yongeTOmorrow adopted by City Council

On February 3, 2021, City Council adopted the yongeTOmorrow Recommended Design Concept (Attachment 8 - Recommended Physical Design), which increases sidewalk widths by reducing the existing four driving lane cross section to two lanes. City Council authorized the City to file the yongeTOmorrow Environmental Assessment (EA) Notice of Completion and post the study report for a 30-day review period.

The operational approach (pedestrian priority areas, turn movements/restrictions, one-way/two-way driving access etc.) will continue to be consulted upon and refined during detailed design. Prior to the completion of construction, a report would be brought forward to Infrastructure & Environment Committee (IEC) recommending an operational approach

City Council adopted the following amendments to yongeTOmorrow item IE19.11:

  • City Council direct the General Manager, Transportation Services, as part of the detailed design process, to continue engagement with business stakeholders along Yonge Street, and in the immediate area, regarding, but not limited, to:
    • pedestrian drop off and pick up areas and taxi stands
    • locations of turning lanes and laybys
    • spaces for tour buses on Victoria Street
  • City Council direct the General Manager, Transportation Services, as part of the ongoing consultations with main street businesses and other stakeholders, to report back, as part of the process, on the feasibility of:
    • new opportunities for patio extensions, parklets and other significant public realm improvements, as well as measures to enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety, before and after the construction
    • creating a special area by-law to ensure effective maintenance, community safety and special event activation for the new street, in partnership with the local Business Improvement Area

Rewatch the questions to staff (6:35:25), speakers (6:57:28), voting on motions (7:58:59)

Next Steps: Notice of Completion 2021

The Environmental Study Report (ESR) will be finalized and submitted to the Ministry the Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) and will be subject to a 30-day public review period. A copy of the ESR is expected to be available this spring on our web page for public and agency review and comment.

During the 30-day review period, interested persons may provide written comments to our project team. All comments and concerns should be addressed to City staff listed on the notice and the Project Team will attempt to find a mutually acceptable resolution.

Detailed Design: 20212023

Following the review period, the project enters into the Detailed Design phase which includes:

  • Continuing public consultation with Stakeholder Advisory Group and Property Owners/Operator interviews

  • Refinement of physical design elements:

    • Material types, finishes, furnishings, gates/retractable bollards and plantings

    • Placement of trees, plantings, furnishings, gates/retractable bollards and lights

    • Curb and paving details (i.e. curb radii, tactile warnings, transit platforms)

    • Exact dimensions and spacing of elements above and below ground

    • Construction schedule, staging, phasing and construction traffic management plans

  • Operational planning:

    • Location and timing of pedestrian priority areas, if any

    • Turn movements/restrictions, one-way/two-way driving access and signal timings

    • Locations of accessible pick-up/drop off, loading and stopping/standing areas

    • Cafes, vending, street events and public realm activations

    • TTC bus operations (night bus and subway shuttles)

    • Maintenance and winter operations

    • Approaches to post-implementation monitoring, education and enforcement

Construction: 2023–2025+

Planning for construction will include advanced early works by utilities and telecoms providers as well as reporting to IEC and Council on the operations approach.

Prior to construction, a construction liaison committee will be established with stakeholder groups and individual property owner/operators to discuss site specific construction impacts and coordination.

Yonge Street is Toronto’s most iconic main street. It has hosted the largest celebrations in our city’s history, from the World Pride parade to the Raptors’ victory party. When Toronto wins, the city descends onto downtown Yonge Street to celebrate together with the whole world watching. Each year, millions of residents and visitors walk, shop, bike, dine, work and live along downtown Yonge Street, making it the most vibrant destination street unlike any in Canada. But Toronto is also changing quickly, and Yonge Street has to catch up.

Over 180,000 people live within 10 minutes of downtown Yonge Street, stacked into some of Canada’s tallest residential towers. There are thousands of people who do not have backyards to stretch their legs or get exercise; who must use the existing narrow sidewalks to get groceries and run other critical errands at our own risk.

In the age of COVID-19, most Toronto sidewalks just aren’t wide enough to accommodate physical distancing. If you use a mobility device or a baby stroller, you knew this already and didn’t need a coronavirus to show you. Having access to accessible, high-quality public space was always an equity issue, and this issue quickly intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

yongeTOmorrow is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform Yonge Street into a world-class, 21-century urban destination, that supports critical public health objectives - for a world with COVID-19 and beyond. yongeTOmorrow proposes a full and flexible redesign of the street from College St, south to Queen St, where sidewalks will be expanded, vehicle lanes modified, restaurant patios extended and street furniture and streetscape elements added.

Lined with brand destination retailers, restaurants, music venues, theatres, the Eaton Centre, and Yonge Dundas Square, YongeTOmorrow is our chance to bring one of Toronto’s most historic and culturally important streets back onto the world stage. This is the moment to mobilize huge public support and think boldly about the future of this iconic city street. In the wake of the successful ActiveTO and CafeTO initiatives, this is the time for yongeTOmorrow.

Before & After

We need your support and advocacy to bring this vision to life. Join our campaign, share your stories of Yonge Street and encourage your friends to get involved. Learn more about YongeTOmorrow and help turn this ambitious idea into a world-class reality!

  1. Sign the petition and let City Council and the Mayor know that you want a Yonge Street for everyone!
  2. Sign up for updates, follow our campaign and get involved next steps!  
  3. Share your support on social media using #yongetomorrow to be featured on the social buzz page!

The City of Toronto is currently exploring options to increase pedestrian space and improve the way people move through and experience Yonge Street.

In May 2016, The City of Toronto launched the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment (EA). It is the first comprehensive EA of its kind and the first phase a multi-year revitalization project will transform and modernize the section of Yonge, between Queen and Carlton Streets. This study was the basis of developing the design options intended to improve streetscaping, increase pedestrian space and improve the way people move through and enjoy Yonge Street. After extensive public consultation and stakeholder engagement, the City of Toronto has developed several design options.

On September 16, The City of Toronto staff will host a final community consultation on design concepts before their final report is submitted at the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on December 1, 2020. We anticipate that this street redesign will recommend a mix of pedestrian priority areas, with some vehicular traffic allowed on certain blocks. This plan will include provisions for cycle tracks, and a plan to maintain the Yonge Street overnight bus.

This is your opportunity to learn more about the project and voice your support. This is our once in a lifetime opportunity to amplify Yonge Street’s prominence as a vibrant, pedestrian-prioritized, globally-significant and flexible destination street.

This is where you come in.

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