Home » How Car Person-Friendly Is The Place Where You Live?

How Car Person-Friendly Is The Place Where You Live?

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Sooner or later, every enthusiast starts to ponder how well the place they live supports a person who’s into cars. Whether you’re looking for good driving roads, cheap insurance, used cars in decent nick, or a place to park them, achieving everything you want is a tricky balance. I’ll start by taking a look at where I live, the city of Toronto, in the province of Ontario, in the country of Canada.

I’ll start by listing the downsides of Toronto because well, they’re numerous when it comes to being a place for car people. The streets are littered with potholes: twisty roads are few and far between: we get enough winter weather to justify brining the roads which absolutely fucks (that’s a repair industry technical term) anything that’s been used as a daily driver; insurance isn’t cheap; premium gas hovers around $5.46 per gallon in freedom bucks; speed cameras are occasionally a thing on main thoroughfares; parking and housing are both at a serious premium that’ll quickly eat into any budget … and oh yeah, we have the worst traffic of ANY CITY IN NORTH AMERICA.

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Actually, it’s worse than that. According to the 2023 TomTom Traffic Index, Toronto has the third-worst traffic of any major city in the world, taking drivers an average of 29 minutes to drive ten kilometers (6.2 miles). Sure, other cities have worse rush hours, but only London and Dublin are consistently worse than Toronto when it comes to average travel time. In the downtown core, it can occasionally be faster to simply hoof it, which simply seems insane.

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And yet, despite all of these drawbacks, Toronto’s home to a vibrant, diverse car community that covers everything from supercars to JDM imports to trackday builds to classic muscle cars, and everything in between. I’ve seen a Citroën Mehari in regular traffic, and a Jaguar XJ220, and a Toyota Alphard. Canada’s federal 15-year import rule isn’t so bad, rules on vehicle modifications are relatively lax, and we have a selection of tracks within fairly easy driving distance including the legendary Mosport, now known as the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park because of course it is.

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Over the past few years, Ontario got rid of license plate renewal fees and emissions testing for passenger cars, and while that last one probably isn’t the best thing for the environment, it’s better than swinging too far in the other direction. We’ve seen how California’s ever-tightening tailpipe sniffer test standards have squeezed ’80s and ’90s enthusiast cars beyond the conceivable emissions limits for when some of those cars were new, so I’ll take Ontario’s imperfect victory any day of the week.

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Plus, there’s just an indomitable spirit to car enthusiasm thriving in a locale that seems at least somewhat hostile to driving pleasure. It produces some big-hearted optimists, and heaven knows, the world needs more like them. So, how car person-friendly is the place you live? It could be on as broad a scale as country-wide or as narrow as the rules of your HOA. Let’s chat about the pros and cons, as ever, in the comments below.

(Photo credits: Tupungato/stock.adobe.com, Thomas Hundal)

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Myk El
Myk El
28 days ago

I’d say Tucson is fairly friendly. Knocks would be road maintenance in areas and disproportionately bad drivers (10th worst for driving fatalities per-capita). But most of the city is from after the automobile was popular so not much time navigating narrow old streets and not far from either open desert roads or twisty mountain roads.

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