Toronto has worse gridlock than New York, Montreal, Berlin, London and L.A.

Toronto has worse gridlock than New York, Montreal, Berlin, London and L.A.

(Image: Paul Sherwood, from the Toronto Life Flickr pool)

Sure, there’s some good news in the latest Toronto Board of Trade report: Toronto is among the most prosperous of global cities, we’ve attracted the highest percentage of immigrants, and we have some of the best-educated people living here. But who cares about stuff like that?  Not the press. Despite these more upbeat angles, every major paper in the city focused on the traffic snarls.

Says the Globe:

Commuters in the Greater Toronto Area suffer through longer round trips than their counterparts in 18 other major centres, including notoriously congested Los Angeles, according to a new report commissioned by the Toronto Board of Trade.

The board’s second annual “scorecard on prosperity” concluded the average GTA commute lasts a punishing 80 minutes for drivers and public-transit riders alike, putting the region an “embarrassing” last place behind not only L.A., but also the gridlocked metropolises of New York, London and Montreal.

The study comes in the wake of Dalton McGuinty’s decision to delay $4 billion in transit improvements and David Miller explicitly asking drivers to avoid “road repair rage”—all of which makes Toronto seem like a great place to work, if only one could get there.

The embarrassing score on traffic made Toronto the fourth-most prosperous city examined, ranking just under Boston, Dallas and Barcelona. Looks like nothing was learned from the Vancouver Olympics: even in a report commissioned by a Toronto business group, our city didn’t make it onto the podium.

• GTA has worst commutes in 19-city survey [Globe and Mail]
• Toronto commuting times worst of 19 major cities, study says [Toronto Star]
• Congestion costing $5 billion annually: Report [Toronto Sun]