TORONTO -- Tire supply shops are warning Ontarians that securing specific types of tires this year may be more difficult than usual due to shortages caused by the pandemic.

“Last year, when COVID-19 started, there was a big pause in production at most of the tire manufacturers," Ron Pierce, Ontario Regional Director with Kal Tire, told CTV News Toronto.

The shortage could be caused by a number of factors — some tire companies had to close down their factories amid the pandemic, there’s been a shortage of rubber due to recent poor rubber tree harvests and some ports have been closed, leading to shipping delays.

Pierce said that, while Kal Tire is well stocked with inventory, he expects some sizes could sell out and be harder to restock this fall and winter.

“I would really recommend shopping early, especially if you are looking for a specific brand or sizing. There will be sizes and tires that will not be available out there.”

At Green Car Tire in Scarborough, they've also been told by suppliers some tires will be harder to source this fall.

“We've heard from all our suppliers that there will be a limited supply of some tires," Corey Stokes with Green Car Tire said.

Stokes said while tire shops may have a good supply now, that could change as the season progresses.

“You’re better off to try and get them sooner than later, especially if your insurance obligates you to have them on your vehicle,” he said.

Frances Ranger was in to get her winter tires switched, as she wanted to get it done before the first snowfall.

“My husband was on the ball and made the appointment nice and early, so we are not caught having to wait longer than we wanted to," Ranger said.

Every year more Canadians are switching to winter tires and, according to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, about 69 per cent of drivers use them.

The tire industry expects the supply chain issues won't be resolved for at least another year.