Life without a Car in the Yonge North Corridor

February 2014 (Updated March 2017)

Life is simpler and cheaper without a car. There is easy access to buses and subway, shopping, entertainment, socialization, restaurants, movies and theatre. After considering the cost of commute time in a car, congestion, gas prices and parking, owning a car may be more of a burden and costly inconvenience than the necessity it once was.

Car ownership is on the decline. A Globe and Mail story (Steering clear of cars in big cities; Oct 13, 2011; Michael Vaughan) states that “Young people … are turning away in droves from what was the dream and the status of car ownership.” Macleans (For today’s youth, cars no longer represent freedom; June 5, 2012; Kate Lunau) wrote that “Getting a licence used to be a rite of passage – one that brought younger people together, gave them access to jobs, opportunities and the glories of the open road. It meant adulthood, and freedom. ” The Macleans article went on to cite statistics showing a worldwide decline in both miles driven by young adults and those who have a licence.

The reality is that vehicle ownership in the under-35 demographic has been on the decline since the 1980s.

The two articles fail to mention important factors impacting on car ownership and usage; at least here in the Yonge North Corridor. The appeal of condominium living is such that the need for a vehicle, among all ages, is less than it once was. Also, condominium ownership is not just for the younger generation. Condominium ownership is increasing among many if not all age groups.

Within the over-35 age demographic the necessity of owning a second vehicle among families, or even any vehicle, is based on many of the same factors identified as only affecting the under-35 age demographic.

It seems that many in all age groups no longer see a car as necessary, liberating or part of being an adult. Today’s Yonge North Corridor residents are equally likely to consider a car to be a burden and an unnecessary expense. Given the costs of living in the city, it becomes harder to justify the cost of vehicle ownership. Easy access to public transit and having most nearly all necessities within walking distance makes this decision that much easier.

Nevertheless, there are times when a car is necessary. In these instances it may be more convenient, and more economical, to consider a short term car rental. These are available through a number of car rental services. In addition there are newer car-share services, designed specifically for short term car usage and providing multiple drop off points, that are available for as little as $9.25 per hour or $79 per day inclusive of gas and insurance.

With savings of $500 per month or more over vehicle ownership, the decision to live without a car makes sense

Short Term Vehicle Rental Services

AutoShare (
Avis Rent A Car (
Enterprise Rent A Car (
ZipCar (

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