The Best (and Worst) City in Canada for Driving?

A new report ranks the best and worst cities in the world for drivers. How do Canada’s biggest towns measure up – and where is the best place for motorists right now?

There is no doubt that the Germans love their cars – and driving. So, it makes sense that German website kfzteile24 has ranked the world’s top 100 cities for driving. Guess what? The top-rated city for motorists turns out to be in Germany. Dusseldorf received the highest marks. (Two other German cities, Dortmund and Munich, also cracked the top ten.)

To determine the top 100 in the world, a total of 500 cities were ranked according to their congestion levels, public transport options, average cost of parking, cost of fuel, average speeds, levels of air pollution, accidents and fatalities, road quality, and the frequency/perception of road rage.

Traffic delays or congestion caused by temporary construction work was not taken into account for this study. Once all factors were researched for 100 cities, a final score was calculated for each.

One Canadian city made the top ten in the world, and that was Calgary, Alberta – coming in at number 10.

Canada’s best cities for driving (and why)

Calgary (Ranked #1 for Canada, #10 in the world)

Calgary scored high marks for its low levels of congestion and clean air. It lost points for the high cost of downtown parking and incidents of road rage. (Despite not being stuck in much traffic, there are some angry Calgarians on the road.)

Montreal (Ranked #2 in Canada, #13 in the world)

Montreal has a very effective subway system – known locally as the Metro – which allows people to move about the island with ease and reduces the number of cars on the city streets. It also has fewer reported cases of road rage and the highest air quality of all the Canadian cities ranked. This is great for getting around within Montreal. (The nightmare is for the South Shore commuters lining up at the congested bridges to get on and off the island in rush hour.)

Toronto (Ranked #3 in Canada, #14 in the world)

Coming in just behind Montreal is Canada’s largest city, Toronto. This may surprise some motorists in and around the big smoke as Torontonians love to rant and complain about the traffic. Still Toronto ranks fairly highly on the world scale of cities for driving. Toronto scored high marks for the relatively easy commute to the airport, inexpensive downtown parking, and overall decent road quality.

Ottawa (Ranked #4 in Canada, #22 in the world)

Ottawa has lower congestion than Montreal or Toronto but it scores much lower on public transit than the other two cities. The nation’s capital lacks a subway service. Ottawa also lost points for lower speed of driving from the airport to the city and the higher cost of downtown parking.

Vancouver (Ranked #5 in Canada, #48 in the world)

Much further down the list of world cities for driving falls Vancouver. B.C.’s largest city lost the most points for its high-level of traffic congestion – coming in at nearly double that of Calgary. Vancouver also has some of the most expensive parking in the country and scored low marks for the downtown to airport commute speed. The results combined to make Vancouver ranked as Canada’s worst city for drivers.

It actually falls below famously congested London, England for driving. Still, on the world scale, it’s not that bad.

The worst cities in the world for driving?

(Actually, the folks at didn’t publish the results of the full 500 cities evaluated. However, here are the bottom 10 of the 100 they ranked.)

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Mexico City, Mexico
    Bogota, Columbia
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Bangalore, India
    Mumbai, India
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Karachi, Pakistan
    Kolkata, India

What do you think? Where is the worst place that you’ve ever driven? (I’ve spent some time on the roads in Istanbul – which makes the bottom 10 list – and I can confirm, drivers there are insane and the traffic is brutal.)

You can see the full 100 cities ranked and kfzteile24’s methodology here.

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