Roads Types and Speed Limits

Know what to expect when driving in Canada: the highway system, regional road network and what speed restrictions to expect...

Canada has nearly 900,000 Km of road. The national highway system consists of 38,000 Km of well-maintained national and regional highways. Road conditions across the majority of Canada are generally good, especially the main routes. The majority are numbered. However, roads in more remote locations and further north may not be in such good condition. In the winter, main roads in populated areas are normally cleared quickly by snow ploughs after a snow fall. However, it is normal to have to drive at some point in snowy and icy conditions.

Toll roads

There aren't many toll roads in Canada. Most of the bridges to the States are toll bridges and Highway 407 ETR (near Toronto) in Ontario is a toll road. On Highway 407 ETR, and on the A25 bridge from Montreal to Laval, cameras photograph the licence plate and a bill is sent to the licence holder.

Road signs

Signs for major highways and bridges are in both French and English. Other signs are in English (and occasionally French), except in the French-speaking state of Québec where they are all in French. In certain areas, signs representing wild animals on or around roads will be displayed. Be aware of animals such as deer, moose and bears, as they can cause serious injury or death if collided with.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are posted in kilometres per hour (Km/h). If caught speeding the person receives an on the spot ticket and is fined. This also affects the person's driving record and may affect insurance costs. Speed limits in Canada are generally as follows:
Type of road Maximum speed
Multi-lane highways and expressways 100 Km/h
Two-lane highways 100 Km/h
Major roads in urban areas 60 Km/h
Residential areas 50 Km/h
Near schools and playgrounds 30 Km/h

Traffic/Rush Hour

In the cities, rush hour tend to be from 07.30-09:30 and then again between 15:30-19.00. In major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal expect heavy traffic most of the day.