Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Main mode of commuting

Release date: November 17, 2021


Main mode of commuting refers to the main mode of transportation a person uses to travel to their place of work.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over, in private households, with a job or absent from their job or business during the week of Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8, 2021, and who reported having a usual place of work or no fixed workplace address.

Previously, in other census cycles, early enumeration was conducted in remote, isolated parts of the provinces and territories in the months leading up to the May enumeration. Because of COVID-19, there was no early enumeration for the 2021 Census. Collection procedures—especially in collective dwellings and remote, northern, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities—were redesigned to ensure the census was conducted in the best possible way, using a safe and secure approach.

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 52b)


Car, truck or van — as a driver

Car, truck or van — as a passenger


Subway or elevated rail

Light rail, streetcar or commuter train

Passenger ferry

Walked to work


Motorcycle, scooter or moped

Other method


Persons who used more than one mode of commuting were asked to identify the single mode they used for most of the travel distance. As a result, the question provides data on the main mode of commuting. The question does not measure the seasonal variation in mode of commuting or trips made for purposes other than the commute to work.


Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: