Commuting and Employment in Innisfil

One of the priorities for the new Council will be to foster greater local employment in Innisfil. To plan for development of employment lands, a better understanding of the existing employment picture might be helpful. Everyone is familiar with the current dependence on commuting to work. According to Statistics Canada census data for 2006 …

Caution: this article contains (yawn) a discussion of census data … if you prefer,  skip to the end for a reader ‘challenge’.

about 13,000 Innisfil residents drove themselves to work by automobile. Another 1,000 went to work as a vehicle passenger. That was more than 80% of all employed Innisfil residents aged 25 to 64 in 2006.

Where Do People Go to Work?

2006 census data shows that:

78%      of employed Innisfil residents travel to a fixed place of work

15%       have no fixed place of work (such as trades people)

6%       reported working from home

The 2006 census profile of Innisfil indicates that businesses and institutions within Simcoe County provided significant employment:

45%            travel to a different county

37%            travel within the same county as their county of residence

17%             travel within the same municipality as their municipality of residence

Average Canadian Commute Time

A Statistics Canada publication, The Time It Takes to Get to Work and Back, (catalogue # 89-622-XIE, 2005) found that commuting times were increasing across Canada primarily because a larger workforce was travelling at the same time daily, increasing road and transit congestion and straining available infrastructure:

  • “In 2005, one-quarter of workers (25%) spent 90 minutes or more going from home to work and back”
  • “2001 Census showed that the median travel distance between home and the usual workplace increased slightly between 1996 and 2001, going from 7.0 to 7.2 kilometres… Among the factors explaining the increase in these travel distances is the fact that jobs— especially those in the manufacturing sector—are increasingly located in the suburbs.”
  • “In 2005, commuters spent an average of 63 minutes on the round trip between their place of residence and their workplace.”
  • “Not surprisingly, the greater the distance between home and workplace, the greater the average duration of the round trip. For example, compared to workers living less than 5 kilometres from their workplace, the predicted round-trip duration increases by 25 minutes for those living 15 to 19 kilometres from their workplace, by 48 minutes for those living 30 to 34 kilometres away and so forth.”

A 2003 Innisfil commuter survey found a median round trip time of 90 minutes – this is at the high end of the commuting scale for Canadians overall. In the same survey, 64% of respondents said they would prefer to work at the same type of job within Innisfil. A sizable proportion, 47%, said they would accept a smaller income to work within Innisfil.

What Type of Work Do Innisfil Commuters Perform?

The table below compiled from 2006 census data shows that:

  • More than a quarter (28%) are employed in ‘white collar’ occupations (business, finance, management and public administration)
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of Innisfil residents are employed in sales or service occupations
  • 14% are engaged in sciences (including health), education or government roles

Occupations by Category, Employed age 15+, Innisfil 2006

Occupation Category


Sales & service


Trades, transport & equipment operation


Business, finance, public administration




Unique to processing, manufacturing, utilities


Social sciences, education, government


Natural & applied sciences


Health occupations


Unique to primary industry


Art, culture, recreation, sport



In What Industries Are They Employed?

The table below compiled from 2006 census data shows that:

  • More than a third (36%) of Innisfil residents are employed by service providers
  • Manufacturing employs 17%
  • Retail and wholesale businesses employ 17%
  • Construction industry employs 10%

Employment by Industry Type, Innisfil, 2006

Employer Type


‘Other’ services


Business services








Health care, social services




Educational services


Finance, real estate


Agriculture, resource-based



A Challenge to Innisfil Readers Who Commute

Leave a comment to tell other readers about the type of work you do, what work you would ideally like to do in Innisfil, and what sort of company would most likely be a potential employer (i.e. – retail, finanace, wholesale etc.)

What do you think would be the greatest attraction about working in Innisfil? – less driving? less stress? working at home? self-employment?

What is your biggest obstacle to finding employment in Innisfil?