Roads and Trails

REimagining Yonge Street Environmental Assessment

(Sheppard Avenue to Finch Avenue)

Yonge Street is the central corridor within North York Centre, one of four mixed-use and transit accessible centres identified in the Official Plan where jobs, housing, and services will be concentrated. The City of Toronto will evaluate opportunities to improve the streetscape and public realm for all users (pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicles) along Yonge Street from Sheppard Avenue to the Finch Hydro Corridor.

News and Updates

An interim report about this study is planned to be brought forward to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on May 9th, 2017. This report will ensure that staff recommendations and the work program on this project going forward are aligned with February 2017 direction about this project from City Council through the Budget process.


Staff will continue to undertake further study through the Environmental Assessment process. Secondary alternative option(s) for Yonge Street will be developed as well as secondary alternative option(s) for cycling facilities on Doris Avenue and/or Beecroft Road. Public consultation, including consultation with local businesses will be a key component to studying the secondary alternative option(s). It is anticipated that a report with final recommendations will be brought forth to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in late Fall 2017. Construction is subject to funding.

March 22, 2017 Notice of Site Work

Please email knelischer@toronto.ca to be added to the project mailing list for updates.

Yonge Street is the central transportation corridor and pedestrian promenade within North York Centre, one of four centres that have an important role in achieving the provincial growth objectives of the Official Plan where jobs, housing, and services will be concentrated. While the North York Centre is transforming into a transit-oriented and dynamic mixed-use area, the implementation of the street vision has not been fully achieved or kept pace with this evolution. Inconsistent urban design features, including sidewalks, crossings, and medians, and the lack of dedicated cycling facilities reduce the appeal of the street and present transportation challenges. The City of Toronto is carrying out a study that will evaluate opportunities to improve the streetscape and public realm for all users (pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicles) along Yonge Street from Sheppard Avenue to the Finch Hydro Corridor. A number of opportunities will be considered, including:

  • Improving streetscape by including street trees, lighting, paving, and street furniture;
  • Expanding sidewalks and boulevard widths,
  • Integrating adjacent parks and public open spaces;
  • Enhancing the landscaped median;
  • Improving safety for all users;
  • Including cycling facilities on Yonge Street;
  • Improving pedestrian crossing facilities; and
  • Re-configuring right-of-way and traffic lanes.

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. 

Previous Consultation Events:

Public Open House #3 (September 29, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who attended the third and final Public Open House on Thursday, September 29, 2016 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm in the North York Civic Centre Foyer. You can view the notice online.

Below are the display panels:

You can view the roll plans here:

Public Open House #2 (July 25, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who attended the July 25, 2016 Open House, held from 11:00am - 2:00pm in Mel Lastman Square, and from 5:00pm - 8:00pm in Memorial Hall. You can view the notice online.

Below are the display panels for the second Public Open House:

Design Charrette (June 9 & June 11, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who attended the June 9 & 11, 2016 Design Charrette and collaborated with the project team on identifying a preferred alternative solution and developing design options for Yonge Street.  You can view the notice online.

Public Open House #1 (May 25, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who attended the May 25, 2016 Open House at Memorial Hall. You can view the notice online.

Below are the display panels for the first Public Open House:

Jane's Walk (May 7, 2016)

Thank you to everyone who attended our Jane's Walk on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Our group started at Mel Lastman Square and walked along Yonge Street to discuss the history of the area, current conditions, and plans for improvements.

Notices:

Notice of Study Commencement and PIC #1 (North York Mirror, May 12 and 19, 2016)

Notice of Study Commencement and PIC #1 (flyer delivery, May 9, 2016)

Notice of Design Charrette (May 30, 2016)

Notice of PIC #2 (June 8, 2016)

Notice of Site Work (August 30, 2016)

Notice of Site Work (March 22, 2017)

 

Please email knelischer@toronto.ca to be added to the project mailing list.

Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandWhy is this study being conducted?

Yonge Street is the central transportation corridor and pedestrian promenade within North York Centre and the Growth Plan identifies the North York Centre as an urban growth centre. While this area is transforming into a transit-oriented and dynamic mixed-use area, the implementation of the street vision has not been fully achieved or kept pace with this evolution. Today the area is faced with challenges from inconsistent features such as sidewalks, pedestrian crossing and medians to lack of dedicated cycling facilities and concerns over traffic movement.

Over the past few years the City has completed work on Yonge Street related to upgrading the underground services (i.e. watermains). However, the overall surface condition on Yonge Street (ie. pavement, sidewalks) requires significant investment to maintain a state of good repair.

This study provides an opportunity to create an attractive and consistent streetscape with design appropriate to the civic goals of the North York Centre that will serve people of all ages as they travel in and around the area for work, school and leisure. Alternatives to improve the streetscape and public realm for all users along Yonge Street will be evaluated.  

ExpandHow is funding being obtained?

Funding for this project will be considered through the City's 2017 budget process. The City is also coordinating with local developers to seek potential contribution through the development application process. 

ExpandWhat is the study area?

The focussed study area consists of Yonge Street from south of Sheppard Avenue (Avondale Ave. / Florence Ave.) to north of Finch Avenue (the Finch Hydro Corridor) Doris Avenue to the east and Beecroft Avenue to the west. A larger study area, extending from Bathurst Street to Bayview Avenue, and Wilson Ave. / York Mills Road to Steeles Avenue, is being addressed as well, primarily in terms of traffic impacts. This larger study area also defines the consultation area.

ExpandWhat will the study consider?

Opportunities considered in the study include:

  • Adding street trees, planters, enhanced lighting, paving, public art and street furniture;
  • Enhancing sidewalks and boulevard widths;
  • Integrating adjacent parks and public open spaces;
  • Improving safety for all users;
  • Providing dedicated cycling facilities on Yonge Street;
  • Improving pedestrian crossing facilities;
  • Exploring options for parking; and
  • Re-configuring the City's public right-of-way and traffic lanes.

The study will address all relevant components of the transportation, socio-economic and natural environments.

ExpandWhy does the northern limit of the study focus area not extend to Steeles Avenue?

The northern limit does not extend to Steeles Avenue based on the different character of Yonge Street north of Finch Avenue. This section of Yonge Street from Finch Avenue to Steeles Avenue is part of a different Secondary Plan. In addition, there is no subway on Yonge Street north of Finch Avenue.

A separate "Phase 2" study will be undertaken to examine potential changes to the section of Yonge Street from the Finch Hydro Corridor trails to Steeles Avenue. It is anticipated that this will be initiated in 2017.

ExpandWhat does the Environmental Assessment process involve?

The study is being carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, which is an approved planning and decision-making process under the Environmental Assessment Act that is used to assess changes to public infrastructure.

The process includes identifying the problem or opportunity to be addressed, developing and evaluating a range of alternative solutions, identifying a preliminary preferred solution, evaluating design options for the preferred solution and selecting a preferred design option.

The study is being completed as a Schedule ‘C’ undertaking, which generally includes the construction of new facilities and major expansions to existing facilities. The public will have opportunities for input at key stages of the study.

The graphic below shows the study process and the opportunity for public input at key stages. We are currently at the "Evaluate design(s)" phase.

ExpandHow will the public be involved?

Input can be provided to the Project Team at any time throughout the study by phone, mail, fax, email, attending one of the consultation events, or visiting the project website:

toronto.ca/reimaginingyonge

We have provided multiple opportunities for input. These include:

  • Jane's Walk walking tour of the study area (May 7, 2016)
  • Public Open House #1 (May 25, 2016)
  • On-street survey (May 10, 2016)
  • Online survey (May 4 – June 8, 2016)
  • Design Charrette (June 9 and June 11, 2016)
  • Public Open House #2 (July 25, 2016)
  • Public Open House #3 (September 29, 2016)

Kate Nelischer is the City’s Senior Public Consultation Coordinator for the project and can be reached by email at knelischer@toronto.ca or phone 416-392-4360.

ExpandWill there be another Public Open House?

Our third and final Public Open House was held on September 29, 2016 to present the recommended preferred design option. Notices were distributed to all property owners within the study area, posted online on the project webpage, printed in the North York Mirror (East), and sent to the project email list. 

ExpandWhy is this study moving so quickly?

The City would like to proceed to construction in 2018.  Working back from that date, the EA Study needs to be completed by the fall of this year so that detailed design can take place in 2017 and can be completed in in time for construction in 2018. This requires a somewhat accelerated schedule, and included holding the second Public Open House during the summer. However, a third Public Open House was held on Thursday September 29th, 2016 to present the preferred design option. 

ExpandWhen will the study be completed?

The next step is for the project team to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on May 9th, 2017, and then to City Council. If approved, a Notice of Study Completion will be issued with a 30-day public review period.

ExpandWhat is the expected construction schedule?

Once the Environmental Assessment is completed and approved, the City will begin the detailed design phase of the project. It is anticipated that construction could begin in 2018. A more accurate construction schedule will be produced during the detailed design phase.

Construction timing is contingent on availability of funding from Council, receiving the necessary planning approvals/permits and completion of the detail design study.

ExpandWhat is the preferred alternative and how was it selected?

A list of criteria was developed to evaluate the alternatives, which included the natural, cultural, and socio-economic environments, and transportation and urban design considerations. The City hosted a design charrette on June 9th and 11th, 2016. The public participated in the design charrette and provided input on the criteria and selection of the preliminary preferred alternative. Based on a technical evaluation of the alternatives and input received from the public, the preferred alternative is Transform. More information on how the preliminary preferred alternative was selected was presented at the second Public Open House on Monday July 25, 2016. The material presented at this meeting is posted on the project website.

ExpandWill there be property impacts?

Property impacts are not anticipated as part of the project. The study scope includes reviewing the streetscape opportunities within the City’s public right-of-way.

ExpandWhat do you mean by “re-configure the right-of-way and traffic lanes”?

The City's public right-of-way extends from adjoining property lines and includes Yonge Street, the sidewalks and public boulevards. Reconfiguring the right-of-way is being considered to accommodate other elements, such as dedicated bike facilities, wider sidewalks and street trees. These changes are better capable of accommodating all modes of transportation and make Yonge Street a better public space, so people will want to use it as a place to enjoy. 

ExpandAre you considering removing traffic lanes?

A transportation simulation model is being completed to assess the existing and future transportation needs along Yonge Street. Given the variations in the cross section width along Yonge Street and opportunities to enhance the public realm (i.e., implementing dedicated bike facilities, widening sidewalks, planting trees), some of the design options presented include a reduction in the number of traffic lanes.  

ExpandWhy are you not considering bike lanes on Doris Avenue or Beecroft Road?

Beecroft Road and Doris Avenue were created as service roads to provide an alternate route to Yonge Street.

Bike lanes were considered previously on these streets, and the City concluded that there is not adequate space for dedicated bike lanes/cycling facilities on these streets.   Reconstruction and acquisition of property would be required as well, adding to the cost and complexity. A dedicated cycling facility on Yonge Street provides a continuous route for cyclists.

ExpandWhat is the status of the Doris Avenue/Service Road Extension EA?

The City is recommending "Option B" as identified in the North York Centre South Service Road Environmental Assessment Study. This includes:

  • A single intersection linking Doris Avenue to Tradewind Avenue
  • The road would bisect the green space north of Sheppard Avenue
  • Bonnington Place would be converted to a cul-de-sac north of Lyndale Drive

 

It is anticipated that City will report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in Q4 2016.

ExpandWhen will there be a recommended plan?

The recommended plan was presented at the third and final Public Open House on September 29, 2016. The display panels from this event are available for viewing online. The Project Team has undertaken a detailed evaluation of the design options and given careful consideration to the feedback received from the public during the Public Open Houses and Design Charettes. 

ExpandCan Doris Avenue and Beecroft Avenue accommodate the overflow traffic from Yonge Street?

The City is undertaking transportation analysis for the study area, which includes Doris Avenue and Beecroft Avenue. This includes reviewing the existing and future traffic conditions and determining how the recommended changes will impact the existing and future road network. More information on the results of the traffic analysis will be available at the next Public Open House on September 29, 2016.

ExpandHasn't the City recently completed construction on Yonge Street?

The work completed over the past few years has been related to upgrading the underground services (i.e. watermains) and maintaining the overall state of good repair.

Despite this work, Yonge Street continues to be faced with challenges from inconsistent features such as sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and medians to lack of dedicated cycling facilities and concerns over traffic movement.

The City is looking at ways to create an attractive and consistent streetscape with design appropriate to the civic goals of the North York Centre that will serve people of all ages as they travel in and around the area for work, school and leisure.

A full reconstruction of the street is expected to be required in the next few years and this project takes advantage of an opportunity to enhance the road and public realm at the same time the road is reconstructed.

ExpandWill there be underground utility work?

Reconstruction of the road will result in the relocation of some underground utilities, while others may need to be adjusted slightly. As part of the City's study, the Project Team is meeting with utility companies and local developers to ensure that any utility work is coordinated.

The City has undertaken a subsurface utility engineering investigation on Yonge Street from Florence Ave./Avondale Ave. to the Finch Hydro Corridor to confirm the existing underground infrastructure (ie. watermains and sewers). This investigation is currently being reviewed by the project team.  

ExpandWill the City be committed to maintain the "new" Yonge Street?

Once reconstruction of the road has been completed, the City will be committed to maintaining it. One of the criteria used to evaluate the design options is maintenance/operational costs and this will be carefully considered as part of the recommended plan that is presented to City Council.

The project team consists of City staff who will ultimately be responsible for maintaining Yonge Street and have a strong understanding of the maintenance/operational costs associated with each of the design options. In addition, the City is meeting with utility companies and local developers to ensure that any planned subsurface work is coordinated with this project. 

ExpandWill the budget estimate affect the construction schedule or decision making?

Cost is one of many criteria that will be used to evaluate the design options. However, it will not be the deciding factor as other criteria will also be used to evaluate the design options (ie. impacts on cycling and walking, accessibility, natural environment, etc.)  The construction schedule will be determined during the detailed design phase and as such, the budget estimate will be refined at that time.