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Montreal tops in non-car commuting

Montreal is the top Canadian city in non-car commuting, with 29.5 per cent of people using public transit, walking or cycling to work, but four other Canadian cities are not far behind, according to a Toronto Board of Trade report that compares 21 global cities.

Halifax posts shortest daily commute: 65 minutes

Montreal is the top Canadian city in non-car commuting, with 29.5 per cent of people using public transit, walking or cycling to work, according to a Toronto Board of Trade report that compares global cities.

Four other Canadian cities are not far behind, but the rankings were a little different when it came to commuting times, according the report, titled "Toronto as a Global City: Scorecard on Prosperity - 2010."

The report, released Monday, compares a variety of urban issues among 21 cities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It looked at urban economic health, affordability, education, immigration and lifestyle and was created with research support from the Conference Board of Canada.

Montreal ranks at the top among Canadian cities for non-car commuting, but was No. 11 overall. Hong Kong ranked first with 89 per cent of commuters not using cars to get to and from work. Paris was second at 73.7 per cent.

In Toronto, 28.8 per cent of commuters take public transit, walk or cycle to work, the report said.

In Vancouver, that rate is 25.3 per cent. In Halifax it's 24.1 per cent and in Calgary it's 23.2 per cent.

With the exception of New York, seven American cities that were measured in the rankings placed in the bottom quarter for non-car commuting. Rates ranged between 21.6 per cent for San Francisco to just 4.6 per cent for Dallas.

Toronto posts longest commute

Commuting times are a different story.

Toronto finished last of 19 global cities that were measured for the amount of time people spend getting to and from work each day. Torontonians take an average 80 minutes commuting. (Two cities were not included in the list because of lack of data.)

Halifax had the shortest daily round-trip time of the five Canadian cities, at 65 minutes.

Commuters in both Calgary and Vancouver take an average 67 minutes for commuting. And Montreal's commute time is 76 minutes, putting the city second-worst in the global rankings.

Barcelona had the lowest time at 48.4 minutes and Dallas came second at 53 minutes.

However, the report noted that American commute times may have been underestimated because researchers used data from the 2000 U.S. Census and the smaller urban boundaries may not be comparable.

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