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Complete Guide to Waze in Canada

  • Since the USA and Canada share the same Waze server, many of the policies and best practices that have been developed for the US also apply to Canada. This page contains information that is unique to Canada. Because some of it is still being developed, please follow the guidance for the US where it is not in conflict with the information here.
  • This page is now in development and available in French.

About Waze

Please see the article About Waze

Getting Started

Please see the article Getting Started.

Another great resource for new map editors is the Welcome to WME.

Help Improve Waze

Please see the article Help Improve Waze

Use your language skills

  • Waze is strongly committed to supporting the different countries and languages of the world but depends on your help.
  • The Waze client app has over 1000 words and phrases to be translated into languages used around the world. Some are nearly finished. Some are halfway done. Some of them haven't even started! If you read and write more than one language, you can help with the translation. Even one phrase helps - you don't have to do it all!
  • This Wiki is used by people from countries around the world, speaking different languages. Maybe you'd like to help add and improve pages specific to a country and language


Please check out the Canada-specific forums here: [1]

Feel free to post questions and ask for advice in your editing. Our region is very different in a number of ways from the United States, so the generic editing guidelines don't always apply.

Social Media


Area/Country Managers

If you are an Area Manager that covers part of Canada, or a Country Manager that does a lot of work in Canada, please add yourself to this list. See comments via an "Edit" of this section to add yourself.

Username Primary Areas Managed Comments Forum PM
doctorkb Western Canada (Alberta & BC) Waze Global Champ, Rank 6 CM for Canada; AM for Edmonton, Prince George, and various places in between PM
hmarian Ontario Waze Global Champ, Rank 6 CM for Canada; AM for Greater Toronto Area and the surrounding communities PM
manoeuvre Ontario Waze Global Champ, Rank 6 CM for Canada, AM for Greater Toronto Area PM
SkiDooGuy Saskatchewan Rank 6 CM / Saskatchewan Manager, Waze Local Champ (US) PM
EECGeek Ontario / Quebec, Canada Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada and US; AM for Ottawa/Gatineau, Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec PM
james8970 Western/Central Canada Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada PM
Jay91150 Alberta, Maritimes Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada, AM for Calgary PM
Webs101 Quebec Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada PM
joe01romano Eastern Canada Rank 5 CM / AM for Canada and US PM
restless_in_nb Atlantic Canada and Gaspe Peninsula Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada, AM for Atlantic Canada and Gaspe PM
Kayos_On_The_Road British Columbia Waze Local Champ (Canada) / Rank 5 British Columbia Manager PM
erablian Alberta Rank 4 Alberta Manager PM
kkarkid Ontario Rank 4 Ontario Manager PM
phil-mtl Quebec Rank 4 Quebec Manager PM
WaseYves Quebec Rank 4 Quebec Manager PM
codgerd British Columbia Rank 4 AM for Greater Vancouver, BC & Saguenay-Lac St-Jean, QC PM
IamtheLexx Ontario Rank 4 Ontario Manager PM
ChevyLuke1 Ontario Rank 4 Ontario Manager PM

Nagamasa Ontario Rank 4 Ontario Manager based in GTA-Tricity area PM
MushyMedic Manitoba Rank 4 Manitoba Manager PM
alexs001 Okanagan Valley, BC Rank 3 AM - Okanagan Valley, BC PM
CoolCanuck Southern ON
Schreiber/Terrace Bay, ON
Hearst/Constance Lake, ON Fox Valley, SK
Rank 3 AM in Central Ontario PM
Got2BeKD Southern Manitoba Rank 3 AM in Manitoba PM
PsstDizel York Region Rank 3 AM North / West GTA PM
ShaneYYZ Halton Region Rank 3 AM based in Ontario PM
e-sarge Durham Region Rank 3 AM based in Ontario PM
ColinsGoat Atlantic Canada & some rural Saskatchewan Rank 3 AM Atlantic Canada and some rural Saskatchewan. PM
BryceCampbell BC Interior, BC North Rank 3 AM Interior-Kamloops Area/North Thompson & North Coast-Terrace/Kitimat/Prince Rupert PM
mtylerb Central AB Rank 2 AM in Central AB PM
TrackMum Central ON Rank 2 AM Barrie/Orillia/North Bay/Sudbury/Parry Sound PM

AM / CM Requests

To request Area Manager or Country Manager access, please see this thread:

Unlock Requests

Canada has its own forum area for unlock requests. Please make your requests here.


Please report future planned road closures via this form.

This form allows for complete (or directional, i.e. A->B only) closures to be reported. Partial closures (i.e. one of two lanes in a direction) should not be reported.

Major Events (e.g. Commonwealth Games, Tour d'Alberta, etc.) should still be dealt with using the Waze Major Traffic Events form.

This method is preferred over adding restrictions -- it is nearly immediate (processed several times per day by Waze staff), and does not rely on a tile rebuild. The closure will also be visible in the app and on the livemap, in addition to avoiding routing through the segment.

Problems and Issues

The Montreal Area has unique issues of its own.


Practical application in Waze: restrict all u-turns in Canada unless there is a sign outright permitting them.

British Columbia Statute: Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia

Alberta Guidelines: A Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing: Cars and Light Trucks

Manitoba Statute: C.C.S.M. c. H60 The Highway Traffic Act: Section 191

Ontario Statute: R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 143. Highway Traffic Act

Quebec Statute: Highway Safety Code [1]

City Naming

Towns, cities villages etc... To save space just put in the name of the city, example "Toronto" not "City of Toronto", or for smaller places use "Springfield" not "Town of Springfield" or "Village of Springfield".

NEVER include the province in the City field. For example don't put in "Springfield, Qc" or "Springfield, On".

If you find a city that can't save without the province name (perhaps it changes when you save it, or generates other save error), please post a message in the applicable province's forum.

This applies to both primary names and alternate names -- the alternate city is assumed to be in the primary province and country.

Road Naming


Minor/Major Highways should be named in this format:

Hwy # (H is capitalized, the 'wy' in lower case, followed by a number) e.g. Hwy 16
Not 'Highway #' or 'HWY # (all caps)'.

Where the signage indicates the highway based on a name ("Lougheed Hwy" or "Sooke Rd"), the name should be used.  If, however, the signage refers to it by number primarily, that is to be the primary name, regardless of the local knowledge (e.g. the Sea-to-Sky Highway is signed as Hwy 99).


Please follow the Canada Post street type abbreviation at all times even if it diverges from BGS.

See for full details in English and French.

Check to make sure that the Canada Post Abbreviation has a working TTS. If it does not, then please check the list of abbreviations below. Note that while Canada Post does not abbreviate "Place" in French, Waze does abbreviate it as "Pl", just like Canada Post does in English.

Additionally, please do not shorten names when they are integral to understanding the street name:

 e.g. Bad: N St, S St, Ave Rd
 e.g. Good: North St, South St, Avenue Rd

It is recommended to use the Custom Canadian WME Validator Script. It will highlight all the incorrectly abbreviated street names.

Streetname Abbreviations
Approved Abbreviation Pronunciation Do Not Use
Alley Alley Aly
Aut Autoroute Autoroute
Av Avenue (French) Avenue, Ave
Ave Avenue (English) Avenue, Av
Bend Bend Bnd
Blvd Boulevard Boulevard
Boul Boulevard (French) Boulevard, Blvd
Brg Bridge Bridge
Bypass Bypass By-pass
Carref Carrefour Carrefour
Ctr Centre Centre, Center
Ch Chemin Chemin
Cir Circle Circle
Circt Circuit Circuit, Cct
Close Close Cl
Common Common Common, Cmn
Conc Concession Concession
Crnrs Corners Corners,Cors
Crt Court Court, Ct
Cove Cove Cv
Cres Crescent Crescent, Cr
Crois Croissant Croissant, Croiss
Crossing Crossing Cross, Xing
Cds Cul-de-sac Cul-de-sac
Divers Diversion Diversion
Dr Drive Drive
Éch Échangeur Échangeur
Espl Esplanade Esplanade
Estate Estates Estates, Est
Expy Expressway Expressway, Expwy
Exten Extension Extension,Ext
Field Field Fld
Gdns Gardens Gardens
Glen Glen Gln
Green Green Grn
Grnds Grounds Grounds
Grove Grove Grv
Harbr Harbour Harbour, Harbor, Hbr
Hts Heights Heights
Hwy Highway Highway
Hghlds Highlands Highlands
Hill Hill Hl
Hollow Hollow Holw
Imp Impasse Impasse
Inlet Inlet Inlt
Island Island Is
Knoll Knoll Knl
Landng Landing Landing,Lndg
Lane Lane Ln
Lmts Limits Limits
Lkout Lookout Lookout
Manor Manor Mnr
Meadow Meadow Mdw
Montée Montée Mtée
Mount Mount Mt
Mtn Mountain Mountain
Orch Orchard Orchard
Pk Park Park
Pky Parkway Parkway, Pkwy
Psge Passage Passage,Pass
Ptway Pathway Pathway
Pines Pines Pnes
Pl Place Place
Plat Plateau Plateau
Plaza Plaza Plz
Pt Point Point
Port Port Prt
Pvt Private Private
Prom Promenade Promenade
Rg Range Range
Ridge Ridge Rdge
Rd Road Road
Rdpt Rond-point Rond-point
Rte Route Route
Rle Ruelle Ruelle
Sent Sentier Sentier
Sq Square Square
Subdiv Subdivision Subdivision
St Street Street
Terr Terrace Terrace, Ter, Tce
Tsse Terrasse (French) Terrasse, Terr
Thick Thicket Thicket
Tline Townline Townline
Trail Trail Trl
Trnabt Turnabout Turnabout
Villge Village Village, Vlg

Road Types

Within Metropolitan Areas

In the US, the DOT has a Functional Classification system which had been adopted by Waze Champs as the method for classifying different road types. Overall, this has resulted in use of the highway types for arterial roads in the metropolitan areas, with the Primary Street type being available for collector-type roads.

Unfortunately, we don't have the same standardized government-published maps to adopt here, but we can consider many of the same principles. This was first looked at in Edmonton, and seems to have been met with great success.

With that in mind, we'd like to consider the following criteria for use within metropolitan areas and any city with a population exceeding ~40,000. In the event that the infrastructure of a smaller city has been designed with arterial routes, this may be adopted there, but will typically be less obvious.

If the local government has published maps that define arterial and collector routes, please use those to set the street types.

Changing of Types

As a highway enters a city/town, it often becomes a named street, and sometimes would no longer fit the usual criteria for a "highway".

Due to a number of reasons, including long-distance routing issues, as well as appearance, the highway should remain as the same type it entered the city/town (except if it's a Freeway -- if it no longer fits the Freeway criteria, it may be downgraded to Major Highway until it is again a Freeway).

The road type designation should follow the entire numbered route.



In general, Freeways will have:

  • Multi-Lane, divided road
  • No cross traffic
  • No stop lights (except for ramp meters)
  • No stop signs
  • No parking
  • No stopping (except for toll booths, freeway access metering, movable bridges, and traffic congestion)
  • Highest speed limits (relative to region)
  • Some have minimum speed limits
  • Limited access:
    • Access restrictions vary by region but some typical restrictions are:
      • No pedestrians
      • No bicycles
      • No mopeds
      • No Animal-Drawn Vehicles
    • Entrance ramps are typically designed with an acceleration zone so that cars can accelerate up to freeway speeds before merging into freeway traffic
    • Exit ramps are typically designed with a deceleration zone so that traffic can exit the freeway at freeway speeds without obstructing traffic, then have sufficient distance to slow down before any turns

When considering the road type, use the above noted Freeway classification as a guideline, with the idea that a Canadian "Freeway" may lack one of the criteria (e.g. Whitemud Freeway in Edmonton is 80 km/h, but meets all other criteria; Hwy 16 W of Edmonton doesn't have ramps for every junction, but meets all other criteria)

Major Highway


Use for major arterial roads. Often these have 2-3 lanes (or more) in each direction, and may be structured to be turned into freeways eventually. Usually this means relatively few intersections, higher speed limit, and higher capacity.

Additionally, if a road enters an area as a Freeway, but then loses its limited-access situation, it will generally continue on as a Major Highway.

If only one type of arterial is used by the municipality on their maps, the decision between a "major" and a "minor" will be that of relative importance and capacity. Generally, a "major" will have 2+ lanes, whereas a minor may only have one. Local knowledge is also especially useful in determining this.

Minor Highway


Use for arterial roads. They are more direct than using collector roads and sometimes have slightly increased speed limits.

Primary Street


Suitable for collector roads through neighbourhoods and thoroughfares that aren't arterial.

Outside Metropolitan Areas

Trans-Canada Highway


Road type: Freeway
Primary name: Hwy ## (e.g. Hwy 1)
Alternate: Trans-Canada Hwy

There are parts of the TCH that travel through National/Provincial parks with frequent stops, reduced speed and undivided portions. These segments should be reduced to a Major Highway until the speed increases, stops are minimized or the highway is divided again.

Quebec Roads


Autoroutes, or limited access highways, such as the 20/40/55 or any *40 are considered freeways

The big exception to this rule is Autoroute 50 which is still a freeway, even though some small parts of it are not limited access and some are only two lane with no divider.

The official road map of Quebec should be consulted to determine the status of provincial routes. The map is available in French and English.


Major highways on the map are in depicted in blue and should be blue in Waze.


Minor highways in green on the map should be in green.

A very general rule of thumb is that 100-series highways are in red while 200 and 300-series highways are in yellow. This is not completely accurate, however, so please consult the official map.

Ontario Roads


All 400 series highways are in purple, as they are limited access freeways. Also other highways, for example the 174 just east of Ottawa, are in blue as they are limited access.


Certain Major highways are two lane but are still in red because they collect the minor highways, and many county roads and we need to distinguish them, examples are the 174 east of Ottawa/Orleans, the 17, the 138, 38 the 7 in eastern Ontario.


County roads may be in yellow if they have higher speed limits than most main roads around them. Not all county roads should be designated "Minor Highway" -- grid roads should be addressed like Alberta's Range / Township Roads.

Manitoba Roads



Currently in Manitoba, only Hwy 1 (including the highways Hwy 1 splits into), like Hwy 100 and 101 (perimeter Hwy in Winnipeg) are listed as Freeway.

Major Highway


Major Highway is used for Highways designated as Provincial Trunk Highways, that are not considered a Freeway. These Provincial Trunk Highways are numbered from 1 to 99 for mainline routes and 100 to 199 for loop/spur routes (only four currently exist).

Minor Highway


These Provincial Roads are numbered from 200 to 632. Some of these routes are gravel for part or all of their length. As Waze lacks a road type for all-weather gravel roads, the consensus is to use "Unpaved" for gravel highways in regions where paved alternative routes are available for many destinations, but to use "Minor Highway" in regions where there are no paved alternatives.

Rural Municipal Roads

Township and range roads are maintained and signed by the local rural municipality. These roads should use locally signed names where available as the primary name. Names such as Rd 74 N can be used as an alternate name, or as the primary name when a specific road name is not known, or the road does not have a name. Unless specifically in a city, town or village, these roads should have "No City" selected at this time.

Township and Range roads are not highways and should be (at highest) Primary Street.

Saskatchewan Roads



Highway 1, Highway 16 (where twinned), Highway 11, Circle Drive in Saskatoon, Ring Rd in Regina.

Major Highway


Highways 1 - 99 when not at Freeway standards. These highways connect major areas of the province.

Minor Highway


Highways 100 - 399, and 900 - 999. These highways connect cities and towns to other highways.

Primary Street


Highways 600 - 799. These are grid roads (6xx run North/South, 7xx run East/West). While not as sturdy as other Highways, these roads will stand up to truck traffic and should be preferred over other rural roads.

Other Rural Roads

Other Rural roads should be entered as Unpaved, as these should only be used for routing if no other option is easily available.

Alberta Roads


Freeways in Canada need to follow a different standard than in the US.

Currently in Alberta, only ring roads (perimeter roads around a city), Hwy 1 (including the highways Hwy 1 splits into), Hwy 2, Hwy 16, and any highways with limited access (e.g. highways with no traffic lights, and access is exclusive to ramps entrances).

When considering the road type, use the above noted Freeway classification as a guideline, with the idea that a Canadian "Freeway" may lack one of the criteria (e.g. Whitemud Freeway in Edmonton is 80 km/h, but meets all other criteria; Hwy 16 W of Edmonton doesn't have ramps for every junction, but meets all other criteria)



Generally highways in the 1–216 series are major highways (except when they are freeways), and highways in the 500–999 series are minor highways. However, a highway with a letter suffix in its number should generally be one type lower than the corresponding highway without the letter suffix. For example Hwy 2A is major highway, one type lower than Hwy 2 (freeway), and Hwy 13A in Camrose is minor highway, one type lower than Hwy 13 (major highway).

Some highways in the 500–999 series are gravel, and this raises a dilemma for Waze editors because Waze lacks a road type for all-weather gravel roads. The consensus is to use "Unpaved" for gravel highways in regions where paved alternative routes are available for many destinations, but to use "Minor Highway" in regions where there are no paved alternatives.

Township and Range Roads

Township and range roads are maintained and signed by the local municipal district (MD). Some MDs have chosen a numbering format with a hyphen before the last digit (e.g. “Township Rd 38-4”) but most have chosen a hyphenless format (e.g. “Range Rd 15”). In WME, the road names should follow the local format as used on the signs. Abbreviate “Rd” but leave “Township” and “Range” unabbreviated.

Township and Range roads are not highways and should be (at highest) Primary Street.

List (incomplete) of MDs that use hyphens: Clearwater County, Lacombe County, Mountain View County, Stettler County

British Columbia Roads


Freeways in Canada need to follow a different standard than in the US.

When considering the road type, use the above noted Freeway classification as a guideline, with the idea that a Canadian "Freeway" may lack one of the criteria (e.g. Whitemud Freeway in Edmonton is 80 km/h, but meets all other criteria; Hwy 16 W of Edmonton doesn't have ramps for every junction, but meets all other criteria)



Highways are defined by the provincial numbering scheme.  Any numbered route will be either a Freeway, Major Highway or Minor Highway, regardless of the use of stop lights or the path it takes through a city/town.

Additionally, streets that are named "Highway" (e.g. Barnet Highway in Burnaby) may also receive a highway classification.

Differentiation between a major and minor highway is largely based on its destination and importance of the route.  Also, a highway with a letter suffix in its number should generally be one type lower than the corresponding highway without the letter suffix. For example Hwy 19A in Courtenay is major highway, one type lower than Hwy 19 (freeway), and Hwy 4A in Coombs is minor highway, one type lower than Hwy 4 (major highway).


Alleys should not be added to the map. In some cases (e.g. Vancouver and Toronto areas), we have left the ones in place, but in most cases they should be removed.

This is particularly relevant to basemapped areas that included them -- e.g. Saskatchewan -- small towns should certainly have the alleyways removed.

In places where they are retained, they should have their city name set and the "None" box checked for Street Name. They should also be changed to Parking Lot street type.

Parking Lot Roads

Please read the Best Map Editing guidelines on parking lot roads and remember that parking lot roads must have a navigational function and are to be used sparingly.

Locking Standard

Canada has active "Traffic Locks", these locks are based on usage from users. They are limited to a max rank of 4, but can be any rank below.

Segments that have restricted turns must be locked to a minimum Level 3.

If the current lock or traffic lock is higher than the minimum standards listed below, please don't lower the lock.

Minimum Road Locking Rank Standard
Segment Type Minimum locks
 Freeway  4
 Ramp  highest rank of connected segment
Arrow Red-2.pngRestriction arrow yellow mouseover.gifPermitted green u-turn 3
 Major Highway  4
 Minor Highway  3
 Primary Street  2
 Street  1
 :|:|:|:|:Railroad:|:|:|:|:  4

Place Editing

PUR should be reviewed for accuracy, once approved all relevant information pertaining to the place should be entered. Please use each company's website to gather all the information you can. Once a place is complete please lock to rank 3.

This practice will prevent app trusted users and most IGN editors from making incorrect changes to places we know are right. App trusted users and IGN editors are rarely rank 3.

Following are general standards for place locking in Canada:

Place Minimum Locking Rank Standard
Place Type Minimum locks
Airports 4
Hospitals 4
Major Tourist Attractions/Landmarks 4
Police/Fire Stations 3
Gas Stations 3

Telephone Number Format for Waze Places


This number format allows mobile phones, regardless of their home network, to dial a number without having to modify the number first.

Place Naming

Place Naming in Canada should adhere to the following guidelines. Following the government agency naming guide is a list of businesses which are chains or franchises. Please use these name spellings when creating or updating a place.


Hospitals with Emergency Rooms must have a separate Waze Place with "ER/Urgence" prefixed in the primary name, for example:

ER - Brampton Civic Hospital
ER - St. Michael's Hospital
Urgence - Hôpital de Verdun

Government Agencies

Police Stations: City, Agency followed by division name, for example:

Toronto Police 12 Division
Peel Police 22 Division
OPP Collingwood Detachment

Fire Stations: City, Agency followed by station number, for example:

Brampton Fire Station 221
Toronto Fire Station 347

Place Name Harmonization

If you don't find the business you're looking for, please use this form to submit the missing information.

Fuel Retailers

For modification of fuel retailers in Canada, please use the Gas Stations Brands form.

When to use Area or Point in Canada

Here is the Canadian guidance on selecting Area or Point for Places in the Waze Map Editor.

Optional Area shall only be used after consulting local area managers on regional guidelines. The place must be a significant landmark with navigational value in the community. For example: a Tim Hortons in Hepburn, SK (population 500) is of significance. However, the same sized Tim Hortons is of zero significance in the Greater Toronto Area.

We do not want to impose hard & fast rules for the Optional Area category. Please use some judgement, we do not want to see wall-to-wall areas for every single building structure on the map.

Optional Area shall be landmarked to just the building structure only, do not include the parking lot area.

Fence-line Areas shall be landmarked from fence line to fence line to include all parking lots, roads, and anything associated with the property. Parking lot roads (PLRs), parking lots, and gas stations all serve the same purpose.

The Primary Category for a Place is used to determine whether to use a Point or Area.

Emergency Vehicle Roads Service road.png

"Emergency and Authorized Vehicles Only" are to be treated as Non-drivable roads. These are found primarily through the median of divided highways to connect opposite direction lanes.
  • Recommended not to map them in Canada.


Please do not use the ferry road type, it's not yet functional in Waze. Canada will adopt U.S. guidelines with respect to ferries.

  • Use the FC/RC classification of the road leading to the ferry crossing.
  • If the ferry has a toll, mark it as a toll road.

Technical information

Please see the article Technical Information.