How to avoid may 24th congestion around Toronto?
May 16, 2007 8:32 AM   Subscribe

What are the peak times of bad traffic around Toronto on May 2-4 weekend?

First of all, bless you Ontario for naming a major holiday after a carton of beer. Second - I'm wondering about travelling west-to-east on the 407 and 401. I understand Fri. afternoon is the peak catastrophe; is saturday morning much better?
posted by ~ to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, Canada (11 answers total)
 
Best answer: It will be very, very bad on Friday night and Monday night. The main issue is the 400 to Barrie - the May long weekend is the traditional weekend to open up your cottage.

Saturday morning should be pretty normal - that is, if anything goes wrong, it will be a parking lot. But if there are no major accidents, everything should be fine.
posted by GuyZero at 8:38 AM on May 16, 2007


Best answer: Saturday morning is much, much better, for two reasons. The first is that most people go North on Friday night, so there are less cottagers travelling on Saturday morning. The second is that all of us unfortunate plebes without cottages aren't commuting on Saturday morning adding to the traffic.

It'll be busier than a normal Saturday morning, but generally less busy than a normal weekday morning, especially on an East/West route.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:49 AM on May 16, 2007


On the Friday it will bad on any routes leaving the city and on Mon it will be the reverse. If you're heading into Toronto then traffic won't be that much of a concern. If you're headed out of the city then that's not so good.
posted by LunaticFringe at 9:08 AM on May 16, 2007


Saturday can be pretty brutal as well, westbound 401 approaching Keele/Black Creek to the airport, and especially the 400 northbound, as many, many people wait and leave on Saturday morning thinking it will be so much better (that's what we're doing...)
We sort of approach the situation with the frame of mind that it's going to be shitty whenever we end up leaving.
posted by chococat at 9:17 AM on May 16, 2007


Leaving Toronto on this Friday and/or returning on Monday will probably be the worst traffic of the year. Avoid this if possible. Travelling on other days or in other directions will be better but that's not saying much.
posted by winston at 9:27 AM on May 16, 2007


Saturday morning would definitely be best. The 401 might be a little busy, but the 407 should be fine.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:41 AM on May 16, 2007


Weekend mornings are always dead calm. I really mean morning though, it will start to get busy as you approach noon.

Friday afternoon west to east may not be too bad, but I'm really not sure.. On days like that, commuter traffic tends to get spread out and lighter because of people leaving early. If you were traveling the same direction as the holiday crowd, that wouldn't benefit you at all, but you aren't.
posted by Chuckles at 9:55 AM on May 16, 2007


If you are going to a fireworks event put on by the city way downtown or something thinking it will be good: avoid! The crowding and traffic is insane. It will take you 2 hours to get out of there if you take your car... Never again!
posted by GleepGlop at 9:55 AM on May 16, 2007


Toronto traffic is almost always heavy, period.

All Friday will be a nuisance, getting worse by the hour after noon. Ditto for Monday evening, though that may depend on the weather - if the weather's crummy, more people will come home earlier, and the fireworks won't draw as many.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings are likely to be the quietest.

As a local, I try to avoid cross-town travel during holiday weekends. For long drives we will get up and leave town @ 4 or 5 AM, to be well clear of it before 7 AM.

This weekend I will mostly spend on a boat :)
posted by Artful Codger at 11:07 AM on May 16, 2007


Response by poster: Many thanks!
posted by ~ at 3:09 PM on May 16, 2007


GleepGlop: "If you are going to a fireworks event put on by the city way downtown or something thinking it will be good: avoid! The crowding and traffic is insane. It will take you 2 hours to get out of there if you take your car... Never again!"

But... why would you take your car to something like that? It makes much more sense to park at one of the suburban subway stations and subway in.

Drivers, who can understand them? ;)
posted by loiseau at 5:14 PM on May 16, 2007


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