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The Toronto commute named one of the world's worst

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer
October 27, 2011 — Cities in Canada have some of the longest commute times in the world. Toronto's is worse than the commute in New York and Los Angeles.

Toronto's commute averages 80 minutes each way
Toronto's commute averages 80 minutes each way

Does your commute in and out of Toronto seem long?

That's because, according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, it is.

They say many people in southern Ontario have commute times longer than some of the world's largest cities.

“The Toronto commute right now is one of the worst in the world. At 80 minutes in each direction to and from work it's just horrible,” says Tom Reynolds, The Weather Network's Traffic Specialist. “We are worse than New York City, Los Angeles and London.”

Statistic Canada recently reported that the average Canadian commute was 26 minutes in each direction last year, but was significantly longer in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Reynolds says the growing population and lack of sustainable planning is contributing to the problem.

“Here in Toronto what we have is a major growth pattern of 5.5 million people trying to get in or out of the city, and unfortunately what's happened is our transit infrastructure has not been developed on an ongoing basis,” he says.

The 401 is considered to be the busiest highway in North America. There are too many cars, too many trucks and too few roads. People who are in the 416 area of Toronto downtown are commuting into the 905 area, while the 905's and the 519's coming into the 416 area.

“That's why you've seen such a huge difference in the volume of traffic,” explains Reynolds. “What we need is an increased flow of transit, light rail lines, we need to amalgamate transit companies so that everyone's on the same page, and that way you would probably get a lot more effective to-and-from work times.”

The shortest commute time in the world right now for a major city is Barcelona, Spain at an average of 47 minutes.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, a group that represents Canadian cities, was scheduled to appear in front of the House of Commons finance committee this week.

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