Better than a gas tax holiday|
Toronto has a functioning subway system. I have lots of friends that live in Toronto without owning a car.
I have friends who live in Ottawa without owning a car. They will rent a car when they need it, or use an urban car-sharing type program.
I have lots of friends that live in Montreal without owning a car.
Canada had approximately the same gas costs 50 years ago. We still have sprawl -- there are far too many people who commute to/from Toronto from the exurbs (scary that that word needs to exist), but different choices could have been made.
To a certain extent I think it may come down to a different balance of collective good (which is often long-term in its benefits) and individual benefit (which is far too often short-term in its benefits, but long-term in its bad effects).
The USA doesn't have a lot of places where you can live without a car, and the places it does have are so expensive that they're beyond the reach of many of the people who truly need to live without cars.