Commuting in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: What changed from 2016 to 2021?

Release date: November 30, 2022
Infographic: Commuting in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: What changed from 2016 to 2021?
Description: Commuting in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: What changed from 2016 to 2021?

In 2021, 13 million Canadians commuted to work:


Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1 2016 and 2021 (appearing as column headers).
2016 2021
by car, truck or van 12.6 million 11 million
on public transit 2 million 1 million
by walking or riding a bicycle 1.1 million 811,000
using other means 194,000 286,000

This represents 2.8 million fewer commuters than in 2016, a decrease of 17.8%.

In 2021, 4.2 million people worked at home (24.3%), over 3 times the 2016 level.


Table 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 2. The information is grouped by Worked at home (appearing as row headers), Percentage (appearing as column headers).
Worked at home Percentage
2021 24.3%
2016 7.4%

In 2021, 11 million Canadians commuted to work by car, truck or van, either as a driver or a passenger. This represents a decline of 13.2% from 2016.

The average commute in 2021 took 23.7 minutes, a decrease of 2.5 minutes compared with 2016.


Table 1 Changes in commuting in large cities Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1 Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Québec, Ottawa–Gatineau, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton (appearing as column headers).
Montréal Toronto Vancouver Québec Ottawa–Gatineau Winnipeg Calgary Edmonton
Car commuting times in minutes, 2021 24.9 27.6 25.6 19.5 22.8 21.5 22.7 23
Change from 2016 (in minutes) -1.9 -2.7 -1.7 -1.8 -2.1 -1.2 -1.4 -1.2
% change in number of public transit commuters from 2016 -43.0% -56.5% -38.1% -43.6% -63.6% -45.9% -58.7% -55.2%

Sources: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016 and 2021.

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