Recommended Design Concept 4c

Recommended Design Concept 4c was presented for public feedback from September 2 – October 5, 2020. The feedback is currently under review and a report to Council will be made in January 2021.


Consultation Materials

All images on this page were created before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization and illustrate recommendations for Yonge Street in a post-pandemic future.

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings or any other content, please contact us at yongetomorrow@toronto.ca or 416-338-6866.

Over the past seven months, COVID-19 has changed how many Torontonians use and prioritize space on city streets.

Under the direction of Council, lane closures and other changes to city streets have been installed as part of the ActiveTO, CaféTO and CurbTO programs to support social distancing. The City is monitoring these temporary installations to identify challenges and opportunities in the short and long term.

YongeTOmorrow has also asked stakeholders how their use of the street and priorities have changed in 2020 and have considered that feedback.

YongeTOmorrow continues to evaluate concepts based on the life span of the road and the needs of people using the street many years from now.

Short term, the Recommended Design Concept supports recovery needs by providing more space for walking, cycling, cafés, on-street retail and public outdoor areas for downtown residents with limited access to parks and private yards.

Older woman walking in a curb lane used for CurbTO.
CurbTO
Shared Space signs on pylons for ActiveTO.
ActiveTO
Curb lane being used as a patio for CafeTO.
CurbTO

Managing Driving Access

Automated gates are recommended to limit vehicle access to pedestrian priority zones during the day. The gates would be wide enough to visually discourage drivers, while allowing emergency services and people cycling to pass. Gates open overnight to allow access for the night bus service and can be opened in the event of subway closures.

Example of automated gate. Den Haag, Netherlands.
Example of an automated gate. Den Haag, Netherlands.

Curbs and Tactile Indicators

Mountable curbs are recommended to elevate pedestrian-only sidewalks from the pedestrian priority, two-way driving access and one-way driving access areas that would also be used by buses overnight. A tactile paving strip would indicate the edge of the sidewalk areas to assist pedestrians with low/no vision.

Example of roll curb. Carden Street, Guelph, Ontario
Example of roll curb. Carden Street, Guelph, Ontario.

Lighting

It is recommended that the lighting on Yonge Street be simplified by combining pedestrian and vehicular lights on the same pole. This would allow the number of poles on the sidewalk to be significantly reduced. Light poles should be relocated to the new curb edge.

Example of coordinated lighting. Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario
Example of coordinated lighting. Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario.

Pedestrian Priority Zone

A pedestrian priority zone is an area dedicated to walking and cycling were motor vehicles are restricted during the daytime from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Dedicated Pedestrian-Only Spaces

There would be 4 m wide traditional sidewalks next to the buildings on each side of pedestrian priority zones for pedestrians only. These sidewalk areas would be elevated from the pedestrian priority area by a rolled curb and tactile paving strip.

Based on feedback received, more consideration for cycling has been added to the Recommended Design Concept:

  • A separated cycling facility between College Street and Gerrard Street.
  • On blocks with one-way driving access, the lane in the opposing direction is available for cycling.

A cycle track wasn’t added along Queens Park the full length of Yonge Street because:

  • Pedestrian volumes, City policy and public feedback all indicate that pedestrians should come first on Yonge Street.
  • A separated, high-volume cycle track is not compatible with the number of pedestrians, events, tourism uses and night buses needing to share limited space available on Yonge Street south of Gerrard Street.

Benefits for people cycling on Yonge Street:

  • Protection from cars and trucks in pedestrian priority zones.
  • No need to dismount a bike in pedestrian priority zones. Cycling at safe speeds while yielding to pedestrians is encouraged in pedestrian priority zones.
  • Reduced vehicle volumes and speeds on two-way and one-way blocks.
Recommended network connection.
Recommended network connection.

The charts below compare how long it would take to take a bus north or south from College/Carlton Street to Queen Street or streetcar east or west from University Avenue to Jarvis Street in:

  • afternoon rush hour under current conditions
  • 2031 if Yonge Street remains the same
  • 2031 if Design Concept 4c is implemented

Bus

97B day bus service within the focus area would be discontinued or rerouted. Discussions with the TTC are ongoing.

320 night bus service would be maintained. Stop locations would be relocated closer to pedestrian crossings where possible.

Comparison of the 5A Avenue Road, 6A Bay Street and 6B Bay Street travel time impacts

The highest estimated increase in travel time would be 80 seconds on the 6B Bay Street going northbound.

Streetcar

No changes are planned to streetcar routes.

Comparison of the 501 Queen Street, 505 Dundas Street and 506 Carlton travel time impacts

The highest estimated increases in travel times would be 40 seconds on the 501 Queen Street and the 505 Dundas Street going westbound.

Subway

Subway services and facilities are not impacted by yongeTOmorrow. The study continues to coordinate project recommendations with planned TTC station upgrades. Subway replacement shuttles would continue to operate on Yonge Street as needed.

Traffic Impacts

Traffic impacts between Queen Street, College/Carlton Street, University Avenue and Jarvis Street have been estimated using a traffic simulation model.

Concept 4c Intersection changes include:

  • Yonge Street and Shuter Street westbound left-turn ban.
  • Right turn permitted out of Eaton Centre parking garage.
  • Yonge Street and Gerrard Street southbound right-turn ban.
  • Removal of all-way pedestrian crossing (scramble) at Yonge Street and Dundas Street intersection.

Further modifications to intersection operations will be considered based on public feedback.

The charts below compare how long it would take to drive north-south from College/Carlton Street to Queen Street or east-west from University Avenue to Jarvis Street in:

  • afternoon rush hour under current conditions
  • 2031, if Yonge Street remains the same
  • 2031, if Design Concept 4c is implemented

Comparison of the Bay Street, Church Street, University Avenue, Jarvis Street, Queen Street, Dundas Street and College Street travel times

This highest estimated increase in travel time would be 120 seconds on Church Street going northbound.

Overnight Operations

From 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., buses would share the road with cars and trucks.

East-West Streets

No east-west streets will be closed. Access is maintained across Yonge Street for all east-west streets and transit lines.

Parking or Accessing a Yonge Street Property

Access to all existing driveways, loading docks, laneways and parking garages have been maintained. You can also be dropped off within 50 metres of any front door on Yonge Street.

Local Access

Given Yonge Street would no longer provide a through route connection, only vehicles accessing a property on Yonge Street would choose to use the street which would lower traffic volumes.

An In-Service Road Safety Review (ISSR) and a Road Safety Audit (RSA) were completed to inform the yongeTOmorrow design concepts.

The Recommended Design Concept supports the Vision Zero Road Safety Action Plan to prioritize the safety of vulnerable road users on Yonge Street by:

Reducing:

  • driving speeds
  • car and truck volumes
  • lane widths
  • corner radii
  • crossing distances
  • posted speed limits to 30 km/h

Adding:

After a design concept is approved by City Council, an Environmental Study Report (ESR) is submitted to the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) for a 30-day Public Review period.

After the project and funding are approved, an engineering team would be hired to develop the preferred concept into detailed plans prior to tender and construction.

The next phase of design will also refine plans for operations, maintenance and street programming. This team will continue to consult with the community on construction schedules, phasing and impacts.

Recommended Timing of Next Steps

  • Detailed Design: 2021–2022
  • Construction: 2023–2025

It is estimated the construction will take more than one year to complete because it includes watermain renewal and utility relocations in addition to the road works.

The timing of next steps is subject to budget availability and capital coordination with the timing of other construction work in the study area.

Post-Construction

  • Educate users on new operations.
  • Temporary enhanced enforcement.
  • Monitoring for necessary operational and programming adjustments.
Construction in Downtown Yonge.
Construction in Downtown Yonge.
Construction cross section.
Construction cross section.

The chart below shows the utility impacts:

Utility Impacts
Combined Sewers Relocation of catch basins to new curb alignment.
Water Relocation of watermain away from proposed street trees. Relocate hydrants and valve chambers to match new road alignment and elevations.
Toronto Hydro Electric System (THES) Relocate distribution conduit away from proposed street trees.
Telecommunications (multiple) Minor adjustments to chambers for multiple service providers.
Gas No change.
TTC Subway Minor adjustments to vent grates.
Geothermal (Enwave) Adjustments to chambers.
Toronto Hydro Street Lighting (THESL) Relocate street lighting poles and conduits to new curb edge.
The diagram below shows the typical layout of existing utilities in relation to the Recommended Design Concept:
Typical Utilities Cross Section
Typical utilities cross section.

After Round Three Consultation, the following activities will be carried out:

  • review and report on feedback
  • report to Council in January 2021