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, east of Lower Sherbourne Street, will be installed starting the week of October 17, 2021 until November 2021 to maintain a cycling connection between the downtown and the waterfront during planned construction.

Phase 2, west of Sherbourne Street, will be installed in 2022. This will allow for the planned removal of the St. Lawrence Market Tent.

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 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.