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  • Regardless of their source of tap water, almost one-third of Canadian households drank primarily bottled water in 2006.

  • Only 13% of Canadian households did not have their water supplied by a municipality. Their water typically came from wells or lakes, streams and rivers. Among these households, 35% had their water tested by a laboratory and, of these, 85% found no problems with their water.

  • The shares of households treating their water were similar for those households with municipally supplied water and for those with a non-municipal supply (almost half of those who drank their water). However, those with a municipal water supply were more likely to treat their water to remove possible bacterial contamination than were those households with a non-municipal water supply.

  • The proportion of households with a water-saving showerhead or a water-saving toilet has increased markedly since 1994.


  • The share of households using compact fluorescent light bulbs increased from 19% in 1994 to 56% in 2006. Households in British Columbia were most likely to be using these bulbs.

  • The great majority of households have thermostats, and of these the proportion with a programmable thermostat increased from 16% in 1994 to 40% in 2006. Households in Atlantic Canada were least likely to have one of these devices.

  • Of those households with a thermostat, programmable or not, 53% lowered the temperature of their dwellings before going to bed at night.


  • In 2006, 93% of Canadian households had access to at least one form of recycling program and 97% of these households used at least one of these programs. In Prince Edward Island, almost all households took part: access to and participation in a program were both at 99%.

  • Across Canada, access to, and use of, a recycling program has increased since 1994. The share of households with access to a plastics recycling program increased from 63% in 1994 to 87% in 2006.


  • Twenty-seven percent of Canadian households composted their kitchen and/or their lawn and garden waste, an increase from 23% in 1994.

  • Particularly high rates of composting were reported by households in Prince Edward Island (91%) and Nova Scotia (69%).

Fertilizers and pesticides

  • Thirty-two percent of Canadian households with a lawn or garden applied fertilizers, whereas 29% used pesticides.

Gasoline-powered equipment

  • One-fifth of Canadian households owned a snowblower, two-thirds of households with a lawn or garden owned a gasoline-powered lawnmower, and 1 in 20 households with a lawn or garden owned a gasoline-powered leafblower.

  • In 2006, 12% of Canadian households owned a motorized watercraft or snowmobile. Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan had the highest incidence of ownership of this equipment.


  • Eighty-three percent of Canadian households owned or leased at least one motor vehicle. Of these, approximately one-half had only one motor vehicle, while just over 1 in 10 households owned or leased three or more vehicles.

  • The majority (58%) of households in Canada travelled 20,000 kilometres or less in their motor vehicles in an average year, whereas 12% travelled more than 40,000 kilometres.

  • Generally, the larger the city was, the lower the proportion of the population that travelled to work by motor vehicle. Four of the five urban areas with the lowest incidence of commuting by motor vehicle were the largest cities in Canada (Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and the Ontario portion of the Ottawa–Gatineau CMA).

  • In Canada's major urban areas, while the rate of motor vehicle commuting was lower, people tended to travel further when using a motor vehicle to get to work. In the Ontario portion of Ottawa–Gatineau, 32% of those travelling to work by motor vehicle travelled over 20 kilometres each way. In Toronto, the comparable figure was 30%.

  • People using public transit took longer, on average, to get to work than people using motor vehicles. Nationally, almost two-thirds of public transit users needed 30 minutes or more to get to work while only one-quarter of those using motor vehicles took this long.

  • During the colder months, 11% of people who worked outside the home travelled to work by public transit and 6% walked or bicycled. When the warmer weather arrived, the share using public transit fell slightly but the share walking or bicycling increased markedly (to 14%).

  • In the colder months, 64% of people who worked outside the home travelled to work alone in a motor vehicle. In the warmer months, this share fell to 57%.