Caleb Cook
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Study: Vancouver and Toronto Are Canada’s Most Congested Cities

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most congested cities
According to TomTom’s annual study, Vancouver is Canada’s most congested city
Photo: Valentina under CC BY-ND 2.0

When it comes to traffic, Canadian drivers have it pretty good compared to their counterparts around the world. However, that’s unlikely to console motorists in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario, which rank as the country’s most congested cities in the annual TomTom Traffic Index.

TomTom gathers data for its study from hundreds of millions of drivers around the world that use the company’s navigation technologies.

According to this year’s numbers, Vancouver ranks No. 40 in the world for its congested traffic (but No. 3 in North America). The city experiences 39 percent congestion, which means that a resident’s average drive takes 39 percent longer than it would if the roads were clear. That number is up 1 percent from last year’s study. Overall, TomTom estimates that Vancouver residents lose an average of six days and five hours every year to congestion.

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most congested cities
TomTom says Toronto is Canada’s second most congested city
Photo: George Socka under CC BY 2.0

Toronto fared a little better, with a No. 80 world ranking (No. 6 in North America). The congestion level here is 33 percent, also up 1 percent from the previous year. Toronto residents lose an estimated 5 days and 22 hours annually to backed-up traffic.

Several other Canadian cities also experience significant congestion, although they’re ranked much lower in the study:

  • No. 138: Montreal (29 percent congestion; up 2 percent)
  • No. 139: Ottawa (29 percent congestion; up 2 percent)
  • No. 213: Halifax (25 percent congestion; up 3 percent)
  • No. 240: London (23 percent congestion; up 1 percent)
  • No. 247: Winnipeg (22 percent; no change)
  • No. 263: Quebec (22 percent; up 1 percent)
  • No. 312: Hamilton (19 percent; up 1 percent)
  • No. 338: Calgary (18 percent; no change)
  • No. 359: Edmonton (16 percent; no change)
  • No. 364: Kitchener-Waterloo (16 percent; up 2 percent)

In North America, the two most congested cities are Mexico City (52 percent) and Los Angeles (42 percent).

Traffic is much worse in the cities ranked highest (or is that lowest?) by TomTom. The No. 1 worst congestion takes place in Bangalore, India, and Manila, Philippines: 71 percent. Bogota, Colombia, is No. 3 with 68 percent congestion.

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