: How to get SiriusXM Traffic in Canada... yes, it can be done.

05-02-13, 12:55 PM
Hi Crew,

This is my first topic post, and I hope some of you find it helpful! :thumbsup:

Like some Canadian CUE owners, when I picked up my car, it showed traffic information. On the drive home from the dealership (about 40 mins), the navigation system warned me of some construction, and I was able to get around it before I ran into the traffic. I was quite surprised it did this, and thought... "wow, Cadillac has really put some thought into this thing".

Long story short, after 2 days of this cool info, it just stopped. Researching it, I learned that my Canadian trial had started on that same day. I called SiriusXm Canada, and it was a no go... they hadn't even heard of traffic, but tried to sell me audio (which is too compressed for my liking).

Some searching on other forums led me to this solution: open a SiriusXM USA account, and it's not as tough to do as you may think.

Where is it available?
At time of this post, the Canadian cities it covers include:

Montreal, QC, Canada
Toronto, ON, Canada
Calgary, AB, Canada (Go Flames!)
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Quebec City, QC, Canada

An updated list can be found here, and their Market Coverage page (http://www.siriusxm.com/navtraffic/market-coverage).

How to do it
I chose to call in as the website couldn't verify my radio ID. You can try the website, but not sure it'll work for many.

OK, here is what you need:

Your SiriusXM radio ID (it's on channel zero)
A verifiable USA address (Not sure if PO BOXs work)
A phone number (can be Canadian)
An email address (I used a gmail.com, but shouldn't matter)
A credit card (also CAN be Canadian)

I called from my 403 area code, and the first guy couldn't verify the US address I had (I think he ended up hanging up on me). Second call, I got a guy who really was eager to help, he manually verified the US address (not sure how that was done) and ended up getting me all setup. I had to call back into the USA number and have them resend the activation code (my ATS was in the garage at the time I signed up). Other than that it worked like a charm!

For Nav, it's $3.99 a month plus taxes. Really not too bad if it saves you some time in the car.

I did subscribe to weather too (ends up being $7 per month). I assumed the weather app would just turn on once it got information from SiriusXM, but that hasn't happened yet. If someone has some suggestions/pointers here, I'd be interested to know!

I hope you found this useful and wasn't a duplicate post!

05-03-13, 11:59 AM

05-09-13, 11:49 AM
Hi Moto. Wow, nice to hear you were able to get the traffic service turned on for you and that you found it so helpful. Unfortunately, Weather is not going to be available to you as there isn't any coverage for Canada at this time, and so the Weather application is turned off from the factory. You probably should call XM back up and cancel the weather subscription because unfortunately that one isn't going to work :(

05-10-13, 12:00 PM
Hi Moto. Wow, nice to hear you were able to get the traffic service turned on for you and that you found it so helpful. Unfortunately, Weather is not going to be available to you as there isn't any coverage for Canada at this time, and so the Weather application is turned off from the factory. You probably should call XM back up and cancel the weather subscription because unfortunately that one isn't going to work :(

Thanks codeman! I figured that may have been the case, and thank you for clarifying that! As I do enjoy a bit of hack from time to time, is it possible for Canadian GM dealers to get access to the US CUE software? I was considering that maybe an option too.


A quick usage update on the traffic information in the Calgary Metro area

Coverage :thumbsup:
Metro Calgary has most main arteries listed/tracked. Also it seems most construction is also listed (even on some secondary routes).

Availability on Start-up :yup:
I have noticed that it does take some time for the traffic to show up on the Nav screen when the car starts. I'd say on average between 2 to 5 mins. I suspect this is because CUE needs to wait for the information to download from Sirius. It doesn't seem to cache older information, which is probably a good thing.

Accuracy :suspect:
While the construction information seems to be very accurate, I have noticed a few times where a section of main roadway was marked as red (heavy traffic) that just didn't make sense. I knew the traffic patterns in that area, and if that section was red, the rest of that roadway up to the intersection also should have been red.

When I arrived at the "congested" area, sure enough it was flowing well. I suspect that this was due to an error being reporting by the traffic supplier rather than CUE or Sirius. Also, this same error isn't consistent, as I've driven past that same spot again with the same volume of traffic and the flow showed green on CUE.

So far in Calgary, I have run into one case where traffic was congested and the map didn't show that. It's possible that I arrived in that traffic before the CUE system received an update on the situation there. I'll have to watch to see how consistent that issue is.

Generally it has been helpful and has steered me clear of congestion. As I don't travel during rush hour too often, I'm not always sure when different arteries get clogged up, so it's been handy for that. Also with road construction season starting here, I'm looking forward to seeing how well they keep up on listing delays for construction.

What deems congestion? :confused:
It would be interesting to understand how an area of roadway is deemed as congested. Ideally it would be a rolling average over a time-frame rather than a hard number. i.e. "on average for this roadway there are more cars than normal, and as such it would be marked in yellow/red for congestion".

If it were the alternative hard number, it would mark a roadway congested if it hit X number of cars per minute. I don't think this hard number is very accurate as different roadways are built for different capacities, and may or may not be congested with X number of cars per minute.

Upcoming road trip :cookoo:
I do have a business trip in Edmonton next week. According to the coverage map, it indicates that the QEII highway between Calgary and Edmonton is monitored, as well as Edmonton city. It'll be interesting to see what it reports there, as the QEII can sometimes be quite congested.

Anyway, so far it's been handy with the construction information. I fortunately haven't had to be in the thick of rush hour much yet, but when I do, I'll update this again for those interested.

05-12-13, 03:24 PM
Very interesting info MotoDC. I have been complaining to XM that we have to pay more for less service. Seems they have been listening as to service - not certain as to price. See http://www.xmradio.ca/navtraffic/ so it's now available for Canadian subscribers. They quoted a price of well over $200, so I said no way. Now I don't know whether that was the price p.a. for the total XM service including traffic or only the add-on traffic aspect. That site also mention weather. Cody may be interested in that given he states it's turned off in CUE at factory for CDN cars. As to cost I need to do more research (given past experience we Canadians are usually taken for a few extra Dollars never mind what product), as reflecting on it now, well over $200 wouldn't make sense for just the add-on. My year old Garmin nuvi 3590 LMT does has traffic and live-time free map updates (4 times a year) with it and it works but I'm not sure what system they use to receive the traffic info.

05-13-13, 10:14 PM
Seems they have been listening as to service - not certain as to price. See http://www.xmradio.ca/navtraffic/ so it's now available for Canadian subscribers.

Wow! I've never seen this on the Canadian site before!! Would be cool if they started supporting it officially. I still don't get why they maintain separate websites for xm and Sirius.

Wrt pricing that was one of the things that caught me up too when I called. They said $200 per year for NavTraffic, but no one who answered the call was really sure if that did infact include Traffic Nav.

Would love to see weather operating in our cars!

05-14-13, 12:16 AM
Funny issue also that that site doesn't list Calgary, but as you state your set-up works for Calgary. (used to live there and I miss it). As to weather, I hope Cody investigates this for the Canadian Users with XM and if indeed available (extra cost of course) makes appropriate arrangements that there is a CUE update to turn it on for Canadian users. That site does refers such service for cars too, not just airplanes and boats.

05-27-13, 11:08 AM
Called XM Canada today. They quoted me $35 for 3 months or $143 for 12 months (plus 13% tax) for NAV Traffic (Canada). No explanation was available as to why the 12 months was more than 4 times the quarterly amount. Then when I said I would try the 3 months, the computer apparently gave me the discounted rate of $16.60 quarterly - presumably as I was an XM radio subscriber? Have not tried it yet but am hoping it works well. I miss the quality traffic feature my Garmin had.

05-28-13, 06:57 PM
Nice @pever!! Sounds like Siruis/XM Canada is figuring things out! :)


For anyone interested in the Edmonton area, I have done a couple road trips up there now. The traffic coverage seems very odd in Edmonton, which makes me think there maybe some sort of outage.

There was traffic coverage on the QEII about 30 mins south of the Edmonton International Airport. I also saw traffic coverage on Anthony Henday Drive (at least the portion in the South I could see), but nothing past that! No coverage in the core at all. I'm heading up there again next week, so we'll see what it's like again. I also didn't see any construction listed. This could be because there was none happening in Edmonton at the time... um... yeah right. :)

wrt to Calgary. Traffic seems pretty good and has been more accurate lately... I've been able to negotiate around a few issues simply due to it reporting congestion. There seems to be some lag in the construction information. There is currently construction marked southbound on Crowchild at the 16 ave area, but there hasn't been anything active for quite some time. We also ran into some construction on 14th AVE which wasn't indicated and got quite backed up.

Anyway, looks like it's improving! I think it's Navteq ( http://www.navteq.com )that provides this data, so not sure exactly how it's updated. In the 14th ave case, I noticed it was ATCO crews and not City of Calgary. It's possible not all groups are reporting into Navteq yet.

Happy motoring!

05-29-13, 06:30 PM
@ pever ----------- I assume the $35 per quarter relates to the "basic" service and the $16.60 to the addition of NAV. which would be 5.53 p.m, or 4.94 p.m. if the $16.60 included HST, again a lot (23.8% - excluding the fluctuating F/X impact) more that what the US customers have to pay quoted as 3.99 plus tax. LOL. Please let us know your experience with the service in the GTA, once you have used it.. Of course will be only as good as the input to the system, both as to timeliness and accuracy, whoever the provider and input agent are. Last Sep. a serious accident on the road from Virginia Beach to Norfolk shown on my Garmin was out by roughly 8 miles so either someone entered incorrect LON/LAT numbers (accuracy) or a previous accident at the reported spot was long solved and another accident 8 miles down the road was not yet posted (timeliness x 2). Otherwise it worked great. I intent to add this XM addition when my present service expires in July.

05-30-13, 08:44 AM
No, the $35/quarter was solely for Nav Traffic. It fell to $16.60/quarter when they put the order in the computer. XM prices go way up and way down. Extremely negotiable. New deals being offered all the time.
I did not tie it to my XM radio service, just started the Nav Traffic without worrying about synchronizing payment and renewal dates. That caused no problem.
Took 3 attempts to initialize the service - where you put XM on Channel 1 (Preview station) and leave it on for 15 minutes. Third time it worked although I was likely just impatient the first couple times. Re your area... Oakville seems to be covered fully, Burlington seems to be covered only for incidents and not traffic flow.

05-30-13, 12:40 PM
Thanks pever! And yeah, their pricing issue is out of line and unless they are at least somewhat in line with the US pricing, in July I'll may not renew at all. As to music I mostly listen to my own music anyway, but traffic would of course be of interest to me, but certainly not at "any price". Can always use my 02 Garmin nuvi 3590 LMT, which, except for being smaller and having to attach it to the Windshield and hence rather inconvenient at least for short trips, is superior to the XTS Nav system as to basic and map software (incl. free updates). Well, given the many complaints, I would hope GM will improve on that, most likely at a price, LOL. As to XM, recently I also had to re-initialize the service.

06-21-13, 12:59 PM
I noticed this traffic/construction feature while driving home the 2nd day but havnt noticed it since. It only lasts two days??

07-11-13, 02:09 PM
As to XM pricing see http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-user-experience-cue/325202-xm-pricing-nightmare-buyers-beware.html

07-12-13, 02:12 PM
I noticed this traffic/construction feature while driving home the 2nd day but havnt noticed it since. It only lasts two days??

That's how long it lasted for me too. I thought this was because Sirius didn't support traffic in Canada, but now it looks like they do. It may have been coincidence, but I noticed that the same day that my Canadian Sirius 3-month trial started, the traffic info ended. I understand in the US, that the trial includes all features including audio, traffic and weather.

I'm not exactly sure what the reasoning behind the 2 day functionality is.

11-09-13, 10:18 AM
Just an update... traffic coverage just recently seems to have increased to cover many more roads in my area (outside of Toronto) - i.e., both lower traffic volume roads and extending farther out from the GTA core. It has also seemed to be decently accurate as to traffic flow conditions, accidents, etc. Still can't figure out the true story on cost and best packages and deals though... it seems that cost is a moving target ????

01-14-15, 07:23 PM
this website says it is available in Canada for $4.99 per month, I haven't called yet but plan to when my trial ends (which has been working for 3 weeks now)