Canada

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Complete Guide to Waze in the 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

Help Improve Waze

Please see the article Help Improve Waze

Forums

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.

Map Editing

 e.g. John St, Bayview Ave, Don Valley Pky, Slick Dr, Main Blvd
e.g. SW instead of South-west

See http://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGaddress-e.asp#1423617 for full details in English and French.

  • For wide roads (at least 3 lanes on each direction) with two directions of traffic, consider the best map editing practice for North America so that a GPS lock will be made correctly. Note: standard lane width is about 3.5m, typical GPS accuracy is about 10-20m. Generally, splitting a road is not desirable.

Unlock Requests

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

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 (Canada), Rank 6 CM for Canada; AM for Edmonton, Prince George, and various places in between. PM
EECGeek Ontario / Quebec, Canada Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada and US; AM for Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. PM
erablian Alberta Rank 4 area manager for Alberta PM
hmarian Ontario Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada; AM for Greater Toronto Area and the surrounding communities. PM
invented Ontario Rank 4 AM for Ontario PM
james8970 Western/Central Canada Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada PM
joe01romano Eastern Canada Rank 5 CM / AM for Canada and US. PM
Webs101 Quebec Waze Local Champ (Canada), Rank 5 CM for Canada PM


AM / CM Requests

To request Area Manager or Country Manager access, please see this thread: https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=93406

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

Problems and Issues

Canadian highways are defined differently than their US counterparts, please have a look at the discussion page and comment, as well as the section below.

The Montreal Area has unique issues of its own.

U-Turns

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

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

Quebec Statute: Highway Safety Code [1]

Road Types and Names

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.

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).

Freeways

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)

Trans-Canada Highway

RoadBlue.png

Road type: Freeway
Primary name: Hwy 1
Alternate: Trans-Canada Hwy

There are parts of Hwy 1 that travel through some 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 and the highway is divided again.

Quebec Roads

RoadBlue.png

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.

Majorhighwayseg.png

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

RoadYell.png

Minor highways in yellow-orange on the map should be in yellow.

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.

n.b. also, the Montreal Area has its own rules.

Ontario Roads

RoadBlue.png

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

Majorhighwayseg.png

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.

RoadYell.png

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.

Alberta Roads

RoadBlue.png

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)

Majorhighwayseg.png

RoadYell.png

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 216
Not 'Highway #' or 'HWY # (all caps)'.

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 "Dirt road / 4X4 Trail" 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

RoadBlue.png

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)

Majorhighwayseg.png

RoadYell.png

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).

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).

Technical information

Please see the article Technical Information.