Our latest report, Toronto’s Great Streets, takes a look at five visionary street redesigns from the last decade and why they work. The need for proven strategies to improve safety and build cooperation on our streets has never been greater. Smart street redesigns can support our Vision Zero commitments, and potentially save lives.

Get Toronto's Great Streets in PDF.

For quick facts, grab our one-pager.

Read our media release from July 18.

Harbord Street

Bike lanes for safer mobility and village improvement

After the redesign, cycling ridership increased by approximately 18%.
Painted buffers separate bike lanes from traffic lanes and parking. (Net total parking remained unchanged after redesign.)
Dedicated bike lanes now span the whole 2.5 km Harbord-Hoskin corridor.
Parking alternates from the north to the south side of the street within BIA boundaries. (The Harbord BIA area enjoys a retail vacancy rate of zero.)

Roncesvalles Avenue

Toronto placemaking at its best

85 new street trees were added, and new raised planters with seating were installed.
New shared streetcar boarding platforms installed — Toronto’s first!
64,000 daily riders on the 504 King streetcar.
A 2.0m wide cycling path at sidewalk height over streetcar boarding platforms accommodates cyclists at track edge.
225 of 236 total parking spaces were retained in the redesign.

St. Clair Avenue West

A streetcar neighbourhood

A separated, raised track bed runs for 6.8 km.
Traffic volumes decreased by as much as 23% in some locations.
After the redesign, all-day weekday ridership on the 512 increased by 13% (2005-2010). Round-trip travel times on the 512 streetcar decreased by an average of 14% after the redesign. Today, St. Clair is the busiest surface route in the city, with 38,200 daily riders.
Collisions between a pedestrian and vehicle decreased by 48% from 2000 to 2011.
93% of all on-street parking spots retained — with more spots added on side streets.
New boarding platforms, shelters, and public art were installed.

Queens Quay West

A street for all users

At 7.2m wide in some locations, the redesigned pedestrian promenade is now 4x wider than a typical Toronto sidewalk. 2.5 million pavers were laid by hand on the new promenade.
A 3.6-4m bi-directional extension was added to the multi-use Martin Goodman Trail for cycling, walking, runnning and in-line skating. Cycling on Queens Quay increased by 888% after the extensions.
In 2007, before the redesign, pedestrians accounted for almost half of the traffic volume at intersections but had only 20% of the space on the street.
Speed limits were reduced from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr.
Ferry Terminal traffic increased 47% from August 2011 to August 2015, showing a boost in recreational visitors to Toronto’s waterfront.

Market Street

A future-proof street for people (and patios!)

The west sidewalk was extended by 2.5m. Removable bollards separate the pedestrian clearway from the roadway in summer months. In winter, the pedestrian zone is repurposed as parking layby.
Redesigned roadway pavement narrowed from 8.5m to 6m.
Business and retail vacancy rates on the street are at 0%, and remain below 4% in the area overall.

Future Great Streets

Ryerson CBI identifies Bloor Street, King Street, Downtown Yonge Street, Yonge Street North and The Golden Mile as The Ones to Watch: current pilots and projects with the potential to make a dramatic impact.

What do you think of the new features of these “great streets?” Let us know @RyersonCBI.

Toronto’s Great Streets was produced with support from The Metcalf Foundation.