What do Canadians plan to do when the restrictions are lifted? Leger poll results

June 1, 2021

76% of Canadians feel the pandemic has fueled a new appreciation for the great outdoors, 65% are re-discovering the joy of travel within Canada

Road trip plans are on the rise as Canadians eagerly prepare to get back behind the wheel this summer

Toronto, ON – May 31, 2021 – Canada is known for its natural beauty and stunning landscapes, and has long been a favourite destination for tourists from around the world. And, while Canadians have always enjoyed the open road, the pandemic has fueled a newfound love for the outdoors and a greater desire to get back behind the wheel and explore their own country, according to a new poll conducted by Leger on behalf of Toyota Canada.

  • More than three-quarters (76%) of Canadians polled indicated that the pandemic has given them a greater appreciation for the outdoors while two-thirds (65%) feel it has given them a greater appreciation for travel within Canada.
  • In fact, when travel is permitted, nearly half (49%) of Canadians are planning to take a road trip this summer, an increase of almost 10% over last year.

Plans to Stay Closer to Home = The Resurgence of the Road Trip

  • A majority of Canadians (73%) have had to change their summer vacation plans due to the pandemic, and eight in ten (84%) Canadians plan to stay closer to home than usual
  • 43% of Canadians feel this summer could be the perfect time to explore Canada via a road trip (as soon as it’s safe to do so*).
  • Of those planning a road trip, two-thirds (67%) are opting for a shorter day trip. In fact, 35% of those planning a road trip will be travelling only 4-6 hours away from home.

New Appreciation for Being Outdoors = New Road Trip Activities, a Focus on More Eco-Friendly Journeys

  • More than half (56%) of Canadians embarking on a road trip this summer are planning to go hiking, while 48% will be walking, running or rollerblading, and 46% plan to sightsee.
  • Additionally, if restrictions allow, almost half (46%) plan to enjoy the outdoors while visiting with friends and family, while 45% plan to picnic and 42% will go camping.
  • Exploring national or provincial parks is also high on the list of road trip destinations for those planning a trip with 43% planning to visit one this summer.
  • Canadians indicated they want the journey itself to be more eco-friendly. More than half (58%) of Canadians would feel better opting for a hybrid vehicle because of the environmental benefits.

Staying Cautious: 75% Plan to Continue Wearing a Mask in Public

  • Three-quarters (75%) of those planning a road trip this summer indicate that they will continue to wear a mask in public as an added safety measure.
  • Those who are planning a road trip this summer will be opting for more remote locations like campsites (37%) or cabins / chalets / cottages (34%).


About the Study 

These are some of the findings of a recent Leger poll, conducted on behalf of Toyota Canada. An online survey of 2000 Canadian drivers aged 18+ was completed using Leger’s online panel. Weighting has been employed to ensure that the sample composition accurately reflects the adult population of Canada, as per the latest Census Data.

No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, though, a probability sample of 2000 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

*The purpose of this study was to better understand the perspective of Canadians in terms of taking a road trip this coming summer. Given the extent of COVID-19 restrictions across the country, a disclaimer was provided to respondents up front as follows: We understand that each province is currently abiding by its own set of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. This survey only intends to get a better idea of Canadians’ opinions and perspectives for the upcoming months. Therefore, when answering questions about the future, we ask you to imagine a time in the upcoming months, assuming that such government orders and restrictions have been lifted.

About Toyota Canada Inc.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has sold over five million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 287 Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability to the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and parts distribution centres in Clarington, Ontario and Vancouver. Toyota also operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than nine million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid. Recent investments at its facilities in Ontario will allow for increased production of the top-selling Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid models.

About Leger 

Founded in 1986, Leger has gained an impressive knowledge base, which provides clients access to credible and reliable data and more than 30 years of experience. Leger possesses research capabilities spanning across every dimension of the marketplace and opinion landscape conducting both quantitative and qualitative research on behalf of an extensive array of public and private sector clients on a local, national, and global scale.

Leger is Canada’s largest independent full-service research firm, with over 600 employees in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver in Canada, and Philadelphia in the United States. The LEO (Leger Opinion) panel is the largest Canadian panel with over 400,000 representative panelists from all regions of Canada. LEO was created by Leger based on a representative Canadian sample of Canadian citizens with Internet access.

Leger is a founding member of CRIC and is actively involved in raising quality standards in the survey industry. President Jean-Marc Léger is a member of the CRIC’s Board of Directors and the Canadian representative of ESOMAR.

Leger is the polling firm that has presented the most accurate data, on average, over the last ten years in Canada. During the last federal election in 2019, Leger was once again the most accurate firm in the country. This accuracy is attributed to the quality of the LEO panel and rigorous application of methodological rules by Leger’s employees. Poll aggregator 338Canada.com gave Leger the highest rating among all polling firms in Canada for the accuracy of its studies. See https://338canada.com/pollster-ratings.htm

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