The City of Toronto is undertaking a Complete Street and Planning Study of Danforth Avenue, one of the most recognizable and major avenues in the City.

The full study area will span a six kilometre stretch of Danforth Avenue between Broadview Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue. Within that stretch, there will be three types of studies undertaken including:

  • Complete street study (Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) to examine the roadway width and review options for a complete street design and the potential for on-street protected bike lanes in order to improve road safety.
  • Economic and retail study (Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) to provide an understanding of the economic environment of the area and issues faced by retailers along Danforth Avenue in order to support and promote economic vitality.
  • Planning study (Broadview Avenue to Coxwell Avenue) to identify future city-building opportunities, guide new development, and enhance the public realm and quality of place.

Destination Danforth Complete Street Pilot

On May 28, 2020 Council approved ActiveTO, a suite of programs that support the City of Toronto’s restart and recovery response to COVID-19, including a Complete Street pilot project along Danforth Avenue from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road. “Destination Danforth” responds 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 are not comfortable taking transit.

The one year pilot project was installed during the summer of 2020. Staff will be monitoring, evaluating and adjusting the pilot over the next year, and reporting back to Council with long term recommendations for the corridor at the end of 2021.

Destination Danforth Complete Street Pilot Initial Findings

Initial vehicular travel time and multi-modal count data has shown encouraging results of the ActiveTO: Destination Danforth project:

  • Pedestrian and cyclist volumes at both Jones Avenue and Woodbine Avenue have increased between 20%- 104%. 
  • Vehicular travel times have been only slightly impacted, particularly in the eastbound direction between Woodbine Avenue and Dawes Avenue, with increases of 1.1 (+23%) and 0.7 (+22%) minutes, during the afternoon peak and weekend midday periods, respectively.

As part of the Pilot, the City partnered with Park People and Clean Air Partnership – The Centre for Active Transportation on a public survey to complement the volume and motor vehicle travel time data collected by the City. The intercept survey was intended to provide input on safety, accessibility, and user impact of the new street installation and to assess the success of the project’s goals to support businesses and increase safe and equitable access to active modes of transportation.

The intercept survey was conducted over four days between September 24 and October 6, 2020. Over 440 surveys were conducted with the general public on Danforth Avenue using a randomized methodology to ensure a diverse cross section of respondents. Results were analyzed to find trends in perception of the diverse respondents. View the intercept survey evaluation summary and survey evaluation report.

Key findings include:

  • Almost half (44%) of respondents are multi-modal (they regularly use multiple modes of transportation); 
  • 80% of respondents considered the bike lanes ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ and there was an equal gender split on sense of cycling safety; 
  • The ease of finding parking changed very little since before the pilot installation (in 2017, 75% of respondents found it easy or very easy to find parking vs 71% in 2020); 
  • Almost half of the respondents hadn’t noticed a difference in traffic congestion. Respondents shared concerns around turn lanes and general traffic congestion, and more nuanced responses relating to slower speeds improving the corridor; and
  • There was mixed feedback about accessibility improvements on the Danforth. About 30% of respondents felt the Danforth was slightly less or much less accessible after the pilot was installed.

Danforth Avenue and Royal Drive Intersection Upgrades

For several years, the local Councillor and constituents have identified concerns around the safety and operations of the Danforth Avenue and Royal Drive intersection. 

City staff are proposing to upgrade the intersection to include cycle tracks, a signalized crossing for people cycling and a probation of right-turns-on-red movements for motor vehicles.

A staff report to Committee and then Toronto City Council is proposing this intersection upgrade be installed in 2021.

Artist rendering of the proposed changes at the Danforth Avenue and Royal Drive intersection including the new bicycle signal and cycle track.
Artist rendering of the proposed changes at the Danforth Avenue and Royal Drive intersection including the new bicycle signal and cycle track.

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.


Upcoming Community Meetings

No upcoming community meetings have been scheduled.


Previous Community Meetings

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 Summary


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.

Activity Panels

Presentation

Workbook

Community Meeting Summary


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.

Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #1 Summary
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #2 Summary
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #3 Summary
Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #4 Summary

The Complete Street Study will be undertaken within the entire study area from Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue. It will involve a detailed examination of the right-of-way and a feasibility design study to review traffic, parking, and other impacts specific to determining a complete streets design, including the potential for on-street cycling facilities along Danforth Avenue.

An economic and retail study will be undertaken to provide an understanding of the economic environment and issues faced by retailers along the Danforth, along with an origin and destination survey.

The second segment of the Planning Study will be undertaken within the area between Broadview Avenue and Coxwell Avenue in order to conduct a planning review and analysis to inform the development of the planning framework that identifies future city-building opportunities, guides new development, and enhances the public realm and quality of place.

Study Purpose

The Danforth Study will bring together the following elements through a comprehensive and coordinated process.

  • A complete street study, the examination of the roadway width and curbside uses (i.e. parking and loading/unloading) and review options for a complete street design and the potential for on-street protected bike lanes.
  • An economic and retail study to provide an understanding of the economic environment and issues faced by retailers along the Danforth.
  • A planning study to identify future city-building opportunities, guide new development, and enhance the public realm and quality of place.

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 Broadview Avenue 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.

Map showing the Danforth Avenue Planning and Complete Street study area, between Broadview Avenue and Victoria Park Avenue

On May 28, 2020, City Council approved a list of ActiveTO cycling project installations, including Danforth Avenue, from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road.

City Council Consideration on May 28, 2020


On April 30, 2020, City Council directed:

  • the General Manager, Transportation Services and the Medical Officer of Health to pursue opportunities to provide, where possible and under the advice of public health and through the City-wide recovery planning process, more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit riders to allow for better physical distancing; and
  • the General Manager, Transportation Services to report back to City Council on the possibility of fast-tracking projects within the 10 Year Capital Plan for Vision Zero and cycling infrastructure.

City Council Consideration on April 30, 2020


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.

Creating New Affordable Housing on Danforth


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.

Infrastructure and Environment Committee consideration on June 27, 2019


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.

Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue – City-Initiated Official Plan Amendment – Final Report


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.

Danforth: An Even Greater Avenue


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.

286-294 Main Street – Zoning Amendment Application – Preliminary Report


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.

Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue – City-Initiated Official Plan Amendment – Update Report


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.

Ten Year Cycling Network Plan


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.

Preliminary Report – Danforth Avenue Planning Study (Coxwell Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) – City-Initiated Official Plan Amendment


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.

Final Report – 2359 Danforth Avenue – Zoning Amendment Application

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