Tom Cruise asks ‘What’s up with the traffic in Toronto?’ in interview

Ahead of the release of his latest summer blockbuster, Tom Cruise was asked if he would accept what some Toronto residents might consider a truly impossible mission: Can you keep a cool head in the city’s traffic?

ETalk’s Sonia Mangat sat down with the action movie star in Rome before “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” hits theaters next week.

“I say, you sneak in a stunt in Part Two and you come to Toronto. And you take on the traffic in Toronto for two hours. Without road rage,” Mangat challenged Cruise in an exclusive interview.

Not one to refuse a mission, Cruise accepted, and added he has driven in Toronto in the past and shares the frustrations with motorists in the city.

“You know what, I have done that challenge and I have been in that traffic. I’ve made movies in Toronto, I’ve visited Toronto, I have friends in Toronto,” Cruise said with a laugh.

Though it’s been some time since Cruise was last in the city shooting a movie – his 1988 rom-com ‘Cocktail” was largely filmed in Toronto – Toronto’s grid-lock has obviously left a lasting impression.

“What’s up with the traffic in Toronto? Have they figured this out?” Cruise added.

Earlier this year, Toronto made headlines for being among the worst cities in the world for congestion.

In a report published in January, traffic analytics company INRIX said commuters in the city lost an average of 118 hours on Greater Toronto Area roads and highways to congestion in 2022.

At peak traffic times that year, the report said, the average speed for drivers in the GTA was a sluggish 20 km/h.

In North America, Toronto was only outdone by Chicago and Boston, where at-peak traffic times saw drivers in those cities lose 155 hours and 134 hours to congestion in 2022, respectively.

The traffic in Toronto has likely not gotten much better in the months since that report was released.

On May 1, a busy section of Queen Street from Bay Street to Yonge Street, was closed for an expected four-and-a-half years as construction on the Ontario Line gets underway.

Heavy traffic leaves the downtown core in Toronto on Thursday January 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

As well, on Tuesday, the city began construction in the east end on Broadview Avenue where crews are working to replace tracks and resurface roads between Gerrard Street and Danforth Avenue. That project is expected to last five months.

‘TRAFFIC IS A PROBLEM’: CHOW AGREES WITH CRUISE

In an unrelated news conference Thursday, major-elect Olivia Chow responded to Cruise’s comments.

“Well, you know what Tom Cruise says is always right, right?” she joked.

Chow seemed to agree with the film star and said improved transit could help clear the congestion and pointed to the city’s lack of reliable service as part of the issue.

“Traffic is a problem. [Cruise’s comment] echoes the report we saw from the Board of Trade yesterday to say that our public transit system could be so much better if it was more reliable,” Chow said.

That report showed that Toronto has the least reliable transit service in 2022 compared to other municipalities in the region. Of the transit options in the GTA, Toronto had the lowest score for reliability with only 58 per cent of trips being on time.

Chow added that better coordination on city construction projects would also go a long way in freeing up laneways and advocated for the increased use of alternative modes of transportation such as walking and cycling.

You can catch more of Mangat’s interviews with Cruise and the rest of the cast of “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” as Etalk counts down to the film’s release on July 12th, weeknights at 7 pm ET on CTV

With files from Abby O’Brien

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