The new signalized intersection at Steeles Avenue East and the future Morningside Avenue extension is planned to be operating in June. 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:

  1. Widening of Steeles Avenue East from Tapscott Road to Ninth Line (Donald Cousens Parkway)
    • Detailed design of the Steeles Avenue East widening has resumed and is anticipated to be complete by Q4 2023. A public meeting is anticipated to be held in Q1 2023 to present the draft design for review and comment.
  2. Extension of Morningside Avenue from Steeles Avenue East to Passmore Avenue
    • Morningside Avenue between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue is being constructed by adjacent private development and will ultimately be conveyed to the City as a public street.
  3. Extension of Morningside Avenue from Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue
    • A schedule for construction of Morningside Avenue from Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue South is subject to the completion of additional analysis, detailed design, and available funding.

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.

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The study area is located along Steeles Avenue East from Tapscott Road to Ninth Line, and along Morningside Avenue from Steeles Avenue to McNicoll Avenue.

Study Area map

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:

  • reconstruction of Steeles Avenue East, widening from two to six traffic lanes for 1.5 km
  • new 1.5 km extension of Morningside Avenue
  • new sidewalks and cycling infrastructure
  • new traffic signals
  • modifications to existing traffic signals
  • three new bridges crossing the Morningside Creek, Rouge River and Neilson Tributary
  • one new rail corridor crossing on Morningside Avenue
  • enhancements to storm water drainage

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 local Councillor. View the meeting notice and presentation panels below.

Status: Detailed design underway.

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 early 2023

Steeles Widening Map

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.

North Section: Steeles Avenue East to Passmore Avenue

Status: Construction underway.

The northern section of the Morningside Avenue Extension between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue has been substantially constructed by private development following the City’s development approval process. Installation of a new signalized intersection at Steeles Avenue East will be complete in June 2022.

South Section: Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue

Status: Detailed design on hold pending completion of feasibility assessment.

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 crossing type at this time, a construction schedule for the south segment of the Morningside Avenue Extension has not yet been identified.

Morningside extension map

When will Steeles Avenue East be widened between Tapscott Road and Donald Cousens Parkway?

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.

When will the Morningside Avenue extension between Steeles Avenue East and McNicoll Avenue be constructed?

Morningside Avenue is being completed in two parts. Construction of Morningside Avenue between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue has been built as a private street and will be conveyed to the City through the development approvals process. A new interim signalized intersection for Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue will open by June 2022. The interim intersection will be further modified as part of the future widening of Steeles Avenue East.

A construction schedule for Morningside Avenue south of Passmore Avenue is not yet identified. Part of this section of Morningside Avenue includes a rail corridor crossing. A review of different options for this crossing (at-grade versus grade-separated) is being undertaken which will inform the detailed design process to follow.

Do any of these projects include improvements to the intersection of Tapscott Road and Passmore Avenue?

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.

How are these projects being funded?

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.

Are there any property impacts?

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.

What is an “Environmental Assessment”?

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. See the EA here.

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.

What happens during “detailed design”?

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 identification of property impacts, stormwater infrastructure, hydraulic and erosion assessments, new and reconstructed culverts and bridges, new rail crossings, and archaeological studies.

Why didn’t detailed design start when the environmental assessment was completed so long ago?

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.

Steeles Avenue East is currently unsafe for pedestrians. What is being done to address safety in the interim before reconstruction?

A new signalized intersection will be opened on Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue. The intersection will provide people walking or cycling a way to safely cross Steeles Avenue. To provide a safer route for people travelling to and from the area by transit, the TTC has also temporarily diverted its bus service away from the future intersection until it is fully signalized and operational in June 2022.