The worst roads in Canada?

Nova Scotians say their province is No.1 for bone-jarring rides


The worst roads in Canada?Nova Scotia’s roads are in such rough shape that they’re drawing international attention. Australians Chris and Elayne Clash have logged over 70,000 km in a six-year quest to drive around the world in a homemade buggy. They’ve been through every type of terrain in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Now they’re heading across Canada, and they can’t believe what driving was like in Nova Scotia. “The roads were up and down and bumpy,” says Chris Clash. “There are better stretches of road in Mongolia.”

While the Clashes have gotten some flak for decrying the province’s road conditions, many Nova Scotians think their criticism is well placed. Vangie Beal started a website dedicated to fixing the roads in Colchester County. She says potholes in rural areas are so common that drivers must constantly swerve to avoid damaging their cars, creating danger for motorists, bikers and pedestrians. “I can’t imagine Nova Scotia’s [roads] getting ranked anything but last,” she says. “I just can’t see another province being worse then this.”

Both Beal and the Clashes think the province can do better, but officials say Nova Scotia’s climate makes the situation almost hopeless. “We get warm air from the Carolinas and freezing air from the Arctic. We get a lot of freeze-thaw cycles here that really give us a beating in the winter,” says Peter Hackett, Nova Scotia’s manager of highway construction services. He understands people’s frustration, and says the province is always trying to make roads better with a program introduced in 2007 that looks at every road and prioritizes repairs. But Beal is still waiting for change. “If they say they’ve been doing this for over a year, I’m not seeing many results,” she says. “But maybe I’m living in an area that’s last on the list.”


The worst roads in Canada?

  1. There's a reason that Nova Scotia elections are always preceded by an orgy of paving.

    • I guess NS motorists should strategically vote to ensure unstable minority governments.

      • Sadly, your point is right on the money across the country, I think.

      • The make-up of government is irrelevant. It's a function of election timing.

        If we had an election every week ( party !!! drink !!! ) we'd be in fine shape … road-wise.

  2. The driving is pretty shaky in London, Ontario as well…
    Insurance companies LOVE municipalities that let their roads get this bad.

    • I work for an Insurance Company and I have to say that we do NOT love it at all .. why would we want to pay to have a vehicle repaired, much rather keep that money in the bank

      • Their money does stay in the bank. Any mishap to your vehicle may be covered by insurance but the insurance company gets their money back ten times over.

  3. I always want to ask the bureaucrats who cry about the climate why the roads in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are so much better than Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, They share the same weather conditions.

    • We get a lot of freeze-thaw cycles here that really give us a beating in the winter

      Yeah, it's called Canada.

    • I agree. Just crossing the US/Canada border anywhere in New Brunswick and you go from smooth roads in Maine to spine jarring! Of course, they do not have universal health care, but the secondary roads are horrible!

  4. Ritson rd south in oshawa has not been repaired in 35 years yes 35 years

    • He's on the money,want a photo of how bad it really is?The worst thing is Ritson Rd leads to the 401 lol pot holes I've seen smaller lakes

    • You are right! All over Oshawa is very bad, but Ritson is the absolute worst. The gouges in the pavement create vast chasms that span more than a car's width. Impossible to avoid.

    • I was just going to leave the same message….my truck whines everytime I go north to Bond, and I do it everyday…needs some work. The money spent on our majors new Camaro should maybe have been spent on fixing the road!!!__

    • keep this going someguy you are right!!!!

  5. Took a ride on the Alaska Hwy in early June. I am sure Afghanistan and Mexico have far better roads then most of that road, particularly the part between Haines Junction and the Alaska border.

  6. I guarantee that one will have a bumpier ride in Newfoundland than Nova Scotia. And it's not the heave, it's the foot deep gouges left by the plows that go unfilled for months.

    • you have to be kidding.. ah ah

  7. Ritson Road at the 401 in Oshawa, by far the worst. Gibb Street, between Centre and Park, could use some upkeep as well.

    • I agree Ritson road is bad but the main highway into Nova Scotia is worse. It resembles a war zone.

  8. Up until Saskatchewan voted in a 'real' government, we had the worst roads in the country! In fact, a MAJOR highway coming in from the states was, in places, DIRT!! You could easily play golf on every 100 feet of most highways because for sure, there was 18 holes!
    We;re getting better and we gladly give up the title to Nova Scotia.
    Let's see what their 'brain wave' NDP government will do for them. They complain a lot while in opposition. When they get into power, their excuses are colorful and humorous!

    • The end of your posting contradicts the beginning. Nova Scotians have had decades of 'real' (sic) government, so the 'real' (sic) governments are responsible for the present state of the roads. Their excuses were rarely colourful of humourous (or even coherant), so I guess in Ivan the Terrible's faraway, flat-earth view, that absolves them. The NDP, sadly, has only 4 years to make up for decades of neglect by 'real' (sic) governments. Let's see what the roads are like in 2013. Can't be worse than they are now.

  9. Ok so these people have not been to Newfoundland, otherwise they would have seen much worse roads. I travel all over the East Coast for work and can say without a doubt that the roads in Newfoundland are the worst! I have driven all over North America and have yet to see pot holes with such depth.

    • What roads in Newfoundland? The Romans had better roads. We are out in the North Atlantic and so remote from Ottawa, but still, they got almost $ 8 Billion from Hibernia.. .to keep up the roads in their neck of the woods, I suppose. The Gaul of those people.

  10. I agree that Nova Scotia is bad, it is very very bad. Yet somehow PEI and New Brunswick are not so bad. Go figure.

  11. I live in Toronto,& the roads are a disgrace, to say the least! I have never seen them in such disrepair….potholes are everywhere.


  12. Can't we get some Canadian engineering school to come up with a solution? Maybe a new ingredient to make the roads more durable! Ground hockey pucks? Granite dust? Harper's hair?

    • lol@ Harper's hair. Yes it is indestructable.

  13. Cape Breton Island , touted as the most beautiful Island in the World , has some terrible roads i.e. West Bay Highway.
    Rather than going for Long Term Solutions like WIDENING the roads so the big trucks don't chew up the sides , researching materials like used tires to add to the paving, we continue with short term solutions of filling potholes with gravel sometimes twice a week ; we actually have citizens in my area who stop and put the gravel back in the potholes that the cars and trucks spew all over the shoulder. Wonder what the tourists think when they see that !!! The word Backwards comes to mind.

  14. I see oshawa road maintenance patching curbs on ritson rd n. that did not appear to be that bad(we dont drive on them) yet ritson rd south is so bad we,d be better off on the curb

  15. All government prefer put the money in golf club then where it is needed . Look at NB they will bail out the Royal golf club with $9 million. for the rich to be able to play golf because of miss management.
    We have tax on gas where the money goes from that tax. Definetely not on the road


  16. No one has mentioned Edmonton, a city that people visit to engage in off road driving! The city government does not know how to plow snow in the winter, not does it know how to fix potholes in the spring and summer. Oh yes, we have one of those winter climates, at least that is the excuse for the deplorable state of city streets. Why doesn't someone create a paving compound that will last more than a season in Canada's climate?

  17. I am in Montreal, and as my Professor used to say some 200 years ago, the rest of Canada is "small potatoes" when it comes to bad roads. I can't imagine anything worse that Montreal roads. It is a pure disgrace. Even on the highways, you must be careful as huge potholes will hit you at just about any time. As someone mentioned before, why are the roads so much better in Vermont and NY, which are less than an hour away, and share the same weather characteristics. I say the unions here are deliberately building bad roads to ensure they will always have work!

  18. I used to think Quebec's roads were bad till I moved to BC. Not only are the roads horrible here the drivers are the worst in the country. They think that red lights don't apply to them especially when they are on their cell phones. What they call a "highway" most cities in North America would call a boulevard. Oh and forget about if a little dusting of snow appears in the winter. The entire city shuts down. I work with a girl who is terrified if she sees it snowing and begs to leave work early because she is terrified to drive in snow (her parents are from Montreal, go figure). They have no idea how to even clear up the roads after a snow fall. It's ridiculous. The rest of the year pot holes everywhere, no barriers on highways regardless of 100 foot drops and their highway system is like a rats nest. Looks like it hasn't improved since they were old horse trails.
    I'd take a Montreal road in winter any day over the roads in BC. Yeah it's that bad.

  19. The old govermment leaders dont seen to do anything, or even care if we have good roads to travel on anymore . So Mister Jack Layton let the paving begin . The Maitland highway #215 in Nova Scotia is a good place to start .

  20. I’ve lived in Windsor, Ontario, Toronto and Halifax-Dartmouth in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has the worst weather and most certainly the worst roads.

  21. if you want to see the absolute worst roads on the entire planet, go to sydney, nova scotia, where car owners cringe and mechanics cash out.

  22. I don’t know if our road is the worst but I think it is very close. We have had to run our tractor to leval out the wash borad effect , that would raddle you and your vehicle to the point where your words are not nice toward the party in power.Our road is in Upper Stewiacke. there is another road out this way, that they made a little attempt in fixing. Paving big spots and leaving large pot hole 20 feet away to lose your car in , I have been tring to make sense of that.

  23. Well that`s what you get for living in marxist pos country.Tax dollars are wasted on feeding parasites rather than infrastructure where it belongs.