Onion Lake Road Makes the Worst Roads List


THUNDER BAY – Fortunately the views can distract passengers from the poor quality of the surface of Onion Lake Road. The Thunder Bay roadway came in at Number 12 on the worst roads list.

Following a six-week campaign in which CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) encouraged motorists to voice their concerns for crumbling infrastructure in their respective communities, the Ontario Worst Roads Campaign has released its highly-anticipated Top 20 Worst Roads list, with an astounding six roads from CAANEO’s region making the final list. With the theme “It’s in your hands”, this year’s campaign proved that any municipality – regardless of size and location – can work together to have a road named one of the worst in the province.

“Appreciating the diverse municipal roadways nominated to this year’s list, CAA North & East Ontario is extremely pleased with the results, as it clearly demonstrates the fact that any municipality, regardless of size, can have a road nominated and recognized as being in need of repair,” said Korey Kennedy, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for CAA North & East Ontario. “With a municipal election having been recently conducted in Ontario, CAANEO is hopeful that new and returning municipal politicians will continue to keep their respective municipal infrastructure portfolios at the forefront.”

This year six roads from CAANEO’s territory made the Top 20 list, proof motorists in many local communities are frustrated with aging roads and bridges. Topping the list were roads in two of CAANEO’s northern municipalities, Pelican Falls Road in Sioux Lookout and Sudbury’s Vermillion Lake Road, in spots one and two respectively. While Vermillion Lake Road has made an appearance on the Top 20 list in previous years, this was the first year that Sioux Lookout made the final tally, with an area high school taking the initiative to let others know of the dangers regarding this rural roadway.

One voter noted the potential dangers associated with driving on Pelican Falls Road, saying: “As a charter bus driver I do frequent trips into Pelican Falls [High School] and the road is in places unsafe with potholes, frost heaves and broken asphalt. Previously, I have refused to drive students on this road due to the condition of its surface. This definitely is the worst road that I have had to drive on in Ontario. Something must be done by the powers to be before a tragedy occurs.”

Thunder Bay’s Onion Lake Road also made a re-appearance on the list at number 12. A scenic drive, the poor pavement along this stretch of road makes traveling it treacherous. Another new road on the Top 20 came from Pembroke, as residents rallied around seeing Cecelia Street get this dubious honour. With its broken and patched pavement, this roadway finished at number 13. No strangers to the Top 20 list, Ottawa’s Riverside Drive and Carling Avenue again made the list at spots 14 and 20, a clear indication that Ottawa drivers want to see rehabilitation finally clean up these main roadways.

This year’s Top 20 Worst Roads in Ontario are:

Road Name Municipality

  1. Pelican Falls Road Municipality of Sioux Lookout
  2. Vermillion Lake Road City of Greater Sudbury
  3. Lawrence Road City of Toronto
  4. Finch Avenue City of Toronto
  5. Burlington Street City of Hamilton
  6. Dufferin Street City of Toronto
  7. Eglinton Ave. West City of Toronto
  8. Ritston Road City of Oshawa
  9. McLeod Road City of Niagara Falls
  10. Welland Avenue City of St. Catharines
  11. Steeles Avenue City of Toronto
  12. Onion Lake Road City of Thunder Bay
  13. Cecelia Street City of Pembroke
  14. Riverside Drive City of Ottawa
  15. Kingston Road City of Toronto
  16. Fourth Avenue City of St. Catharines
  17. Bayview Avenue City of Toronto
  18. Palmer Road City of Belleville
  19. St. Clair Avenue City of Toronto
  20. Carling Ave City of Ottawa

Now in its eighth year, this joint venture between CAANEO, CAA South Central Ontario, CAA Niagara and the Ontario Road Builders’ Association has seen tremendous success, with 90% of the roads that have made the list in the past already or in the midst of being repaired.

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