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New study confirms Toronto's traffic is the worst in Canada

Traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/Floydian

You’ve definitely thought it when you have been stuck on the Gardiner Expressway, moving only a few inches every 10 minutes – and now there is proof to back up your complaining.

The new study, measuring just how bad traffic can get in Canadian cities, finds that Toronto, by far, has the worst traffic in the country.

Toronto, or as data analytics website The 10 and 3 calls it, “a monster-traffic city,” has the worst case scenario for common driving routes.

Compared to 14 other Canadian cities, the typical route in Toronto takes up to 2.8 times longer than it should.


To determine how bad the traffic is in Toronto, the study used Google Maps to find the free-flow time and the worst-case time along routes. The free-flow is the shortest time required on the route, which often happens in the middle of the night. The worst-case time was found by looking at Google Maps’ prediction range for an entire week of a route.

The “traffic stretch” is when a leisurely, 18-minute ride turns into a 45-minute drive.

The study says the biggest issue with Toronto is the city’s ill-equipped expressways and highways. It also noted that some routes through residential areas could take half an hour, but during peak traffic times it can be well over 75 minutes.



An example the study cited was traveling on the Gardiner Expressway. A trip from the Beaches to High Park should be an 18-minute ride, but could take 45 minutes or more at the worst times. The study noted that travelling from Union Station from Toronto Pearson International Airport can result in three times the backup, and the newly-created Union Pearson Express train that travels this route is underused.

“Much of the rest of Canada faces far less severe traffic stretch than the big three of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver,” the website noted.

The other cities have been able to handle traffic volume rather well according the study, including Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.

Saskatoon and St. John’s have the lowest traffic stretch and can often just give themselves a few extra minutes when planning their trips.

You can read the full study online here.