Commuting in Canada's three largest cities

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Release date: December 2, 2019
Infographic: Commuting in Canada's three largest cities
Description: Commuting in Canada's three largest cities

Commuting in Canada's three largest cities

In 2016, 1.5 million Canadians spent at least 60 minutes travelling to work.

Of the three largest cities in Canada, Toronto had the highest proportion of commuters who spent 60 minutes or more travelling to work.

  • Toronto: 17%
  • Montréal: 12%
  • Vancouver: 11%

Job locations were scattered across all three cities. In Toronto, 1 in 4 people had a place of work located 25 km or more from the city centre.

Commuting patterns in large cities are complex, with many workers crossing suburbs to get to work.

Distribution of workers by type of commute between place of residence and place of work, Montréal, 2016
Type of commute %
Within a city core 6
From suburb to city core 20
From city core to suburb 4
Within a suburb 23
From one suburb to another 47

Among the three largest cities, Vancouver had the highest share of workers commuting within the city core (13%).

In Toronto, more than half of workers travelled from one suburb to another (55%).

The greatest share of "traditional commuters," or those travelling from a suburb to the city core, was found in Montréal.


  • Savage, Katherine. 2019. "Results from the 2016 Census: Commuting within Canada's largest cities." Insights on Canadian Society. May. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X.
  • Yaropud, Tetyana, Jason Gilmore and Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté. 2019. "Results from the 2016 Census: Long commutes to work by car." Insights on Canadian Society. February. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 75-006-X.
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