News From Waze: Canadian Traffic Trends For 2022 And Drive with Santa And Mrs. Claus

With the holidays quickly approaching and 2022 coming to a close, community-based navigation app Waze is today sharing two announcements: The first is related to the jolly man himself, while the second concerns a look back at traffic trends across Canada over the last year – including the most trafficked destination and city-related trends:

Canadian Traffic Trends for 2022: Waze’s Year-in-Review Data
Drivers are returning to the office this Fall; eight cities saw a triple-digit percentage jump

1. GO FOR A FESTIVE DRIVE WITH SANTA

Beginning now, drivers can get into the holiday spirit and go for a festive ride with Santa or Mrs. Claus. With the new holiday experience in Waze, you can select Santa as your guide while navigating over the holidays, have his signature Sleigh as your vehicle and swap out your Mood for Santa. This year Mrs. Claus joins the holiday experience (please note: Mrs. Claus is only available for users selecting English US as their Waze voice). As the real brains behind the North Pole operation, Mrs. Claus will offer a twist on the holiday theme as one-part friendly grandmother and one-part savvy business woman — complete with a friendly, but no-nonsense Mood and a vehicle fit for an executive. 

You can activate this holiday experience in the Waze app by tapping “My Waze” and the “Drive with Santa” banner. If Mrs. Claus is available for you, she’ll appear in your selection card. Santa Claus is available in English, French and Spanish globally, and Mrs. Claus is available in English U.S.


For more details about the holiday experience, a blog post can be found here:https://blog.google/waze/go-for-a-festive-drive-with-santa-and-mrs-claus/

2. TOP TRAFFIC TRENDS ACROSS CANADA:

Waze also took a look in the rear view mirror and today revealed the most trafficked destination for Canadians using the app this year, plus other traffic trends for 2022:

  • Home was the most trafficked destination in 2022 to date, followed by school (#2). Food and drink, restaurant and shopping centre round out the top 5 destinations with hospital and medical centre ranked at #6. This is a change since 2021, when home, restaurant and park were top destinations, with school ranking after that. This reflects schools across the country opening back up to in-person learning this past September.
  • While “office” was not included in the top 10 destinations in 2022 (“office'”was ranked #32), Waze found that commuting to “office” across Canada increased significantly in October compared to January 2022. Triple-digit percentage changes in traffic were recorded in these metro areas:
    • Quebec City (+263 per cent)
    • Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+173 per cent)
    • Calgary (+172 per cent)
    • Hamilton, Ont. (+161 per cent)
    • Montreal (+157 per cent)
    • Ottawa-Gatineau (+146 per cent)
    • London, Ont. (+129 per cent)
    • Greater Toronto Area (+111 per cent)
  • Drives to restaurants across Canada increased 30 per cent, comparing October 2021 to October 2022.  Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo metro areas saw a 69 per cent increase, while Calgary and Edmonton saw a 30 per cent increase. Ottawa, Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Montreal and London all saw at least 20+ per cent increases.
  • Canadians seemed to stay home this Thanksgiving with cities including Winnipeg, Vaughan (Ont.), Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and more all showing significant drops in traffic on October 10, when compared to the previous week.

    However in Niagara Falls and London (Ont.), drivers were out and about with traffic increasing in those cities on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Data also showed that August was the month with the most kilometres (kms) driven across the country for 2022, while January was the month with the least kms driven.
  • When looking at busy times in select cities, navigation to popular tourist destination Niagara Falls shot up 94 per cent in August 2022 compared to July. This coincided with the city’s hosting duties for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, which took place August 6-21, 2022. Ottawa also saw a spike; traffic increased 29 per cent during the January 22 – February 23, 2022 timeframe, compared to the previous time period.
  • Back to school resulted in increased traffic in university cities across the country over the Labour Day long weekend, including Waterloo, Ont. (+74 per cent), Kingston, Ont. (+69 per cent), London, Ont. (+26 per cent), Halifax (+22 per cent) and Guelph, Ont. (+11 per cent). Looking at the week after the Labour Day long weekend (September 6-9), Kingston saw a 109 per cent increase in traffic (Halifax +50 per cent; Waterloo +20 per cent; London +9 per cent).

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