Yonge Street, between Queen Street and College/Carlton Street has the highest pedestrian volumes in Canada with numbers exceeding 100,000 per day. It is well used by pedestrians at all hours of the day and throughout all seasons of the year. In addition, the population in the neighbourhood is expected to double by 2041.

In 2018 City Council adopted TOcore’s recommendations identifying Yonge Street as one of Toronto’s Great Streets – a significant retail and civic corridor to be developed as a pedestrian priority urban destination.

Opportunities

This study will consider many possible changes to the design of Yonge Street including:

  • Increasing the sidewalk width and space dedicated to walking (clearway)
  • Reducing or driving lanes
  • Redesigning intersections and laneway connections
  • Installing cycling facilities on Yonge Street or a nearby north-south street
  • Establishing motor vehicle free zones either permanently or during certain times of the day, week, or year
  • Improving accessibility for all street users
  • Improving or increasing pedestrian crossing opportunities
  • Space for adding or improving street furniture and streetscape elements such as benches, wayfinding signage, litter/recycling bins, bike parking, lighting, tree planting and public art
  • Modifying other near-by streets and laneways
  • Flexible uses of the street that may change in different zones of the street or throughout the day, week, and year.

Decisions about possible changes have not been made. Further study is required.

Considering Trade-offs

yongeTOmorrow will evaluate and prioritize what can physically fit within the limited street width based on feedback from the public and technical analysis. Difficult trade-offs and compromises will need to be made in all alternatives being studied.

Some of the many considerations include:

  • Existing policies within the Official Plan and applicable Secondary Plans
  • Studies and policies affecting the Study Area
  • Current and projected volumes of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motor vehicles
  • Minimum and recommended widths for driving lanes, cycling facilities and pedestrian clearways
  • Vision Zero traffic safety policies and accessibility requirements
  • Requirements and impacts to existing and planned underground utilities
  • Provisions for TTC night buses and emergency shuttle buses
  • Options for deliveries, solid waste removal, and pick-up/drop-off serving local businesses and residents
  • Supporting special events (parades, concerts, festivals, sporting events, and film shoots)
  • Construction and maintenance costs
  • Safety, security and emergency vehicle access

The Process

The study is being carried out under Schedule ‘C’ of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA), which is an approved planning process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The public will have opportunities for input at key stages of this study. The study will define the problem, develop and evaluate alternative solutions, review public and stakeholder feedback and identify measures to minimize any impacts. An Environmental Study Report will be prepared at the end of the process in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class EA.

 

What is a Class Environmental Assessment?

Ontario’s Environmental Assessment (EA) program promotes good environmental planning by determining and managing the potential effects of a project prior to implementation.

The EA program ensures that public concerns are heard. EA balances economic, social, cultural and natural environmental needs so that projects benefit Ontario.