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:

  • Complete Street study (Broadview Avenue to Victoria Park Avenue) to examine the roadway width including curbside uses (i.e. parking and loading) and review options for a complete street design with 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 (the Don Valley to Coxwell Avenue) to identify future city-building opportunities, guide new development, and enhance the public realm and quality of place.

Following the success of the Destination Danforth Complete Streets pilot (between Broadview Avenue and Dawes Road), the complete street features will be extended from Dawes Road to Victoria Park Avenue.

The first phase of Destination Danforth Complete Street was installed in the summer of 2020 from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road as a pilot project and implemented as part of the City’s ActiveTO temporary cycling network expansion program. The pilot was evaluated between the summer of 2020 and fall of 2021. In December 2021, City Council approved the ActiveTO Cycling Network Expansion projects installed in 2020 currently in pace to be retained as permanent installations, including the Danforth Avenue cycle tracks from Broadview Avenue to Dawes Road, along with the extension of the complete street  to Victoria Park Avenue.

Map of Danforth Avenue Complete Streets project area

The complete streets design will be extended to Victoria Park Avenue in summer 2022. This extension is the final component of the Complete Streets study to build out the full Destination Danforth and will provide similar benefits such as: improved road safety for all users, greater mobility and active transportation options, a beautified more vibrant streetscape, and provide support for local businesses including additional CaféTO space.

The street design is similar to that already implemented west of the area and includes:

  • Cycle tracks (protected bicycle lanes) installed on both sides of the street, providing safe cycling for all ages and abilities and greater connectivity to the west cycle tracks;
  • One traffic lane in each direction maintained, with additional turn lanes at intersections;
  • 24/7 on-street parking and loading on both sides of Danforth Avenue (where feasible), allowing peak time parking. A reduction in parking stalls along Danforth Avenue will be required to accommodate the complete streets features and maintain turn lanes at intersections;
  • From Sibley Avenue to Thyra Avenue on the south side, a wider bike lane and buffer area will be added with low walls and planters to provide a bike passing lane and a greater degree of safety. To accommodate this, on-street parking will be removed. This parking has very low utilization because it is adjacent to a large private surface parking lot with free parking available; and
  • Curb extensions at key locations to improve pedestrian safety.

image - artist rendering of Danforth Avenue Complete Streets.

The project team is working on the final design elements and ensuring such items such as safety, accessibility, adequate parking and loading, and additional public realm and streetscape enhancements are being carefully considered. Updates will be made available on the website and issued via the Danforth Study E-update, to sign up for updates fill out the information at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions please contact the project team at Danforthstudy@toronto.ca

Further extensions of the complete street features further east will be considered along Danforth Avenue and Kingston Road in the future through new public consultation processes.

Destination Danforth Complete Street Pilot

On May 28, 2020 Council approved ActiveTO, a suite of programs to 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” 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 pilot project was installed during the summer of 2020, and over the next two years (2020 and 2021), staff monitored, evaluated and adjusted the pilot.

In December 2021, City Council approved the ActiveTO Cycling Network Expansion projects installed in 2020 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.

Destination Danforth Complete Street Pilot Initial Findings

Vehicular travel time and multi-modal count data have shown encouraging results of the ActiveTO: Destination Danforth project:

  • Increased cycling activity on Danforth Avenue following the implementation of the Destination Danforth Complete Streets pilot, accompanied by slight decreases in vehicle volumes:
    • People cycling increased on average by 50% (most notably increasing by 133% at Woodbine Avenue).
    • Vehicular volumes decreased on average by 4 to 9%.
  • People walking increased on average by 31 to 34% (comparing during COVID-19 and pre-pilot to post-pilot installation)
  • Travel times did not change significantly (less than one minute) from travel times during the fall of 2019 (pre-pilot and pre-COVID-19) to fall of 2021 (post-pilot and during COVID-19);
  • An overall decrease by 53% in total number of collisions from pre-pilot and pre-COIVD-19 to following the pilot implementation. The number of cyclists and pedestrians involved in collisions also decreased by 27% and 37%, respectively.

For a detailed summary of findings from the Destination Danforth Complete Streets Pilot view The Complete Streets Study Summary Report.

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.

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.


Previous Community Meetings

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 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


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.

Summary of Heritage Focus Group Meetings

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

  • The Complete Streets study, which included a detailed examination of the right-of-way as well as a feasibility design study which reviewed traffic, parking, and other considerations to develop a complete streets design, including on-street cycling facilities.
  • The Retail Vibrancy and Economic Analysis, which analyzed the businesses, commercial real estate trends, visits made to the Danforth and neighbourhood demographics in early 2020. A follow-up analysis assessed the planning implications that emerge from the Retail Study and reviewed options to support and encourage independent business.
  • The Planning Study (second segment between the Don Valley and Coxwell Avenue), which conducted a planning review and analysis to inform the development of the planning framework and identified future city-building opportunities, to guide new development, and to 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 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.

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

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.

Cycling Network Plan – 2021 Cycling Infrastructure Installation – Fourth Quarter Update and the Future of the 2020 ActiveTO Cycling Network Projects


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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