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Revision as of 01:49, 14 March 2014 by Kentsmith9 (talk | contribs) (Changed headings to current Wiki style guide (no hyperlinks))

Complete Guide to Waze in the Canada (Under Development)

  • 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


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 for full details in English and French.

  • Canada Post also published the abbreviations for provinces and territories [2]
 e.g. Whitehorse, YT   Toronto, ON   Charlottetown PE
  • 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 your requests here.


Landmark guidelines also vary from those in the United States. We're still working on all the definitions, please ask in the Canada-specific forum if you have questions!

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 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 CM for Canada and US; AM for Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. PM
james8970 Western/Central Canada CM PM
joe01romano Eastern Canada CM / AM for Canada and US. PM
Webs101 Just Quebec for now... CM PM

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.


British Columbia

168 Except as provided by the bylaws of a municipality or the laws of a treaty first nation, a driver must not turn a vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction
(a) unless the driver can do so without interfering with other traffic, or,
(b) when he or she is driving
(i) on a curve,
(ii) on an approach to or near the crest of a grade where the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 150 m,
(iii) at a place where a sign prohibits making a U-turn,
(iv) at an intersection where a traffic control signal has been erected, or
(v) in a business district, except at an intersection where no traffic control signal has been erected.

Motor Vehicle Act of British Columbia

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


Do not do a U-turn unless you can do it safely. U-turns are not permitted:
  • at an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal (traffic lights) unless permitted by a traffic control device
  • where a sign prohibits U-turns

In urban areas U-turns are not permitted:

  • on a roadway between intersections
  • at an alley intersection
  • at an intersection where one or more of the roadways is an access to a public or private parking lot which the public can access

Outside urban areas (rural) U-turns are not permitted:

  • on a curve
  • approach to or near the crest of a hill where the driver of another vehicle cannot see you that is approaching within 150 metres from either direction

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

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




143. No driver or operator of a vehicle upon a highway shall turn the vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction when,
(a) upon a curve where traffic approaching the vehicle from either direction cannot be seen by the driver of the vehicle within a distance of 150 metres;
(b) on a railway crossing or within 30 metres of a railway crossing;
(c) upon an approach to or near the crest of a grade where the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of another vehicle approaching from either direction within 150 metres; or
(d) within 150 metres of a bridge, viaduct or tunnel where the driver’s view is obstructed within such distance.
R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 143. Highway Traffic Act

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


Highway Safety Code [3]

Article 310 Every person must comply with every road or traffic sign or signal erected under this Code.

Article 326.1 The driver of a road vehicle shall not cross any of the following lines marking off lanes:

(1) a solid single line;

(2) a solid double line;

(3) a double line consisting of a broken line and a solid line, the latter being adjacent to the lane in which the road vehicle is moving.

Newfoundland / Labrador

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

Yukon Territory

Northwest Territories




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".

Please avoid the use of the province after the place. For example don't put in "Springfield, Qc" or "Springfield, On" because it is known to make two towns in the same place, and is almost impossible to eradicate. Many towns have "Springfield" and "Springfield, Qc" in the same area which confuses things which we're trying to avoid.

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).

Trans-Canada Highway

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

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 red and should be red in Waze.

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

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.

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.

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 rules for the US as a guideline, with the idea that a Canadian "Freeway" may lack one of the criteria used in the US (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)

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

Technical information

Please see the article Technical Information.