The GTA will see a slight increase in traffic as of Monday, according to city and regional police.
As of Tuesday morning, the number of vehicles traveling northbound on Highway 401 has more than doubled, from more than 5,000 to more than 12,000 vehicles, said Staff Sgt. Jeff Houghton.
The city is expecting more than 10,000 additional trips in the area, he said.
The increased traffic comes as Toronto’s economy continues to recover from the economic recession.
The number of new vehicle registrations in the city increased 2.3 per cent last year to 7,724, according a report by the city’s Economic Development and Tourism Council.
That was up from a 6.9 per cent increase in 2017.
The numbers are also down from a year earlier, when the city had more than 15,000 new registrations.
Houghton said the increased traffic is due to a growing number of residents living in the neighbourhoods where the city operates its transit system.
In addition, Houghston said, some of the city centre’s most popular destinations are getting more people, including bars and restaurants.
The increase in people travelling northbound is also due to the citywide congestion on Highway 407, which is expected to be closed in mid-November, according the city.
That closure is expected due to Hurricane Matthew, which was predicted to hit the area in late November.
The report says traffic on the 401 is expected be “moderate,” but Houghtons said traffic on other highways is expected increase.
There are no estimated tolls for traffic on Highway 410 or 407, said Sgt. Chris LeBlanc.
The new traffic on 401 is likely to add about 1.5 to 1.6 hours of driving to the average weekday commute, he added.
The growth in traffic has already contributed to increased vehicle emissions.
Hughton said, on average, a single car emits a total of about 1,000 grams of CO2 in a year, and that’s a lot of CO02.
The annual average increase in emissions on the 407 and 401 is about 1 per cent, he noted.