Every Ontario city has its infamously “worst roads” that residents collectively loath. But, as it turns out, Hamilton may just house the province’s worst road. 

The South Central Ontario Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) just released the results of its annual ‘Worst Roads’ campaign. It invites Ontario residents to nominate and vote for roads in their communities that are in notably sorry shape. Issues that contribute to their poor condition include everything from potholes, subpar road signs, and lack of cycling infrastructure, to congestion and traffic light timing. 

According to CAA, 3,000 roads were nominated across 182 Ontario municipalities this year by local drivers, cyclists, transit riders, and pedestrians. 

And the top spot as Ontario’s worst road went to Barton Road East in the ever-growing city of Hamilton. "After making its debut on the provincial top 10 list in 2019, Barton Street East has ranked fifth place (2019), third place (2021, and climbed to first place this year due to potholes and severe alligator cracking in the pavement. It has also taken the top spot as Hamilton’s worst road for the third year in a row," reads a CAA-issued press release.

This year, four out of 10 of the province’s Worst Roads are in Toronto. Here -- presumably, thanks to perpetual construction on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT -- Eglinton Avenue West and Eglinton Avenue East were seen as the city’s worst roads, taking the second and sixth spots, respectively. Lake Shore Boulevard East took the seventh spot, while Finch Avenue West followed in the eight spot. 

toronto road closures

Here is the full 2022 list:

  1. Barton Street East, Hamilton, ON.
  2. Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON.
  3. Barker Street, Prince Edward County, ON.
  4. County Road 49, Prince Edward County, ON.
  5. Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON.
  6. Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, ON.
  7. Lake Shore Boulevard East, Toronto, ON.
  8. Finch Avenue West, Toronto, ON.
  9. Bronson Avenue, Ottawa, ON.
  10. Queen Street, Kingston , ON.

Since 2003, CAA's annual Worst Roads campaign has led to change on Ontario’s worst roadways. Repaving and repair work has been done on many of the roads on the list, with more to come, says CAA. 

“We know the campaign works. People vote in the annual CAA Worst Roads Campaign because it gives Ontarians a platform to continue putting pressure on various levels of government to understand what roads they believe are in urgent need of repair,” said Teresa Di Felice, assistant vice president, government and community relations, CAA SCO in a statement. “The campaign has been able to demonstrate that decision-makers are paying attention to the results, which has prompted municipal officials to move up infrastructure projects in their communities.”

For example, in 2021, Victoria Road in Prince Edward County made its debut on the provincial top 10 list, but has completely dropped off the list this year. According to CAA, other roads that have come off the provincial top 10 list include Hunt Club Road and Innes Road in Ottawa and Algonquin Boulevard West in Timmins.

"These campaign success stories are because governments are prioritizing infrastructure through multi-year capital investments," added Di Felice. “The results this year show us that Ontarians are relentless in using the campaign to advocate for roads they believe are in urgent need of repair, which is why we have seen Barton Street bubble up to the top spot and roads like Eglinton Avenue continue to garner attention."

With construction on the Crosstown LRT showing no signs of stopping in the near future, we have a feeling this won't be Eglinton Avenue's final appearance on this telling list.