Mayor John Tory says that he is willing to “spend what it takes” to fill the thousands of potholes that have formed on city roads so far this winter but wants drivers to exhibit some patience as crews do the work.

Tory made the comment to reporters on Saturday morning as he visited a city facility on Leslie Street to thank some of the crews participating in a one-day pothole filling blitz.

“I think the Toronto way is to give them a friendly wave out the window of the car as opposed to a flip of the bird,” Tory said of city workers. “They (the crews) were doing work at 4 a.m. this morning on some of the busy expressway routes and there were some people that got aggravated by that because even at 4 a.m. in the morning it does hold people up but we have to do the work and there is no perfect time to do it.”

The city typically has about 25 crews out filling potholes on any given day during the winter months but on Saturday, there was about 50 crews out there with some of them working up to 12-hour days.

Officials say the hope is that the crews will be able to fill about 4,000 potholes by the end of the day.

It’s the first blitz of its kind to be held so far in 2019 but additional blitzes are planned in the coming weeks.

“We will do as many blitzes as we can to get this done,” Tory said. “Budget is not an inhibiting factor here. It is really just the work getting done and the actual task of getting out and filling thousands of potholes that is a limiting factor.”

Fewer potholes compared to 2018

Ordinarily, the city fills about 200,000 potholes every year but so far this year only 13,000 potholes have been filled.

That is due to as reduced number of freeze and thaw cycles, the city’s superintendent of road operations Mark Mills told CP24

“We will see numbers probably increase after this weekend and as more blitzes happen those will continue to increase,” he said.

The $182 million road repair budget for 2019 includes between $4 million and $5 million to repair potholes. Each pothole costs about $25 to repair, according to the city.