A Complete Guide to Waze in Canada
Welcome to Waze map editing in Canada and to the editing community!
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 always in development and will soon be available in French.
Help Improve Waze
Please see the article Help Improve Waze.
Please check out the Canada-specific forums here: Canada Forum
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.
Please note that the notifications system for the Waze forums and private messages does not currently function, so your message and posts may go unnoticed. Communicating via the Waze Canada Discord server is a better option for the moment.
|Username||Primary Areas Managed||Comments||Forum PM|
Waze Global Champ
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|alexs001||Okanagan Valley, BC
Newfoundland and Labrador
|Assistant Country Coordinator
Waze Global Champ
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|hmarian||Ontario||Waze Global Champ
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|Webs101||Quebec||Waze Global Champ
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|MushyMedic||Manitoba||Waze Local Champ (Canada)
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|restless_in_nb||Atlantic Canada and Gaspe Peninsula||Waze Local Champ (Canada)
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|phil-mtl||Quebec||Waze Local Champ (Canada)
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|Dry_B0nes||Alberta||Waze Local Champ (Canada)
Rank 6 CM for Canada
|Taxy57||Quebec||Rank 5 CM for Canada||PM|
|Got2BeKD||Manitoba & Saskatchewan||Rank 5 CM for Canada||PM|
|mtylerb||AB, SK and BC's Eastern "Boot"||Rank 5 CM for Canada||PM|
|de_denis||Quebec||Rank 5 PM for Quebec||PM|
|YUL_||Quebec||Rank 5 PM for Quebec||PM|
|YogiJB||Quebec||Rank 5 PM for Quebec||PM|
|PsstDizel||York Region||Rank 5 PM for Ontario||PM|
|Harmonious4||British Columbia||Rank 5 CM for Canada||PM|
|kkarkid||Ontario||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|IamtheLexx||Ontario||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|Aztek985||Ontario||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|e-sarge||Durham Region||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|amoyer1974||Hamilton, ON||Rank 4 PM for Ontario and Yukon||PM|
|GregVA3MGR||Ontario, Canada||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|PeterMuir||Ontario, Canada||Rank 4 PM for Ontario||PM|
|Waze Closures (Canada)
Rank 5 CM for Canada
|Trexer0||South Coast & Kootenay, BC||Rank 5 CM for Canada||PM|
|ryanaye||Nova Scotia||Rank 4 AM for Atlantic Canada
PM for Nova Scotia
To request Area Manager or Country Manager access, please fill out this form.
Road Editing in Canada
We maintain guidance for standards to apply to road editing in Canada on its own page. Please follow the standards.
Turn Instructions and Road Shields
Waze has introduce the ability to modify turn instructions independent from the names of segments. These instructions can also incorporate road shields. The creation and use of road shields is currently limited to editors of rank 4 and higher.
Please look at this Turn Instructions page for guidance. There is a lot of work to be done.
Please report future planned road closures by following the instructions here: https://www.waze.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=358&t=311475
The closure system allows for complete (or directional, i.e. A->B only) closures to be reported. Partial closures (e.g. one of two lanes in a direction) should not be reported.
If you have a need for an immediate closure (aka emergency), whether due to a traffic incident or major road that had a missing closure, you can reach out through our Discord emergency-closures channel here.
This method is preferred over adding restrictions - it is nearly immediate, and does not rely on a tile rebuild. The closure will also be visible in the app and on the Livemap, in addition to avoiding routing through the segment.
Map Editing in Quebec
US guidance recommends that all parking lots be given names and breaks it down into four descriptor categories.
- Completely Generic
- Purpose Descriptive
- Location Descriptive
In Canada, we do not use the first category of completely generic parking descriptors such as “Parking - Starbucks”, “Parking - Costco”, etc.
The map clutter associated with generic parking names on the client is unacceptable to us. Until the client can suppress parking lot names from being displayed in the client, guidance for parking lots in Canada is to not include it.
Purpose Descriptive lots may be used when there is a lot restricted to non-visitors (e.g. an employee-only parking lot) that is separate from one for visitors. In this case, both may be named.
Location Descriptive lots are acceptable for large indoor malls (e.g. West Edmonton Mall) where different lots will lead to different entrances nearby certain amenities.
We also do not use the 🅿 [P] parking emoji anywhere in the naming of parking lot areas. Do not use, for example “ [P] lot”, “Red [P] Lot 24”, etc.
To save space, only enter the name of the city. For example, "Toronto" not "City of Toronto", or for smaller places use "Springfield" not "Town of Springfield", "Village of Springfield", "Springville Township", "Regional Municipality of Springfield".
NEVER include the province in the City field. For example don't put in "Springfield, Qc" or "Springfield, On".
If you find a city that can't save without the province name (perhaps it changes when you save it, or generates other save error), please post a message in the applicable province's forum.
This applies to both primary names and alternate names - the alternate city is assumed to be in the primary province and country.
Canada has active "Traffic Locks", these locks are based on usage from users. They are limited to a max rank of 4, but can be any rank below.
Segments that have restricted turns must be locked to a minimum Level 3.
If the current lock or traffic lock is higher than the minimum standards listed below, please don't lower the lock.
|Segment Type||Minimum locks|
|highest rank of connected segment|
PUR should be reviewed for accuracy, once approved all relevant information pertaining to the place should be entered. Please use each company's website to gather all the information you can. Once a place is complete please lock to rank 3.
This practice will help prevent users and editors from making incorrect changes to places we know are right.
Following are general standards for place locking in Canada:
|Place Type||Minimum locks|
|Major Tourist Attractions/Landmarks||4|
Telephone Number Format for Waze Places
This number format allows mobile phones, regardless of their home network, to dial a number without having to modify the number first.
Place Naming in Canada should adhere to the following guidelines. Following the government agency naming guide is a list of businesses which are chains or franchises. Please use these name spellings when creating or updating a place.
Hospitals and other medical services
Hospitals with Emergency Rooms are the only place type permitted to use the Hospital category. All other day clinics, surgical centres, doctors etc must use the Doctor / Clinic category. Other non core medical services services such as Naturopaths, physio-therapists, chiroprators, etc should use the Office category. Emergency Rooms must have a separate Waze Point Place with "ER/Urgence" prefixed in the primary name, for example:
- ER - Brampton Civic Hospital
- ER - St. Michael's Hospital
- Urgence - Hôpital de Verdun
Police stations: City, Agency followed by division name, for example:
- Toronto Police 12 Division
- Peel Police 22 Division
- OPP Collingwood Detachment
Fire stations: City, Agency followed by station number, for example:
- Brampton Fire Station 221
- Toronto Fire Station 347
If a secondary business within another business location has a different category, contact numbers and opening times, it may be added to the map as a new (second) point place with the new primary category and relevant contact details and opening times. Typical examples of this type of nesting would be pharmacies or post offices within supermarkets or superstores.
If you don't find the business you're looking for, please use this form to submit the missing information.
A script is available to assist with place harmonization and has been localized for use in Canada.
For modification of fuel retailers in Canada, please use the Gas Stations Brands form.
When to use an area or point place in Canada
We follow American guidance for places, including when deciding whether to use an area or point for a place. As a very rough guide, public buildings (hospitals, schools, police, fire, etc.) and gas stations should be areas and businesses should be points - but consult the rules to make sure.
But we also have specifically Canadian guidance on selecting area or point for places in the Waze Map Editor, as indicated in the Place Name Harmonization table.
Optional area shall only be used after consulting local area managers on regional guidelines. The place must be a significant landmark with navigational value in the community. For example: a Tim Hortons in Hepburn, SK (population 500) is of significance. However, the same sized Tim Hortons is of zero significance in the Greater Toronto Area.
We do not want to impose hard and fast rules for the optional area category. Please use some judgement, we do not want to see wall-to-wall areas for every single building structure on the map.
Optional area shall be landmarked to just the building structure only; do not include the parking lot area.
Fence-line areas shall be landmarked from fence line to fence line to include all parking lots, roads, and anything associated with the property.
The primary category for a place is used to determine whether to use a point or area place in Waze.
|Car Services||Car Wash||Point|
|Car Services||Charging Station||Point|
|Car Services||Garage / Automotive Shop||Point|
|Car Services||Gas Station||Fence-line Area||Many gas stations also have convenience stores and ATMs. Remember to use "Gas Station" as the primary category and the add any others which are relevant. Please see the Places/Gas Station article.|
|Car Services||Parking Lot||Both||There are very few parking lots which should be mapped at all. Please see the Places/Parking lot article.|
|Transportation||Bridge||Area||Should only be use for bridges with significance: Peace Bridge, Golden-gate Bridge|
|Transportation||Junction / Interchange||Area||Will not be used in Canada.|
|Transportation||Seaport / Marina / Harbor||Area||Size-dependent.|
|Professional and public||Cemetery||Fence-line Area|
|Professional and public||City Hall||Point|
|Professional and public||College / University||Area|
|Professional and public||Conventions / Event Centre||Area||Size-dependent|
|Professional and public||Courthouse||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||Doctor / Clinic||Point|
|Professional and public||Embassy / Consulate||Area|
|Professional and public||Factory / Industrial||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||Fire Department||Area|
|Professional and public||Government||Optional Area|
|Professional and public||Hospital / Urgent Care||Area||ONLY Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and places offering Urgent Medical Care should use this category. ERs encompassed in a hospital Place Area should be Points.
Clinics, and Medical offices which do not offer urgent medical care for Walk-Ins should use the Doctor / Clinic or Office, (and any other appropriate) category as discussed above regarding Hospitals.
|Professional and public||Information Point||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||Kindergarten||Point|
|Professional and public||Library||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||Military||Area|
|Professional and public||Offices||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||Organization or Association||Point|
|Professional and public||Police Station||Area|
|Professional and public||Prison / Correctional Facility||Area|
|Professional and public||Post Office||Point|
|Professional and public||Religious Centre||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Professional and public||School||Fence-line Area|
|Shopping and services||Arts & Crafts||Point|
|Shopping and services||ATM||Point|
|Shopping and services||Bank / Financial||Point|
|Shopping and services||Bookstore||Point|
|Shopping and services||Car Dealership||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Car Rental||Point|
|Shopping and services||Convenience Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Currency Exchange||Point|
|Shopping and services||Department Store||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Electronics||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Fashion and Clothing||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Flowers||Point|
|Shopping and services||Furniture / Home Store||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Gifts||Point|
|Shopping and services||Gym / Fitness||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Hardware Store||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Jewelery||Point|
|Shopping and services||Laundry / Dry Cleaning||Point|
|Shopping and services||Market||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Music Store||Point|
|Shopping and services||Personal Care||Point|
|Shopping and services||Pet Store / Veterinarian||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Pharmacy||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Photography||Point|
|Shopping and services||Shopping Centre||Area|
|Shopping and services||Sporting Goods||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Supermarket / Grocery||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above. Must be a Point if it is part of larger shopping mall/center.|
|Shopping and services||Swimming Pool||Point|
|Shopping and services||Toy Store||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Shopping and services||Travel Agency||Point|
|Food and drink||Bakery||Point|
|Food and drink||Bar||Point|
|Food and drink||Coffee shop||Point|
|Food and drink||Dessert||Point|
|Food and drink||Fast Food||Point|
|Food and drink||Food Court||Point|
|Food and drink||Ice Cream||Point|
|Food and drink||Restaurant||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Art Gallery||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Casino||Area||Large hotel-casinos perhaps could be Area Places.|
|Culture & entertainment||Club||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Game Club||Point|
|Culture & entertainment||Movie Theater||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Museum||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Music Venue||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Performing Arts Venue||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Racing Track||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Stadium / Arena||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Theme Park||Area|
|Culture & entertainment||Theater||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Tourist Attraction / Historic Site||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Culture & entertainment||Zoo / Aquarium||Area||Size-dependent|
|Other||Construction Site||Area||Do not map in Canada.|
|Lodging||Bed & Breakfast||Point|
|Lodging||Camping / Trailer Park||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Lodging||Cottage / Cabin||Point|
|Outdoors||Beach||Area||Do not map without a name.|
|Outdoors||Park||Area||Do not map without a name.|
|Outdoors||Playground||Area||Do not map without a name.|
|Outdoors||Plaza||Point||Unsure about mapping these at all|
|Outdoors||Promenade||Point||Unsure about mapping these at all|
|Outdoors||Scenic Lookout / Viewpoint||Point|
|Outdoors||Sports Court||Point||Can be Optional Area see notes above.|
|Natural features||Farm||Area||Do not map without a name.|
|Natural features||Forest / Grove||Area||Only map official provincial/national forests, not every stand of trees.|
|Natural features||River / Stream||Area||Use only if water itself is visually obvious to drivers on nearby roads. Do not remap features already present in the built-in Waze water layer unless that layer is incomplete or inaccurate. Map only the typical extent of visible water, not adjacent open space, greenbelt, culvert, meadows, or flood plain. If the river/stream is too narrow to map conveniently with an Area Place, it should not be mapped at all.|
|Natural features||Sea / Lake / Pond||Area||Use only if water itself is visually obvious to drivers on nearby roads. Do not remap features already present in the built-in Waze water layer unless that layer is incomplete or inaccurate. Map only the typical extent of visible water, not adjacent beaches or land. If the feature is too small to map conveniently with an Area Place, it should not be mapped at all.|
Where appropriate, reply to users with the standard replies provided by the URC-E script. If 4 days pass without a reply from the user, send the reminder message. Close the UR if a further 4 days pass without a reply from the user. We always try to get a response from the reporter to try to fix the issue whenever possible.
Please see the article Technical Information.