Toronto earns the highest transit score of any Canadian city

A streetcar in Toronto. (Photo from Getty Images)

Despite the utter chaos that is driving in Toronto, the city’s transit system has been ranked the best in Canada.

Redfin, a tech-powered real estate brokerage, released the results of its first national Transit Score study ranking Canadian cities by their transit services on March 11.

“Toronto is highly populated and growing all the time,” said Blair Anderson, market manager for Redfin in Toronto.

“The influx of people from all over the world to Toronto puts a strain on all aspects of transportation in regards to road infrastructure and traffic in and out of the city, which is nothing less than gridlock.”

Here is how Redfin’s 2019 transit score study ranked 15 Canadian cities. (Table from Cision/Redfin)

In spite of the city’s famed gridlock, Toronto’s score of 78 actually ranks it higher than several large U.S. cities, including Boston.

Vancouver and Montreal claimed the second and third spots in Canada, with Vancouver also ranking higher than Boston, and Montreal tied with Philadelphia. Hamilton and London, Ont. brought up the rear for Canadian cities, in 14th and 15th place.

Transit Score works similarly to the Walk Score system, which Redfin purchased in 2014. It ranks regions in terms of how easy they are to navigate using public transit.

Redfin looked at ease-of-use and frequency of buses, subways, light trail transit, ferries and more when calculating the Transit Score for 15 Canadian cities with populations over 300,000.

Specifically, the Transit Score algorithm factors in the distance of transit routes from a given location, the frequency of routes and the types of transit vehicles used. For example, in weighing the criteria, more weight is awarded to heavy and light rail transit than to bus service.

“Some people moan and complain about public transit, but Toronto’s system is one of the better transit systems in the world,” Anderson said.

“It’s highly ranked, runs well on a timely basis, and doesn’t have many problems. And without it, the city would shut down.”

Not everyone in Canada agrees with Anderson’s assessment of the list and Toronto’s spot on top.

Some on social media used the story to take shots at Toronto for having set the bar low.

Others took a more pragmatic view.

“Fault can always be found if you look for it,” wrote Facebook user Suzy Symes. “TTC does a great job of getting you where you need to go. Want to complain- try using a transit system somewhere else.”


What do you think? Do you agree with Redfin’s ranking of Canadian transit systems? Let us know by responding to the poll above or have your say in the comments below.