Installation for Phase 2, Lower Jarvis Street to Lower Sherbourne Street, will begin the week of May 15, 2022. Please read our Phase 2 Informational Booklet for more information.

Project Timeline

The comment period closed on Sunday, March 14th. Staff reported to Toronto City Council and received approval on June 8, 2021 (IE22.11).

Phase 1, Lower Sherbourne Street to Bayview Avenue, was installed in fall 2021 to maintain a cycling connection between the downtown and the waterfront during planned construction.

Phase 2, Lower Jarvis Street to Lower Sherbourne Street, will be installed starting the week of May 15, 2022.

For most of the corridor, road level, bi-directional cycle tracks with concrete curbs, paint and new signal timing will be implemented over the next two years.

Temporary, raised cycle tracks at TTC stops and south side accessible loading across the bikeway will be added at the same time.

Phase 3, as early as 2024, could include raised cycle tracks along David Crombie Park, raised cycle and pedestrian crossings at minor park intersections, permanent raised TTC stops and potential for protected intersections.

Latest News

  • Start Date: Week of May 15, 2022
  • End Date: Week of June 15, 2022 (subject to change)

The City of Toronto is installing road safety upgrades on The Esplanade from Lower Jarvis Street to Lower Sherbourne Street, which include:

  • Two-way cycle tracks (protected bike lanes) on the south side of The Esplanade from Lower Sherbourne Street to George Street South
  • New painted crosswalks at George Street South and Frederick Street
  • Speed limit reduction on The Esplanade from 40km/h to 30km/h
  • A new platform for bus passengers on The Esplanade west of Lower Sherbourne Street
  • Removal of parking, and restriction of loading to only accessible loading in front of 140 The Esplanade
  • Traffic changes to reduce non-local traffic infiltration, improve TTC bus service, and reduce conflicts at intersections

Associated changes include:

  • Converting George Street South between Wilton Street and The Esplanade to one-way southbound for vehicles, and installing a northbound contraflow bike lane
  • Revising curbside parking and loading signage on Jenoves Place

More information can be found in the Phase 2 Installation Notice and the Phase 2 Informational Booklet.

The Esplanade

“No Entry” and TTC Buses-Only on The Esplanade between Lower Sherbourne Street and Princess Street

The block between Lower Sherbourne St and Princess St is “No Entry” for a few reasons:

1. To eliminate non-local traffic infiltration, which causes noise, air pollution and congestion.

Prior to Phase 1 installation, infiltration was observed in both directions on The Esplanade between Lower Sherbourne St and Princess St. Non-local vehicles were using Princess St or Berkeley St to connect to/from Lake Shore/Gardiner and Front St E. By making this block No Entry, non-local traffic infiltration is eliminated on Princess St and Berkeley St.

Phase 1 also includes a 24-hour westbound left-turn restriction at The Esplanade and Lower Jarvis St, which has been implemented to reduce infiltration. This restriction prevents traffic at the westbound left turn at The Esplanade and Lower Sherbourne, thereby reducing conflicts between people walking and cycling.

In Phase 2, drivers will no longer be able to drive westbound from Sherbourne to Jarvis, as Frederick St to George St will become one-way eastbound. This change would reduce traffic westbound on The Esplanade across Lower Sherbourne.

Instead of relying solely on turn restriction signage, which is often not seen by drivers and would not be visible until the end of the block, restricting all non-bus traffic on this block allows for the use of Do Not Enter signage and red paint, which are more visible to drivers and can be used at the start of the block westbound (at Princess St).

2. To improve safety.

Eliminating westbound left turns across the crosswalks and two-way cycle tracks at both Lower Jarvis St and Lower Sherbourne St improves safety for vulnerable road users, including seniors, school children, and people walking and cycling.

3. To prioritize the TTC 121 Fort York-Esplanade Bus by reducing traffic.

 

Using through- and turn restrictions rather than full “No Entry” restriction to maintain access for local residents

If a combination of turn- and through-restrictions at Princess St and Lower Sherbourne St were used rather than a full “No Entry”, infiltration could have continued, but via Scadding Ave. “Do Not Enter” signage and red paint are more visible to drivers than turn restrictions and therefore are more effective.

 

“Local access only” instead of the bus-only block

“Local access only” signage is not enforceable and therefore is not effective.

 

“No Entry” signs for eastbound traffic at Sherbourne Street and The Esplanade

Once construction for the condominium on the north side of the block is completed (scheduled for 2022 or 2023), signs will be updated to “No Entry” for the entire block. However, due to the mid-block temporary construction access driveway, it is not legal for the City to create a “No Entry” zone while allowing construction access.

 

New development exit/entrance

The new development at The Esplanade and Princess St will have vehicle access off of Princess St, and not on The Esplanade. The current construction access visible and next to the designated TTC-only lanes will become a POPS (Privately-Owned Publicly Accessible Space). The vehicle entrance and exit to the new development will therefore not be impeded by this project. Part of the goal of phase 3 of this project will be to better connect the POPS with David Crombie Park across The Esplanade.

 

Parking (Phase 1)

Green P parking will be maintained along the north side of the block on The Esplanade from Berkeley St to Princess St. Some local options for visitor parking also include:

  • The Green P Garage between Scott St and Market St
  • 1 Market St
  • 162 Queens Quay E
  • 178 Queens Quay E
  • 200 Queens Quay E
  • 333 Lake Shore Blvd E
  • 33 Parliament Street

 

Accessibility (Phase 1)

All accessible loading zones have been maintained or shifted slightly. Wheel-Trans vehicles will be able to serve all addresses. An additional accessible loading zone is designated on the north side of The Esplanade between Princess St and Berkeley St to replace accessible parking spaces in front of Market Lane Public School and near the St Lawrence Community Recreation Centre. This was planned for and implemented after a series of stakeholder and community meetings, including with Market Lane Public School and St Lawrence Community Recreation Centre.

 

Mill Street

Increased Traffic

As people adjust to the changes to traffic and parking, additional traffic may be experienced in the short-term. The Distillery District attracts additional traffic in November and December for their Winter Village or Christmas Market. In combination with less area parking because of new condominium developments, Ontario Line works, as well as the cycling project, more visitors are circling for parking than previously. This should improve in 2022

Counts will be collected in the coming seasons to monitor, analyze and understand the new travel patterns.

 

Parking

Many parking lots in the area have been closed in 2021, including the Green P lot at 44 Parliament St, due to Ontario Line construction, and the lot at Trinity St and Front St E due to private development. Paid visitor parking remains available in the Distillery District off of Parliament St (46 spots) and off of Cherry Street (127 spots). There is additional visitor parking at 33 Mill Street (90 spots). 350 parking spaces are available on Lake Shore Blvd at Parliament St, which is a 5-10 minute walk from the Distillery District. 86 parking spaces are also available at 100 Cooperage Street.

Street parking is available on Front St E. Permit parking was added to Front St E to replace some of the 6N permit parking spaces on Mill St.

 

Accessibility

Accessible loading zones were maintained on Mill St on the north side east of Trinity St. An accessible loading zone was added on Trinity St at Mill St. Access to the sidewalk in front of 33 Mill St is available using the curb cut in front of the 33 Mill St doors. 15 minute daytime parking has been designated for 22 metres in front of these doors to accommodate accessible and commercial loading. Parking and loading will be monitored based on observation and feedback to inform any future changes.

 

Parliament Square Park

Ontario Line coordination

The project team is working closely with Metrolinx to determine the future of the First Parliament site. City staff have identified that it is critical to provide a safe connection for people cycling through the park between The Esplanade and Mill Street cycle tracks. A cycling trail is planned for just north of Parliament Square Park in the former Green P parking lot. Work is planned to start after an archaeological assessment is completed by Metrolinx for the Ontario Line. The trail could be completed as early as 2022.

 

Safety Concerns

The path is similar to any other park path in Toronto. People walking have right of way. People cycling are allowed to use it, but must keep their speed below 20km/hr.

 

General

Enforcement

There is often an adjustment period when changes are made to a roadway. Traffic patterns and travel times may shift in the coming weeks as people within and travelling through the area adjust. Traffic Agents have been deployed to the major intersections. This will continue for the coming weeks and months. Enforcement is also planned in the coming weeks and months.

 

Parking and Loading

The Informational Booklet includes a map of parking and loading spaces, which were designated based on extensive consultation. Signage installation is still ongoing. Curbside bylaw and signage adjustments are possible based on monitoring and feedback.

The City of Toronto has finished installing road safety upgrades on The Esplanade and Mill Street from Lower Sherbourne Street to Bayview Avenue. More information can be found in the Informational Booklet

  • Start Date: Week of October 17, 2021
  • End Date: End of November 2021 (subject to change)

The City of Toronto is installing road safety upgrades on The Esplanade and Mill Street from Lower Sherbourne Street to Bayview Avenue, which include:

  • Two-way cycle tracks (protected bike lanes) on the south side of The Esplanade and Mill Street
  • New bike signals and phasing at signalized intersections, including at Cherry Street, Parliament Street and Lower Sherbourne Street
  • Speed limit reduction on The Esplanade from 40km/h to 30km/h
  • Traffic changes to reduce non-local traffic infiltration, improve TTC bus service, and repurpose space

Phase 1 Construction Notice

After reviewing all the comments and advancing the design, the below changes are part of the recommended design to City Council in the May 25, Infrastructure and Environment Committee Report.

  1. The previously recommended “School Bus Loading Zone” at the south end of Trinity Street near Mill Street has been replaced with a recommended “Accessible Loading Zone”. After consultation with the local school, the “School Bus Loading Zone” is not regularly needed, whereas accessible loading for area visitors, including to the Distillery District, is in higher demand.
  2. Due to the ongoing construction of the 177 Front Street site, the block on The Esplanade between Princess Street and Lower Sherbourne Street will be staged until construction is complete. Construction access to the gate on The Esplanade would be maintained from Lower Sherbourne Street until approximately early 2023. General through traffic between Lower Sherbourne Street and Princess Street in either direction would not be allowed. The 121 Fort York-Esplanade will continue to be allowed to travel in both directions on this block. After 177 Front Street construction is complete, east-west travel between Lower Sherbourne Street and the construction gate would also be prohibited. In the interim, the red bus lanes would be marked only between the construction gate and Princess Street, with warning signage at Lower Sherbourne Street. The red lanes on that block would be extended west to Lower Sherbourne Street once 177 Front Street construction is complete.
  3. The previously recommended “No Standing Zone” across from the NOVOTEL between Church Street and Scott Street has been replaced with a “Passenger Loading Zone” to accommodate airport bus, tour bus, taxis and ride sharing.
  4. Daytime pay-and-display parking is proposed to be added on Frederick Street, between The Esplanade and Front Street East, and on Scadding Avenue. These spaces would remain permit parking spaces overnight and permit holders could remain parked in these spaces while pay-and-display hours are in effect. These spaces are proposed to offset some of the removal of pay-and-display parking spaces along The Esplanade.
  5. A few parking spaces are recommended for removal on the south side of Front Street East, west of Berkeley Street, to accommodate a relocated bus stop for the 65 Parliament and eastbound 121 Fort York-Esplanade buses.
  6. In consultation with TTC, the westbound 121 bus stop at Cherry Street is recommended to be relocated from the northwest to the northeast corner.

Options for cycle tracks – bi-directional cycle tracks

Bi-directional cycle tracks (or protected bike lanes) are proposed along the corridor and allow cycling in both direction on one side of the road. The bi-directional cycle tracks were proposed instead of unidirectional cycle tracks (on either side of the road) because of a number of local constraints and design factors. First, the width of the road in many segments do not allow of unidirectional cycle tracks and transit. Bi-directional cycle tracks allow for curbside activity like accessible loading and parking on some blocks. Along David Crombie Park, bi-directional cycle tracks also extending the feeling of the park into the roadway.

For more information, please watch the following video clip for slide 25.

Options for street design – south side cycle tracks on Mill Street

Placing the cycle track on the north or south side of Mill Street was considered when options were in development. A number of design constraints resulted in the bidirectional cycle track proposed for the south side, including considering intersection configurations, traffic flow and existing landscaping features as well as maintaining access points and accessible loading zones.

For more information, please watch the following video clip on Mill Street (slide 47 to 54).

Compliance with traffic changes

The design will seek to make the street and intersections as easy to understand as possible, including using red lanes to indicate bus-only lanes. In addition, a signage review will be conducted to identify unnecessary signage and recommend new, enhanced signage, including driving and parking wayfinding. An accompanying communication and education strategy will also be developed.

Options for removing daytime parking

For the Mill Street corridor, removing paid daytime parking fees was explored to increase parking availability. Removing parking fees for daytime parking would result in more usage of daytime parking and make parking more difficult to access for permit holders. Converting time-of-use parking to 24-hr permit parking would make parking in the area even more difficult for businesses and other destinations. Increasing daytime parking fees may encourage turnover and facilitate parking availability for permit holders.

Accessibility

All accessible loading zones would be maintained or shifted slightly. Wheel Trans vehicles would continue to be able to serve all addresses. The project is also being coordinated with Vision Zero and the Senior Safety Zone along The Esplanade.

Options for Mill Street

To accommodate a bikeway on Mill Street between Parliament Street and Cherry Street, both all parking and loading would have to be removed, or the street would have to be converted to one-way. Conversion to one-way remains the proposed solution as it maintains some on-street parking and loading, which has been identified as a priority by stakeholders and many residents.

The one-way is proposed to convert traffic to westbound only. Westbound traffic, rather than eastbound traffic, is proposed to be maintained because the 121 Fort York-Esplanade Bus runs westbound only.

Options for Trinity Street

Converting Trinity Street to one-way would require removal of some or all of the curbside uses along the street, including taxi stands and bus loading. In addition, curbside space on Trinity Street is expected to be used more due to reduction in curb space on Mill Street. The impact to residents of 70 and 80 Mill Street is expected to be short-term until the development of Blocks 3, 4 and 7 at 60 Mill Street is completed in the coming years. Once completed, the development will widen the laneway and provide outlet to Cherry Street.

Considerations for the TTC 121 Fort York-Esplanade Bus

The TTC is recommending stop consolidation along the corridor to bring stop spacing in line with its service standards so that route reliability and running time are improved. Comments on stop consolidation collected during the public consultation process have been provided to the TTC for further consideration.

Connections to local cycling routes

This 2 km cycling route would help people cycle to the Lake Shore East and Lower Don Multi-Use Trails, and to the Waterfront Trail. It would also help connect people to Union station through the 141 Bay Street access (currently under redevelopment) and to the Richmond and Adelaide corridor via several routes, including Sherbourne Street.

Cycle track materials

For most of the corridor, road level, bi-directional cycle tracks with concrete curbs, bollards, paint and new signal timing is proposed to be implemented in 2021 and 2022. Temporary raised cycle tracks at TTC stops and south side accessible loading across the bikeway would be added where required at the same time.

Congestion and Monitoring

The project proposes to reduce non-local cut-through traffic for people driving. Traffic counts have been completed before installation and in pre-COVID-19 conditions. Traffic will be monitored after installation to make any modifications along the corridor if needed.

Closing The Esplanade to vehicles between Sherbourne Street and Princess Street

The proposed conversion of the Sherbourne Street to Princess Street block to bus-only operation is being driven by the conversion of the Princess Street to Berkeley Street block to one-way westbound to provide curbside parking and loading space. In addition, these restrictions will reduce turn conflicts across the bi-directional cycle tracks and prevent further strain on the Sherbourne Street and The Esplanade intersection.

To prevent eastbound traffic shifting to Scadding Avenue, eastbound traffic must be restricted between Sherbourne Street and Princess Street.

Westbound traffic is restricted to maintain AM traffic to Market Lane School, to prevent traffic from looping around David Crombie Park via Scadding Avenue and to prevent infiltration on Sherbourne Street.

Safety – overall and at intersections

One of the project’s main goals is to improve safety for everyone. To enhance the safety for people walking and cycling, the proposed design includes protected bike lanes, prohibited turns at various locations across the cycle tracks, enhanced intersection markings, dedicated green time at signals, and when David Crombie Park is upgraded, raised pedestrian crossings. By prioritizing local access, the project proposes to reduce non-local cut-through traffic for people driving. As a result, this may reduce conflicts at intersections, congestion on The Esplanade, and improve the experience of people walking and cycling.

This consultation event will be conducted online, by phone and by mail only. This is based on the expert advice of our Medical Officer of Health to practice physical distancing, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Toronto residents and our staff.

How to Participate

Review the Consultation Materials

Join the Virtual Public Meeting

Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

This meeting will include the same overview of the project as our long project video. Participants are encouraged to email questions in advance to alyssa.cerbu@toronto.ca by Thursday, February 25 at 12 p.m. (noon).

Register

 

To join the meeting by phone starting at 6:20 p.m.:

  • Dial: 416-915-6530
  • Access code: 177 673 8770

Complete the Online Feedback Form

Fill out the short feedback form (five minutes to complete) by Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Stakeholder and public consultation is being planned for February 2021. Please subscribe for our e-updates to stay informed.

North-south bikeways on streets like Cherry, Berkeley, Church, Scott and Yonge Streets are being considered as potential future connections to The Esplanade and Mill Street. They are not considered as part of the scope for this project.

The ActiveTO Quiet Streets program on The Esplanade and Mill Street is coming to a close. Quiet Streets provided shared space to enable people to maintain physical distancing while walking, running, using wheelchairs and biking. The feedback collected from the survey for The Esplanade and Mill Street will help inform this cycling infrastructure project.

Project staff were available at the September 26 public consultation for the David Crombie Park Revitalization. Display boards and a feedback form were shared, as well as an online link to the form to circulate. The feedback form was open until October 11, 2019. Please view the summary of all feedback.