Construction of a new signalized intersection located at Steeles Avenue East and the future Morningside Avenue extension is underway with the majority of the work anticipated to be completed this summer. Due to uncertainty regarding procuring traffic signal and electrical equipment, activation of the traffic signals is anticipated for Fall 2021.
The City is continuing to move forward on the implementation of transportation infrastructure enhancements along the boundary of the City of Toronto and York Region to address existing transportation capacity deficiencies and to support economic growth of the area. This includes:
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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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. To support the economic development and employment lands intensification in the area, the City has had to revisit the baseline conditions. This approach has resulted in the required redesign of components of the linear infrastructure and additional studies to address emerging challenges.
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 Raymond Cho. 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 cycling infrastructure.
This design will include new bridge crossings at the Morningside River and Rouge River to accommodate the widened Steeles Avenue East.
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.
Status: Partly constructed as a private road.
The northern segment of the Morningside Avenue Extension between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue has been substantially constructed by private development following the City’s planning approval process. Installation of a new signalized intersection at Steeles Avenue East is anticipated in early 2021. This road segment will ultimately be conveyed and assumed by the City once complete.
Status: Detailed design underway.
The southern segment of the Morningside Avenue Extension between Passmore Avenue to McNicoll Avenue is being designed by the City.
The extension of Morningside Avenue 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 been identified.
When will Steeles Avenue East be widened between Tapscott Road and Donald Cousens Parkway?
A construction schedule for Steeles Avenue East is not yet identified. Construction is anticipated to follow completion of detailed design which is anticipated late 2023. Construction may take one or more years to complete, depending on the complexity of the design.
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 road and will be conveyed to the City through the development approvals process. A new interim signalized intersection for Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue is currently being constructed. . 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 feasibility assessment of different options for this crossing (at-grade versus grade-separated) will be undertaken which will inform the detailed design process to follow.
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 and 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 Steeles Avenue East and the Morningside Avenue extension. The City will engage with those stakeholders 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: 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 road and the extension of Morningside Avenue as a 4-lane urban road.
What is happening during detailed design?
Detailed design is a phase where the detailed engineering drawings are prepared to tender for construction. Detailed design for this project will also include identification of property impacts, stormwater infrastructure, hydraulic and erosion assessments, new and reconstructed culverts and bridges, new rail crossing, and archaeological studies.
Why hasn’t detailed design started when the environmental assessment was completed?
Detailed design began in 2016 but was put on hold as new development along Steeles Avenue East significantly changed the existing conditions. However, as a result of development, the construction of Morningside Avenue extension between Steeles Avenue East and Passmore Avenue was able to be designed and constructed sooner as part of the development approvals process.
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 constructed on Steeles Avenue East and Morningside Avenue. Construction is underway. To provide a safer route for pedestrian arriving to the area by transit, the TTC has temporarily diverted its bus service away from the future intersection until it is fully signalized and operational.