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.
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.
The City of Toronto is installing road safety upgrades on The Esplanade from Lower Jarvis Street to Lower Sherbourne Street, which include:
Associated changes include:
“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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The City of Toronto is installing road safety upgrades on The Esplanade and Mill Street from Lower Sherbourne Street to Bayview Avenue, which include:
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, February 25 at 12 p.m. (noon).
To join the meeting by phone starting at 6:20 p.m.:
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.