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Toronto gridlock is so bad even celebrities are saying it will ‘kill your soul’
Sept. 15, 2023

If you’ve ever visited Toronto, you’ve probably marvelled at the CN tower, basked in the diversity of cultures -- and cursed at the traffic.

According to a report released this summer, the city ranks among the worst in the world for traffic, and commuters spend nearly 200 hours per year on the road.

Visiting A-listers and local celebrities alike have been vocal about the worst of the city’s congestion.

Here’s what they had to say about Toronto commuter chaos.

Guillermo del Toro
During this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), iconic Mexican horror and fantasy director Guillermo del Toro compared road rage in Toronto to Canadian film.

“Canadians are very reserved, except in road rage and cinema,” he said. “Horrible road rage in Toronto, horrible. And also in cinema, for some reason, Canadians let loose. And it’s fantastic.”

Andrew Phung
Actor Andrew Phung, at TIFF to promote the documentary “Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe,” chose different words to share his frustrations on getting around in the city.

“I just want to be in Toronto, but like, minus the traffic,” he told Narcity.

“Like if I could experience Toronto without 60 per cent of the traffic. The city is amazing. There is an energy and vibe to this city, but the traffic will kill your soul,” he concluded.

Tom Cruise
Phung and del Toro aren’t the only film stars with something to say about traffic in Toronto.

In an interview this summer for his latest “Mission: Impossible” film, an Etalk reporter asked Tom Cruise if he would be up for a different kind of mission: spending two hours in Toronto traffic -- without road rage.

“You know what, I have done that challenge, and I’ve been in that traffic,” Cruise responded.

“What’s up with the traffic in Toronto? Have they figured this out?”

Tom Cruise shares all about how he loves to learn from other cultures and people and what a Toronto installment of ‘Mission: Impossible’ would look like.

Tony Levin
Tony Levin, bass player for Peter Gabriel, reflected on performing in Toronto in a blog post after performing with Gabriel at Scotiabank Arena this past Monday.

“After we left our hotel to go to soundcheck (sic) at the venue, I saw this man running down the street, carrying a Peter Gabriel album,” he wrote.

“Our guess was that he was trying to catch the car Peter was in. And with Toronto traffic, he probably did.”

Mark Giordano - Toronto Maple Leafs
Locals, meanwhile, are no strangers to Toronto’s traffic woes. We may not always talk about it, but we’ve certainly experienced it.

Leafs defenceman Mark Giordano was spotted in April walking along the Lake Shore in a viral video ahead of a playoff game. The cars behind him barely moved in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and viewers guessed that he had switched to commuting on foot because waiting in a vehicle would be even worse.

Masai Ujiri
That same month, Toronto Raptor’s president Masai Ujiri was also spotted walking among the median of Lake Shore Boulevard, with the same speculation. A video of him posted online read, “Masai wasn’t having it with that lakeshore boulevard traffic (sic).”