Trying to avoid traffic between Toronto and Barrie
October 4, 2017 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Getting stuck in traffic when you're trying to get away for a relaxing weekend sucks! I'm trying to figure out how early would I have to leave to avoid it when taking the 400 north out of Toronto on a Friday. Anyone familiar with this route have any idea?

Googlemaps is great for current traffic conditions, but is there any way to check what the traffic was like at a particular time and date in the past? Like if I could look up what traffic was like last Friday at noon, that would give me a good idea what to expect, and help me plan my trip.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 to Travel & Transportation around Barrie, ON (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't think Google Maps can show you the traffic for a particular date and time in the past, but it can show you "typical traffic" for any given date and time of the week:

(Instructions for desktop, I'm using Chrome on a Mac):
- Turn on the traffic layer
- At the bottom center of the screen you'll see a little legend and thing that says "Live traffic."
- If you click on that, you can change it to "Typical traffic" and then adjust to the day and time you want, such as Fridays at 12:00 noon.

I don't drive in Toronto at all so I can't vouch for the accuracy there, but looking at LA, where I have driven a lot, the maps generally jibe with my experience.
posted by andrewesque at 3:18 AM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: hey cool that works! Looks like if we leave at 11 it should be smooth sailing. Thanks!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:49 AM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're mean this long weekend, the answer is Wednesday.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:10 AM on October 4, 2017 [17 favorites]

Came to say basically the same thing as jacquilynne- if you're talking about this weekend, those weekday projections will not be accurate, and you are likely to get stuck in traffic regardless of when you go.
posted by scrute at 5:15 AM on October 4, 2017

My rule of thumb in terms of getting out of Toronto on weekends - and especially long weekends - is that you've got to be north of the 401 before noon to have any chance at all of beating the worst of the traffic.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best way to deal with any 400-series highway in the GTA is:
- bathroom before you leave
- Tim Hortons or snack of choice before you get on
- extensive playlist
- zen mindset

Otherwise yah, if you're north of the 401 before 11:45 am you have a decent shot
posted by warriorqueen at 7:05 AM on October 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: thanks everyone! we're going to leave nice and early. and by that I mean oh god I do not want to get out of bed at that hour but I want to be stuck in the car for 5 hours even less.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:39 PM on October 4, 2017

The people saying before noon are absolutely correct, but they forgot to mention the bit on the other side: travelling the 401 anytime between say 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM will also see you stuck in traffic. So you're best if you can swing the 401 and 400 portions between something like 10:00 and 11:00, although given that it's a long weekend, even that narrow window might be optimistic.
posted by sardonyx at 4:36 PM on October 4, 2017

Response by poster: We are coming from close to Bloor and Bathurst, so we'll be doing the magical bloor-keele-weston-black creek drive route and avoiding the 401 altogether. highly recommended
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:50 PM on October 4, 2017

Going up HWY 27 all the way from Toronto to Barrie is another option. It takes a bit longer (all things being equal), but if the 400 is super-heavy it can be a very good alternate. Of course, this is also everyone else's alternate route, so sometimes you're out of the frying pan and into the fire. At the very least HWY 27 offers a little more variation in driving and views, when compared to the 400.
posted by Kabanos at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2017

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