom. No single block is an exception,” says David Cobb.

Finch Avenue West

Stretches between Dufferin St. and Hwy. 400 and Islington to Hwy. 27 on this heavily truck-travelled route through industrial and residential parts of North York and Etobicoke seem to be in a state of perpetual disrepair. They are a source of constant annoyance for motorists.

Cliff Strabac says “city crews do their best to patch potholes, but there is so little original surface left that the road is entirely made of pothole patches making for a bumpy ride.” Darryl Weinberg feels “it’s one of the most miserable stretches of road in the city.”

Dufferin Street

Nadine Pequeneza and Jim Zenetos are two readers critical of Dufferin’s sore spots. “Especially between Dundas and Queen Sts.,” adds Zenetos.

Gerrard Street East

East of Yonge St., the street is so littered with potholes and patched pavement, it’s an obstacle course for cars and cyclists alike.

Says Drew Goursky, “The road has patches on top of patches and is a hazard for cars, cyclists, children and small animals. Wear a mouth guard folks, it’s a bumpy ride!” writes Drew Goursky.

Cyclist Andrew Paterson writes: “The bike lane and road is littered with pot-holes on both sides, but is at its worst going east. If it’s truly ‘business as usual’ at city hall, then it’ll be years before it gets fixed.”

Keele Street

From Ingram Dr., all the way north to Finch Ave. W., “there is so much construction along this corridor that I imagine the city is waiting for it all to end before they fix it. There are so-o-o-o-o many potholes, sinking sewers, hazards and unbelievable traffic,” writes Cora Spinotti. Others agreed.

Danforth Avenue

Serene Tan is not alone when she disses Broadview Ave. to Donlands Ave. She describes it as a maze of “pot holes, uneven paving and portions that have been dug up and replaced unevenly over and over again. A truly bone-shaking ride. I went over a bump so big, my chain almost fell off.”

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