An infographic shows bikeways, a bike share station and planters at an intersection.
Illustration of Shaw Street between both Essex Streets by Brittany Niko Wong. Used with permission.

Shaw Street (Harbord Street to Dupont Street) and Roxton Road (Harbord Street to Bloor Street West)

Since the contra-flow bike lane installation in 2013, Shaw Street has become a popular north-south cycling route. In 2020, Transportation Services resurfaced and made major upgrades to Shaw Street, between Dupont Street and Dewson Street. The upgrades were focused on improving the safety and comfort for pedestrians and people cycling and creating a premier cycling and walking street, and included:

  • Directional change of motor vehicle traffic flow on Shaw Street and adjacent street to reduce cut-through traffic,
  • A cycling-only block on Shaw Street between both Essex Streets, featuring planters, a Bike Share station, and signage, and:
  • Upgrades of the contra-flow bike lane

The upgrades have resulted in an overall increase in cycling volumes and a decrease in motor vehicle traffic volumes on Shaw Street and connecting local streets.

  • There was a 110 to 310% increase of cycling trips after installation. The peak cycling volumes are more than 4,300 cycling trips daily.
  • There was a decrease of 8% to 60% of motor vehicle volumes on Shaw Street.
  • There was a reduction of motor vehicle volumes on adjacent streets including Barton Avenue, Essex Street, Hallam Street, Leeds Street, Roxton Road, Montrose Avenue, Pendrith Street, Dewson Street and Burnfield Avenue.
  • There were small increases of motor vehicle volumes on Yarmouth Road, St Raymond Heights, Sandra Shamas and Manchester Avenue. The City is continuing to monitor trends and may propose modifications to improve road safety on adjacent streets, where necessary.

Read more about these results at the “Post-Construction Results” tab.

Upcoming Roadwork

The City will also install decorative road markings at the cycling-only block on Shaw Street, between the two Essex Streets. This work is planned for May 2022.

Safety Improvement Results

As part of the Shaw Street Improvements project in 2020, Transportation Services is committed to monitoring the changes. The before and after data can be found under the “Post-Construction Results” tab.

Project Approved

The safety improvements were approved at the City’s Infrastructure & Environment Committee on March 11, 2020, and City Council on April 30, 2020.

Post-Construction Monitoring & Data Collection

After the 2020 work was completed, the City observed the behaviour patterns of road users, obtained new traffic data and evaluated before and after conditions. Data collected between September and November 2021 (during which time there were no significant lockdowns or restrictions) revealed notable changes as a result of the safety improvements.

On Shaw Street between Dupont Street to Dewson Street, average cycling volumes increased between 90% (from 1,305 trips to 2,470 trips) to 310% (from 1,055 trips to 4,310 trips), while average motor vehicle traffic volumes decreased between 8% (from 1,601 trips to 1,479 trips) to 60% (from 1,894 trips to 766 trips) over a 24-hour period compared to pre-2020 levels.

Motor vehicle volumes also decreased overall on adjacent streets, ranging from an average reduction of 58 to 1,060 vehicles over a 24-hour period.

See the Shaw Safety Improvements Infographic for more details.

Map of Area 1 – Changes on Shaw Street (Dupont Street to Bloor Street West)
Map of Area 1 (Click to enlarge)

Area 1 – Changes on Shaw Street (Dupont Street to Bloor Street West)

  • Shaw Street from Dupont Street to Essex Street:
    • Change to northbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Provide southbound contra-flow bike lane on west side of street.
    • Provide on-street parking on east side of street.
  • Shaw Street from Essex Street to Bloor Street West:
    • Maintain southbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Provide northbound contra-flow bike lane on east side of street.
    • Provide on-street parking on west side of street.
  • Change Essex Street from Ossington Avenue to Shaw Street to eastbound-only travel for people driving and cycling.
    Shaw Street at Essex Street:

    • People would not be permitted to drive north-south through along Shaw Street.
    • People driving east on Essex Street must turn right and travel south on Shaw Street.
    • People driving west on Essex Street must turn right and travel north on Shaw Street.
    • Emergency vehicles and people walking or cycling would be allowed to travel through north-south along Shaw Street.
  • No changes to public lane or driveway access points.

These changes resulted in the removal of 18 on-street parking spaces in Permit Parking Zone 3L (which has 605 total spaces) in order to provide better sight-lines for all road users. City permit parking records show there are more on-street parking spaces available in the area than are currently being used.

Map of Area 2 – Shaw Street (Bloor Street West to Harbord Street)
Map of Shaw Street Area 2 Changes (Click to enlarge)

Area 2 – Shaw Street (Bloor Street West to Harbord Street)

  • Shaw Street, from Bloor Street West to Harbord Street:
    • Change to northbound-only travel for people driving.
    • Change existing southbound sharrows on west side of street to southbound contra-flow bike lane.
    • Change existing northbound contra-flow bike lane on east side of street to northbound sharrows.
    • Change existing on-street parking on west side to the east side of street.
  • Change Roxton Road, from Harbord Street to Bloor Street West to southbound-only travel for people driving and cycling (to avoid having three parallel northbound-only streets).

The City undertook a public consultation exercise between November 8 and December 5, 2019, through an online survey (December 5 closing date) and public drop-in event held on November 21, 2019, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bob Abate Community Centre. A total of 45 people attended the public consultation and 190 people participated in the survey. Notice of the open house was mailed to over 5,800 properties in the area bounded by Dupont Street, Ossington Avenue, Christie Street/Grace Street and Harbord Street.

Several different street design options were developed with the overarching goals of:

  • reducing the volume of neighbourhood cut-through traffic (while still allowing local traffic access);
  • improving safety for people walking, cycling, and driving; and
  • minimizing the impacts to on-street parking. Each option proposed disallowing motor vehicles to travel continuously along Shaw Street from Dupont Street to Bloor Street.

The options all maintained bicycle travel in both directions along Shaw Street.

For more information, please refer to the following documents:

Will existing speed limits be reduced as a part of these changes?

There are no plans to reduce the speed limit on any of the streets in the area bounded by Dupont Street, Harbord Street, Grace/Christie Street and Ossington Avenue

Do these changes mean that it will take me longer to get home?

Depending on the street, residents may end up with limited access to their homes and will have to take a different route to get home

Will the traffic and parking changes happen at the same time as the road resurfacing work?

Yes, the City’s contractor will begin by resurfacing the road as well as repairing any deficient sidewalks and curbs.  Once this work is completed, the traffic and parking changes will be implemented by the contractor. These changes will be in the form of pavement markings and signage.

Will existing speed humps and/or bumps be removed as a part of this project?

No, any existing traffic calming measures and speed humps/bumps will be maintained. Any existing damaged speed humps will be repaired.

If I utilize an Accessible Parking Space, or Accessible Loading Zone and it’s currently on my side of the street, will it be relocated across the street if the contraflow bike lane is placed on my side of the street?

One of the goals of this project is to have on-street parking and the contraflow bike lane on opposite sides of the street. In the event that the contraflow bike lane in place, all parking spaces including Accessible Parking/Loading will also be relocated across the street.

How many parking spaces will be lost as a result of these safety improvements?

The installation of the proposed changes will require that 19 on-street permit parking be removed. This is necessary in order to improve sight lines and accommodate driveways, fire hydrants, etc. Shaw Street is located in Permit Area 3L where 21 per cent of permit spaces remain available. The current demand for permit parking can continue to be accommodated with the proposed changes.

Why is the City recommending Option 4 between Bloor Street West and Dupont Street, and Option 1 between Harbord Street and Bloor Street West?

For Shaw Street between Dupont Street and Bloor Street, Option 4 is being recommended. This is based on consultation feedback and because the design is expected to result in the reduction of the number of motor vehicles travelling along the corridor, making it safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities walking and cycling.

For Shaw Street between Bloor Street West and Harbord Street, Option 1 is being recommended, based on consultation feedback and also to avoid having three parallel northbound-only one-way streets in a row.

Will the City monitor the safety improvements once they are implemented?

After all work is completed, the City will observe the new behaviour, obtain new traffic data on Shaw Street and evaluate before and after conditions. If there are operational challenges, further changes will need to be considered.

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