Since crude oil is refined to produce gasoline, changes in crude oil prices affect the price of gasoline. Ontario imports virtually all its crude oil either from Western Canada or from offshore, so Ontario refineries must compete with other users by paying world prices. Ontario refineries, in turn, pass their higher costs onto their customers. Gasoline prices are also affected by other factors such as local market conditions, inventory levels and government taxes.
The federal government is responsible for ensuring fair competition in gasoline markets through the Competition Bureau.
The Ontario Ministry of Energy has a key role in monitoring gasoline prices across Ontario and providing information on these prices to a wide range of stakeholders, including oil companies, industry associations, other governments, the general public and media. The ministry produces the Gasoline Report, a weekly roundup of consumer gasoline prices from across Ontario and Canada.
Where your gas money goes
This chart illustrates how the revenues from the sale of gasoline in Toronto were distributed in January 2016 and January 2017.
The Ontario portion of the gas tax contributes to priorities such as public transit, highways and bridges.
Pump Price Revenue Share Data
Ontario gas prices compared to other countries
In general, Ontario gasoline prices are similar to the Canadian national average. Canadian gasoline prices compare favourably with those in other industrialized countries.
This chart, based on figures from the International Energy Agency, indicates that the United States is the only country with lower average prices than Canada.
International Gasoline Price Data
Alternative transportation fuels
Fuel ethanol (or ‘Gasohol’) is a high octane, water-free alcohol produced from the fermentation of sugar or converted starch. Ethanol is made primarily from grains or other renewable agricultural and agroforestry feedstocks.
Ethanol-blended gasolines perform well in combustion engines, and emit fewer greenhouse gases on a life-cycle basis.
Ontario currently requires that gasoline contain an average of five per cent ethanol.
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute made from renewable sources such as vegetable oils or animal fats. Replacing or blending diesel with biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog.