This Note is part of a series of Notes on key City issues to update City Council at the start of its 2018 – 2022 term.

Issue description

Toronto’s growing population, thriving economy and rapid development is placing increased demands on the City’s road network resulting in more congestion. While peak-hour congestion cannot be eliminated due to the increasing number of people living, working, and doing business in Toronto, there are ways to mitigate its impacts. Strategies to reduce the impacts of congestion on the City’s road networks involve optimizing the existing transportation system so that it is more efficient, making the road network safer to reduce critical injuries, reducing the impacts of congestion on the environment, distributing reliable traffic information to the public, and responding quickly to traffic incidents.


In 2016, City Council approved a four-year Congestion Management Plan. Funding for the plan is approved annually through the City’s capital budget deliberations.

City staff will present City Council a congestion management status report in early 2019 and an updated Congestion Management Plan for the 2021-2025 period by the end of 2019. The Congestion Management Plan is a key part of the development of a city-wide mobility strategy, also slated for release in 2019.

Other initiatives the support the congestion management plan include the Curbside Management Strategy and the Freight and Goods Movement Framework. In 2019, work on the Curbside Management Strategy will consist of piloting permit-only delivery vehicle staging zones, improvements to curbside signage legibility, and motorcycle parking initiatives. City staff will submit a Freight and Goods Movement Strategy for City Council’s consideration by early 2020.


The Congestion Management Plan

In 2013, City Council approved the City’s first five-year Congestion Management Plan (2014-2018) with a capital budget of about $7 million annually (below). In 2016, the Plan was updated and extended to 2020.

The Congestion Management Plan is a part of the development of a city-wide mobility strategy that sets a framework for numerous transportation-related initiatives including the Curbside Management Strategy and the Freight and Goods Movement Strategy.

City-Wide Mobility Strategy

A city-wide mobility strategy is being developed and will be considered by City Council in 2019. The purpose of the mobility strategy is to provide a cohesive framework for the numerous transportation-related initiatives led by the City of Toronto. The mobility strategy will establish shared goals, targets and actions among City divisions, agencies, and corporations advancing various transportation projects and will include the identification of short-term actions and longer-term strategy.

Curbside Management Strategy

The Curbside Management Strategy provides the strategies and tools necessary to manage curbside space in a way that supports mobility and access for people and goods. The Strategy offers a high-level policy approach to guide decision making on issues that impact curbside allocation, as well as a plan with 18 short and long term tactics to improve how curbside space is managed.

Freight and Goods Movement Strategy Framework

The Freight and Goods Movement Strategy Framework adopted by City Council in November 2017 outlines issues and policy questions to be addressed through the development of the strategy. The key objectives of the strategy are:

  • building a strong goods movement sector,
  • moving goods efficiently while minimizing impacts to other modes,
  • identifying an appropriate freight network,
  • ensuring inter-jurisdictional concerns are acknowledged,
  • identifying technological opportunities to improve goods distribution, and
  • consistency with Official Plan policies, including mobility for all road users.

Actions or Plans

Date Actions
June 2018 City Council adopted a motion for the investigation of, and recommendations for road use and parking provisions to encourage motorcycle use and enhance motorcyclist safety.
May 2018 City Council adopted the next steps on the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which included approval for the creation and administration of a traffic warden program.
January 2018 City Council adopted an update to the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan.
December 2017 City Council adopted the Curbside Management Strategy: Improving How Curbside Space Is Used.
November 2017 City Council adopted the Freight and Goods Movement Strategy Framework.
November 2015 City Council adopted the updated Congestion Management Plan (2016-2020).
December 2013 City Council adopted the five-year Congestion Management Plan to manage traffic congestion in the City of Toronto.