The City of Toronto has completed the Danforth Study of Danforth Avenue from the Don Valley to Victoria Park Avenue, one of the most recognizable and major avenues in the City.
The Danforth Study was a joint initiative between three City divisions – Transportation Services, Economic Development and Culture, and City Planning and included the following three studies:
On May 28, 2020 Council approved ActiveTO report which recommended a suite of programs to support the City of Toronto’s response to COVID-19. ActiveTO including a Complete Street pilot project along Danforth Avenue from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road. “Destination Danforth” responded to the imminent need for: more room for physical distancing for walking and cycling, support for local businesses by improving access options and creating an environment to support expanded patios, and safe cycling infrastructure as an alternative for people who were not comfortable taking transit.
The project was installed during the summer of 2020, and over the next two years (2020 and 2021), staff monitored, evaluated and made adjustments.
In December 2021, City Council approved Destination Danforth to remain as a permanent installation, along with an extension to Victoria Park Avenue to be installed in 2022.
The complete street features were extended from Dawes Road to Victoria Park Avenue in Summer 2022.This extension was the final component of the build out of Destination Danforth.
The Destination Danforth street design includes:
The assessment of the impacts and benefits of the pilot’s performance involved the collection of before and after data for the following: motor vehicles; cycling; pedestrians and accessibility; parallel streets; overall changes in travel mode; curbside demand and parking; safety; public perception and level of support; and public perception of supporting local business.
The findings of the performance assessment occurred against a backdrop of significant changes in transportation demand as COVID-19 restrictions were either put in place or lifted, and as businesses and schools re-opened. Efforts have been made to partially control for or contextualize observed changes against these rapidly evolving conditions.
For a detailed summary of findings from the Destination Danforth Complete Streets Pilot view The Complete Streets Study Summary Report.
Key findings from the Destination Danforth pilot evaluation included:
As part of the Pilot, the City partnered with Park People and Clean Air Partnership – The Centre for Active Transportation on a public survey (the Intercept Survey) to gain input on safety, accessibility, and user impacts.
.Key findings from the Intercept Survey include:
The Danforth Study is bringing together a complete street study, an economic and retail study and a planning study through a comprehensive and coordinated public engagement process. An important part of our process includes obtaining feedback from the community in order to ensure that all voices are heard and all ideas and recommendations are considered.
The Danforth Study team took their final recommendations including the Draft Site and Area Specific Policy (SASP) and Urban Design Guidelines to Toronto and East York Community Council on February 16, 2022, and City Council on March 9, 2022. The item was deferred at City Council to April 6, 2022. The materials shared, including the Supplementary Report and the outcomes of these public meetings can be viewed on TMMIS.
Community Meeting #4 – Thursday, October 28th, 2021
This virtual community meeting focused on the Planning Study work that is underway from Broadview Avenue to Coxwell Avenue and covered topics such as land use, building heights and development density, parks and public realm, and heritage. The outcomes of this meeting informed the development of the Site and Area Specific Policy and the Urban Design Guidelines for the Study Area.
Community Meeting #3B – Monday, January 11th, 2021
This virtual community meeting focused on the Planning Study work that is underway from Broadview Avenue to Coxwell Avenue and covered topics such as land use, building heights and development density, parks and public realm, and heritage.
Community Meeting #3A – Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
This virtual community meeting provided a brief update on the three study components with a focus on the Complete Streets Pilot that was implemented over the summer and the City’s plan for monitoring and evaluating this initiative.
Community Meeting #2 – Monday, January 27th, 2020
This public open house focused on community members providing input on the Complete Street Study, the Planning Study and the Economic Analysis and Retail Study. The event was held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Missed the meeting? Review the informational panels presented.
Community Meeting #1 – Thursday, November 7, 2019
This public open house included a brief presentation about the study followed by interactive group discussion. Feedback from the community helped to shape the scope of this study. Review discussion materials and the meeting summary below for full details.
Stakeholder Advisory Committee
For the Danforth Study, the City has formed a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), which is comprised of local community organizations, landowners, and businesses who provide a diversity of perspectives and will help inform the development of the Danforth Study, and ensure that it reflects the needs of the community. The SAC is comprised of approximately 30 members.
Heritage Focus Group Meeting #1, #2, and #3 – November 17, 2020; December 8, 2020; April 1, 2020
Heritage Planning staff held three virtual meetings with a Heritage Focus Group composed of historians and local heritage knowledge keepers with insight into the area’s heritage. The purpose of these meetings was to obtain advice related to understanding, assessing, and documenting cultural heritage value in the Study Area.
The Danforth Study brought together the following elements through a comprehensive and coordinated process.
This is a joint initiative between three City divisions – Transportation Services, Economic Development and Culture, and City Planning.
The study area comprises of Danforth Avenue and the properties fronting onto the street between the Don Valley and Victoria Park Avenue. Danforth Avenue is a key east-west thoroughfare and primarily characterized by low-rise (two to three storey) mixed-use buildings. The street passes through active commercial and mixed use areas and consists of two travel lanes on each direction. Danforth Avenue is identified as an Avenue in the Toronto Official Plan and is designated as a Major Arterial in the City of Toronto Road Classification System.
On December 15 2021, City Council approved the ActiveTO Cycling Network Expansion projects installed in 2020 currently in place as permanent bikeways, and in doing so, authorized the necessary by-law amendments, to retain them as permanent installations, including Danforth Avenue (cycle tracks from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road), along with an extension of Victoria Park Avenue to be installed in 2022.
On May 28, 2020, City Council approved a list of ActiveTO cycling project installations, including Danforth Avenue, from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road.
On April 30, 2020, City Council directed:
On October 10, 2019, City Council directed that the Terms of Reference for the Danforth Study include options to secure new affordable rental housing along Danforth Avenue.
On July 16, 2019, City Council adopted the Cycling Network Plan Update and requested that the General Manager, Transportation Services, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to target completion of the Danforth Avenue Planning and Complete Streets Study by June 2021. Further requirements were included in the recommendations and approved by Council.
On July 23, 2018, City Council City Council directed the General Manager, Transportation Services and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, in cooperation with Economic Development and Culture, to initiate a Comprehensive Complete Street Study of the Danforth corridor in 2019 with a focus on Danforth Avenue as a “complete street” with a vibrant commercial sector, and include a consultation process that involves a broad range of stakeholders such as Business Improvement Areas, resident and cycling groups, and include any necessary resources in the Transportation Services Division 2019 budget submission for consideration in the 2019 budget process.
On May 28, 2018, the Budget Committee referred an item to the Interim Chief Financial Officer, the Deputy City Manager, Cluster A and the Deputy City Manager, Cluster B for consideration as part of the 2019 Budget process.
On November 7, 2017, City Council adopted a motion to request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, initiate and undertake a study focusing on the development potential, built form, and public realm within the proximity of the Main Street TTC station and the Danforth GO station.
On February 22, 2017, Toronto and East York Community Council adopted a staff report and recommendations from City Planning staff to finalize the Terms of Reference and complete the Danforth Avenue Planning Study per the finalized Terms of Reference.
On June 7, 2016, City Council adopted, in principle, the Ten Year Cycling Network Plan. A recommendation was approved that the General Manager, Transportation Services, evaluate Complete Street initiatives as part of the Danforth Major Corridor Study and that the needs of all users of Danforth Avenue are considered.
On May 10, 2016, Toronto and East York Community Council adopted a staff report and recommendations from City Planning staff to begin the Danforth Avenue Planning Study (Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) and consult on the Terms of Reference.
On July 8, 2014, through item TE33.15, City Council adopted a motion to request the Chief Planner and the Executive Director, City Planning to undertake a planning study of Danforth Avenue in two segments, from the Don River to Coxwell Avenue and from Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue, and to report on the funds necessary to complete these studies. The motion was the result of Council’s review of a rezoning application at 2359 Danforth Avenue and with the intent of taking a proactive approach to managing change on Danforth Avenue.
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