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Toronto commute times the longest in Canada

Posted by Derek Flack / August 24, 2011

Toronto commute times worstToronto commuters have it the worst in Canada, according to a survey released today by Statistics Canada. The average commute time GTA residents face is 33 minutes, slightly longer than the 31 minutes faced by those in the Montreal area.

Based on a survey of how Canadians use their time, the national average for commuting in 2010 was 26 minutes, with larger cities unsurprisingly experiencing longer travel times. For sake of context, commuters in the New York City area face a 38 minute trip to work on average, which is the longest in the States.

None of this is terribly surprising. This little tidbit, on the other hand, might be: 85 per cent of those surveyed replied that they were satisfied with the duration of their commute. Perhaps this general lack of frustration comes from low expectations or perhaps it's because Canadians are just such mild-mannered people, but apparently people aren't quite as bothered by congestion as we're often told.

For more on the survey, check out the Globe's breakdown.

Photo by MrDanMofo in the blogTO Flickr pool



ImAwesome / August 24, 2011 at 11:38 am
Only takes me 12 minutes door to door.
qwerty / August 24, 2011 at 11:46 am
Article doesn't take into account distance traveled. Distance is directly proportional to time. Area wise, Toronto is twice as large as Montreal and our commute is only two minutes longer. That's pretty good.
Fake Name / August 24, 2011 at 11:54 am
The subway under Yonge St and the one under Bloor are too full to carry any more people to work. The solution obviously is to spend 2.6 billion digging a hole to Vaughan Megaopolis Centre and 4.7 billion digging another hole to a mall at the edge of the city! We'll own the rankings by a large margin FOR SURE
jake / August 24, 2011 at 01:01 pm
Lets build more condos!!!
s / August 24, 2011 at 02:05 pm
I dont think the problem is our subways and transit system -- it's the fact that people choose to live in the middle of no where because they want a giant 12 bedroom home in Milton.

Live close to work morons
serious / August 24, 2011 at 02:19 pm
obviously the solution is to remove bike lanes and cyclists off our streets and cut all funding to transit. transit is too affordable right now.
stoplights replying to a comment from serious / August 24, 2011 at 02:22 pm
we should take out all stop lights as well, they only slow down trafic.
Steve / August 24, 2011 at 02:25 pm
You know why people aren't bothered by it, at least not publicly?

It's because they know what the alternative is and don't want to use it, citing "inconvenience".
Bob But Not Doug / August 24, 2011 at 02:54 pm
I really, really, REALLY want to be a champion of public transit...but it's difficult when I routinely have to wait longer for a bus to *arrive* than it would take me to drive to work.
netdia / August 24, 2011 at 03:10 pm
From the article:
“Commuters who used public transit took considerably longer to get to work than those who lived an equivalent distance from their place of work and went by car,” says the study.

- - - - - -

This is why I drive.
Jay S. / August 24, 2011 at 03:11 pm
Ride a bike, way faster than slow TTC.
Crimson Cass / August 24, 2011 at 03:15 pm
It takes me an hour to get to work. The best commute option involves two buses. I can take the subway, but that involves two buses and two subway lines; that takes an hour. My coworker sometimes gives me a ride home - that takes an hour, too.

Toronto is really huge! Still, if some of those cars were off the road, my busses might be slightly faster ...
Niklas / August 24, 2011 at 03:42 pm
I work from home so it takes me about 5 seconds to get to the office but whenever I have to drive somewhere around rush hour I feel like going crazy. I don't know how people deal with it twice every day.
mikeb / August 24, 2011 at 03:55 pm
I guess this puts to rest the absurd notion the Toronto Board of Trade's has. Their own study had Toronto as the worst commute in North America at 80 minutes total.
Steve / August 24, 2011 at 04:09 pm
It takes less time for me to take the subway to my job on the YUS line than to simply drive up Yonge St. The same can't be said, obviously, about those living in the suburbs. Sprawl has made the traffic situation what it is today (plus antiquated notions on the usefulness and necessity of cars in a city where everything is basically outside your front door). Scarborough, I see your excuse, but seriously, King West, Cabbagetown, why the hell are you guys driving to your downtown/midtown/uptown offices?
Borys / August 24, 2011 at 04:17 pm
I wish my commute was only 33 minutes. My commute is an hour each way from Scarborough.
Mike W replying to a comment from s / August 24, 2011 at 05:18 pm
I know right. Last time I checked (in 1990) house prices were totally affordable downtown. Also, with bunkbeds, your family will totally fit in Toronto's 'cozy' apartments.
Just make sure your family limits their careers to close to your house.
gary / August 24, 2011 at 05:34 pm
It's difficult to make comparisons. Commute time in New York versus Toronto? Compare by distance travelled and car versus transit. Manhattan is a much denser city than Toronto. Suburban commuters who drive to downtown face horrendous commutes. For commuters who live within the "city", commuting is not terribly difficult most days regardless of your mode of transport. Two totally different experiences. Go Trains should be better, more accessible, more reliable and more frequent. Suburban commuter train lines are the most efficient use of public transit resources.
Mississauga is roughly the size of Toronto when Toronto started building its subway, yet Mississauga spends nothing on transit. The same goes for the areas North and East of the city. No coincidence this people face such crushing commutes.
RG / August 24, 2011 at 06:00 pm
Walking and Cycling are the only ways to get around in this city without loosing your mind.
beeeech / August 24, 2011 at 08:17 pm
I live lakeshore and work in leaside, takes me 1.25hrs each way via ttc. 30 minutes would be a dream. ttc cant handle condo land.
Ahem / August 24, 2011 at 08:48 pm
Longest commute times in Canada because we're the ONLY place WITH commute times in canada......
blake maki / August 24, 2011 at 09:41 pm
The ttc subway was not meant to handle today's is just a nightmare every day...too many people, delays 50% of the time, bad service, totally unreliable....I had no idea before i moved to Toronto and I'm so surprised everyone seems to accept this situation...With the population growing, it's just going to get worse too and costly/impossible to fix...this is a real turn-off about Toronto, no doubt...
Duh / August 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm
Is this related to the fact that we are the biggest city in Canada? If these commute time were based on equivalent distances it should be said and would make this study valid otherwise longest commute is a shunted way of saying 'largest city'
Gabe / August 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm
Whatever. Who's complaining? You choose to live, and commute from where you decide. It's nobody's decision but your own. So spend two hours on the highway, you've chosen that!
Mr. S. / August 25, 2011 at 09:14 am
Sad that Toronto's commutes are the worst, even though Montreal is on an island, and Vancouver is a bunch of peninsulas.
Steve replying to a comment from mikeb / August 25, 2011 at 10:01 am
33 minutes each way ain't that far off from 80 total.
NativeTorontonianAl / October 11, 2013 at 11:01 am
Bad planning (lack of) and no growing infrastructure/transit options is the obvious cause, which is a tradition with Canada, but here's the other obvious reason:

Mass immigration.

Seriously, mass immigration starting in the late 80s while lowering the citizenship processing years (down from 5 to only 3 yrs) was a recipe for disaster. Unnatural and unnecessary population growth. Fake, and a complete hindrance. Now we also have temporary foreign workers as well. Pathetic. Toronto is done and cooked.
Other Cities: Montreal