Car insurance Toronto, ON

Part of a series on car insurance rates in Ontario.

Fast facts about auto insurance in Toronto

Average annual car insurance rate

Regular drivers in the city

Collisions per year (approximately)


Collision rate for the city (approximately

Average age

Average household income


Unemployment rate


Understanding car insurance in Toronto, Ontario

Toronto is one of the most interesting places for car insurance. On one hand, it has a high collision rate (including all of the boroughs like Scarborough and North York). On the other hand, it has one of the best public transit infrastructures in the entire country.

This means you need to take the averages with a grain of salt. Toronto’s boroughs each have their own average car insurance rates, collision rates, and claims rates. These include:

  • York
  • North York
  • East York
  • Scarborough
  • Etobicoke

That doesn’t include daily commuters from the other cities on the outskirts of the GTA, like Burlington, Pickering, or Markham.

A lot of people take the subway and busses, too, which drives down the amount of road exposure in the downtown core (and therefore risk). The high collision rate for the city can definitely be attributed to the high amount of commuter traffic entering the city and travelling through the other boroughs.

In contrast, the boroughs around the downtown core rely on highways to get around, which have high accident rates on their own. The many commuters in these parts of Toronto also spend hours on the road every day, which represents a much higher insurance risk than someone who drives 10 minutes to work.

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Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 18% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Busting myths about driving and insurance in Toronto

Myth: Nobody really uses streetcars.

Wrong. Streetcars are still one the main methods of transportation in the downtown core, and they’re not just for tourists. Locals use streetcars regularly across 11 different lines of the city. That means you can expect them to stop and let people out.

Pro tip: you need to stop for them, too!

Myth: Cycle lanes are suggestions.

Don’t park in cycle lanes or else you’ll find your car ticketed, if not towed away. It is possible for a car to enter the cycle lanes (sometimes necessary for right-hand turns), but only if you’ve yielded to cyclists in that lane. P.S. Opening your car door on cyclists (called a “door prize” by some locals) will net you a $365 fine.

Myth: Pedestrians automatically have the right of way.

Not true. While pedestrians often do have the right of way while crossing the road, they might not if they entered road space unlawfully. They lose the right of way if they don’t have a clear and solid “walk” signal from the crosswalk. And no, stepping onto the road during the crosswalk countdown isn’t lawful, according to Staff Sergeant Bulmer of the York Police Force.

Myth: Every season is construction season.

This one is debatable. Toronto’s construction is notorious for feeling like it’s happening everywhere all at once, but this feeling has become more of a recent phenomenon. 2019 marks Toronto’s busiest construction season yet, with $1 billion being invested into the city’s infrastructure.

How Toronto’s rates compare to other cities in Ontario

  • North York: $4,261
  • Etobicoke: $4,199
  • Brampton: $4,071
  • Scarborough: $3,825
  • East York: $3,605
  • Woodbridge: $3,603
  • Richmond Hill: $3,579
  • Mississauga: $3,473
  • Markham: $3,389
  • Niagara Falls: $3,321
  • Bowmanville: $3,308
  • Peterborough: $3,259
  • Pickering: $ 3,245
  • Newmarket: $ 3,216
  • Hamilton: $3,201
  • Brantford: $ 3,158
  • Maple: $3,150
  • Whitby: $3,087
  • Ajax: $3,053
  • York: $2,999
  • Toronto: $2,983
  • Barrie: $2,924
  • Thornhill: $2,871
  • Waterloo: $2,867
  • Caledon: $2,780
  • London: $2,765
  • Fort Erie: $2,720
  • Oakville: $2,720
  • Sault Ste Marie: $ 2,713
  • Kitchener: $2,705
  • Milton: $2,680
  • St Catharines: $ 2,550
  • Windsor: $2,536
  • Woodstock: $2,513
  • Innisfil: $2,505
  • Burlington: $2,476
  • Kingston: $ 2,360
  • Cambridge: $2,297
  • Oshawa: $2,295
  • Guelph: $2,268
  • Gloucester: $2,256
  • Stoney Creek: $2,222
  • Nepean: $2,196
  • Ottawa: $2,195
  • Sudbury: $2,005
  • Kanata: $2,002
  • Thunder Bay: $1,973
  • Wasaga Beach: $1,958

Quick tips on driving in Toronto

Find parking at outer subway stations, then ride the subway into town.

Getting around Toronto in a car is definitely possible, but finding a place to park it once you get where you’re going is another challenge entirely. Don’t try to fight downtown traffic or else you’ll be circling for an hour. Instead, find a place to park in the subway stations around the outer edges of the city and take the subway downtown. It’s even free on weekends in most of those parking lots!

New to town? The Gardiner Expressway is your friend.

Don’t drive through downtown’s traffic lights, crosswalks, or behind stop-and-start streetcars. Instead, just take the Gardiner Expressway across old Toronto. It’s a raised highway that lets you skip over the street-level traffic all the way from Etobicoke to the Studio District in the south end of East York. Use it liberally to save time and to cut down your chances of getting into a collision!

Keep an eye out for streetcars (and don’t pass them).

Toronto still uses streetcars rather heavily, even as other cities around Ontario are proposing and building light-rail transit systems (like Waterloo). You might spot them by their cables moving above the tops of other cars before you even see the streetcars themselves.

It’s important that you don’t try to pass them while stopped, which is illegal (don’t be that guy). To be fair, stopping all traffic so that pedestrians can walk from the middle of the road to the sidewalk is problematic for a city of 2.7 million people, too.

Stop at least two meters behind the doors and you’re golden.

Don’t rely on left-hand turns at big intersections.

Toronto has a lot of big intersections, and they’re filled up to the brim during rush hour (unsurprisingly).

What you might not also know is that certain intersections ban left-hand turns during rush hour periods, which can run much longer than a single hour (naturally).

You’ll see the signs around the intersections if you’re looking for them, but it’s easy to miss them while navigating downtown streets and keeping an eye on every other vehicle on the road.

Sources for fast facts about Toronto:

  • Stats Canada, 2016 Census Profile, Toronto
  • Ministry of Transportation, 2016 Road Safety Report
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “‘Busiest’ construction season ever underway in Toronto with $1B in projects in the works”
  • Toronto.ca, Cycling Education
  • YorkRegion.com interview with Staff Sergeant Bullmer, “Police debunk traffic myths”

Source for average insurance rates by city:

  • Survey of 2,800 auto insurance policy holders in Ontario

Google Rating: 4.8

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