The new intersection of Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue opened on July 5, 2022. The intersection provides a safe crossing opportunity for people walking, cycling, driving and taking transit. This intersection is a temporary condition which will be in place until the future widening of Steeles Avenue East. At that time, a new permanent intersection and traffic signal will be constructed.
The City is continuing to advance the design of new and enhanced transportation infrastructure along the boundary of the City of Toronto and York Region to address existing transportation and safety deficiencies, and to support economic growth of the area. The primary focus areas are:
The timing of construction for the widening of Steeles Avenue East from Tapscott Road to Ninth Line, and Morningside Avenue from Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue South, is subject to the completion of additional analysis, detailed design and available funding.
In 2013, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks approved an amended environmental assessment (EA) study led by the Regional Municipality of York. This EA identified a range of new and modified transportation infrastructure enhancements, including infrastructure within the City of Toronto’s jurisdiction.
The recommended enhancements include:
In 2016, the City commenced the detailed design for both Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue as a single project. A public open house was held on July 19, 2016 to share information about the work plan and meet with City staff and the local Councillor. View the meeting notice and presentation panels below.
Due to major redevelopment along Steeles Avenue East and the surrounding area and resulting changes to the baseline conditions, the City paused detailed design in 2018.
In 2021, the City resumed detailed design of Steeles Avenue East. Morningside Avenue between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue has since been designed and constructed through the City’s development approval process and opened in 2022. Detailed design of Morningside Avenue between Passmore Avenue and McNicoll Avenue will proceed as its own distinct project to not impact the schedules for the adjacent projects.
The 1.5 km segment of Steeles Avenue East between Tapscott Road to Ninth Line (Donald Cousens Parkway) will be reconstructed as a six-lane urban street with sidewalks and protected cycling infrastructure.
This design will also include new stormwater management facilities and two bridge crossings at the Morningside River and Rouge River to accommodate the widened Steeles Avenue East. The City anticipates hosting a public meeting to present an updated draft design of Steeles Avenue East in mid-2023.
The 1.5 km extension of Morningside Avenue from Steeles Avenue East to McNicoll Avenue will be constructed as a four-lane urban street with sidewalks. A new multi-use trail along the east side of the new street is also planned. Although Morningside Avenue will ultimately be one continuous urban street, the design and construction of the extension are following two different planning processes described below.
The northern section of the Morningside Avenue Extension between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue was constructed in 2022 by private development following the City’s development approval process.
The southern section of the Morningside Avenue Extension between Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue will be designed by the City. It will include a new bridge crossing of the Neilson Tributary north of McNicoll Avenue and a new rail corridor crossing at the location where Morningside Avenue will intersect with an existing CP rail line. The rail crossing type approved in the 2013 EA is an at-grade crossing. An assessment of the feasibility of at-grade and grade-separated rail crossings is needed to determine the appropriate type of rail crossing at this location. This assessment is needed before detailed design of this section of Morningside Avenue can proceed.
Due to the uncertainty of the rail crossing type at this time, a construction schedule for the south segment of the Morningside Avenue Extension has not yet been identified.
Following completion of detailed design anticipated in Q4 2023 and resolution of any potential impacts to adjacent property throughout 2024, the City has identified in its capital budget construction beginning in 2025 and finishing in 2027. The construction schedule will be refined over time and is subject to change.
The City recognizes that there has been a significant increase in the volume of vehicular traffic travelling through this intersection resulting from new development in the area and that improvements may be required. Following the opening of the intersection of Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue, the City plans to undertake a study of the intersection of Tapscott Road and Passmore Avenue to confirm that a signal is warranted.
The City is sharing the costs of design and construction with York Region for the widening of Steeles Avenue East, and with adjacent landowners for the extension of Morningside Avenue between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue. The City’s share of funding for the full detailed design and construction Morningside Avenue south of Passmore Avenue is part of Transportation Services’ Capital Budget and Plan.
Potential impacts to private property and utilities will be identified during the detailed design of both the Steeles Avenue East widening and the Morningside Avenue extension projects. The City will engage with those stakeholders directly where potential impacts are identified.
Municipalities in Ontario undertake environmental assessment (EA) studies for public infrastructure projects. The process generally includes identifying a problem or opportunity to be addressed, developing and evaluating a range of alternative solutions, providing opportunities for public input and review, and selection of a preferred solution.
In 2013, the Regional Municipality of York received approval for an amended EA that identified new transportation infrastructure to support growth and increased traffic demand between the southeast area of Markham and the northeast area of Toronto: https://www.ontario.ca/page/transportation-improvements-donald-cousens-parkway-morningside-avenue-link-amended-environmental. This EA recommended the widening of Steeles Avenue East to a 6-lane urban street and the extension of Morningside Avenue as a 4-lane urban street.
Detailed design is the phase of an engineering project where the detailed engineering drawings are prepared to tender for construction. Detailed design for the Steeles and Morningside projects will also include the identification of property impacts, stormwater infrastructure, hydraulic and erosion assessments, new and reconstructed culverts and bridges, new rail crossings, and archaeological studies.
Detailed design began in 2016 following the completion of York Region’s environmental assessment but was put on hold in 2018 as new development in the area significantly changed the existing conditions. However, as a result of development, the construction of the north section of Morningside Avenue between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue was able to be designed and constructed sooner as part of the development approvals process. Detailed design for Steeles Avenue has now resumed.
A new and interim signalized intersection was opened on Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue in early 2022. The intersection provides people walking or cycling a way to safely cross Steeles Avenue. The intersection will be expanded when the ultimate widening of Steeles Avenue East is completed.