Dealing with congestion in Vancouver and Toronto has become a major issue in both cities, and at present time requires federal government assistance in terms of funding to help relive the pressure of sprawl and growth.
Vancouver has become quite congested, but part of that has to do with natural bottlenecks to car-based transportation links due to the geography of the region. Metro Vancouver is a series of peninsulas linked to each other by bridges and tunnels.
Downtown is in the far, northwestern corner of the region relative to the center of population.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Vancouver's downtown is the only one I know which has seen an increase in jobs and population while recording a decrease in vehicular traffic entering the core. That's a pretty impressive achievement.
Having visited every major North American city and ridden their transit systems, I think I can say with some confidence that the Vancouver region has the best overall public transit system on the continent. What I mean by this is that a greater proportion of Metro Vancouver's residents can access major trip destinations by public transit in 1 hour than perhaps any other metro of comparable or larger size.
My guess is that well over half or even maybe more like 65% - of the Vancouver's population is within a 20 minute bus ride to a rapid transit station, and the rapid transit system is noticeably faster and more frequent than it is in any other city, in Canada including Toronto.
In most other places, transit is completely uncompetitive with driving, time-wise. In Vancouver, the time competitivenss of taking the car over transit, if it exsits, is pretty narrow.