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Canada’s three biggest cities among North America’s worst for traffic delays: survey

Busy morning traffic on Yonge St. in downtown Toronto. (File photo)

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A new survey shows Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto parked among the top five cities in North America when it comes to traffic delays.

Vancouver is second only to Los Angeles in the 26 cities tallied in a traffic-congestion survey from GPS firm TomTom covering the second quarter of this year.

The research, using data drawn from the company's subscribers, shows drivers in Vancouver have their overall commute delayed an extra 33 per cent during congestion compared to when traffic flows smoothly.

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Montreal took fourth place in the survey, while Toronto came in fifth, Ottawa 12th and Calgary 16th.

But the survey shows drivers in the top three Canadian cities are hit the hardest by traffic during evening gridlock, which takes more than two-thirds longer compared to when traffic is light.

Meanwhile, Edmonton came in 25th of the 26 cities tallied, with traffic bumping commute times by only one-tenth.

And the Alberta city showed the biggest drop in congestion delays compared to the previous quarter — a seven per cent drop — according to the research.

The report also found that congestion in Vancouver was worst during peak morning and evening traffic periods on Thursdays, adding an extra 37 minutes in delay per hour.

It says drivers in the city who have a 30-minute commute will spend an extra 87 hours a year stuck in traffic.

San Francisco came in third for congestion, while Washington, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Miami filled out the top 10.

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