There are many great walking destinations in Toronto. From parks to neighbourhoods to the indoor PATH system and outdoor street events, Toronto offers a diverse array of walking opportunities for everyone.
The Toronto Walking Strategy was adopted by Toronto City Councilin 2009. Its goal is to make Toronto a great walking city. Based on months of discussion with the public, external organizations, and relevant City divisions and agencies, the Toronto Walking Strategy includes visionary policy, infrastructure and programming to create a rich culture of walking in Toronto.
The City of Toronto works on a number of programs that affect the pedestrian environment. These include programs to redevelop the waterfront, standards for designing vibrant streets, programs to monitor the air we breathe and more.
Improving safety conditions for pedestrians on our roads is the goal of the City’s Walking Strategy. See what programs and initiatives are taking place to improve pedestrian safety in the city,
Pedometer is an electronic publication produced by the City of Toronto. It reports on Pedestrian Projects and associated programs, such as Coordinated Street Furniture and Beautiful Streets.
The Toronto Pedestrian Charter sets out six principles necessary to ensure that walking is a safe and convenient mode of urban travel. These include accessibility, equity, health and well-being, environmental sustainability, personal and community safety, community cohesion and vitality.
Initiatives and Programs
Wayfinding enables people to orient themselves and navigate from place to place with ease, making a city more "legible" for residents, commuters, and tourists, alike. The City is currently undertaking Phase Two – the pilot implementation.
Snow removal for seniors and disabled
Seniors and Disabled residents in the central core of the city can get their sidewalks cleared of snow by the city. To find out if you are eligible and to get a form, click here.
A pedestrian scramble phase gives a walk signal to pedestrians in all directions at the same time at a signalized intersection while drivers are stopped in all directions. The primary advantage is that pedestrians can cross the intersection without any conflicting motor vehicle movements. Pedestrians may also be able to cross the intersection diagonally, thereby completing two crossings at once.
The Please Drive Carefully – We’re All Pedestrians media campaign encourages drivers to be more aware of pedestrians. The campaign featured posters on transit shelters and the backs of buses. Posters were also distributed to libraries, community centres, schools and other locations. Campaigns were launched in 2003 / 2004 and in 2005.
Walk into Health
The Walk into Health program is a part of the Building Physically Active Communities (BPAC) project. The program provides information and resources to help people be more active by promoting walking and stair climbing.
Although walking is the number one activity of adult Canadians, 50% of adults living in Toronto are not physically active enough to maintain or improve their health. Find out about pedometer lending programs, walking groups and more. Learn how walking can help reduce your risk of chronic disease. Every step counts. Walk into Health.
Visit the City of Toronto's Self-Guided Walking Tours Database where you can search for self-guided walking tours across the City. After locating a desired walking tour, you will need to download and print a PDF containing the map and walk details. If your selected walking tour has an audio component, please download the MP3 to listen to on your portable media player while you walk.
You can do your part to report problems with your walking environment. If you see a traffic signal light that does not work, a damaged sidewalk or anything that needs immediate attention, please let us know:
City of Toronto 311
- Reporting damaged or obstructed sidewalks
- Reporting malfunctioning traffic signals
- Reporting damaged or missing traffic signs
- Reporting streets where snow has not been cleared (24 hours following the end of snowfall)
- Reporting malfunctioning traffic control signals and pedestrian crosswalks
Information on snow removal
- Reporting problems on Park trails
- Seniors living in East York, Toronto and York can request snow clearing assistance. (Sidewalks in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough are cleared after a snowfall).
Parking Enforcement (to report a vehicle obstructing a sidewalk)
Sign obstruction by trees
Requesting a stop sign, traffic light or speed bump
Public Transit Information
- Toronto Transit Commission (subways, streetcars and buses) 416-393-INFO (4636)
GO Transit (regional buses and trains)
Toronto Island Ferries (schedules and fares)
- Reporting a street light that is not working
416-542-3195 (Monday to Friday 7:30am – 3:00pm)
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
- Ontario Ministry of Transportation - General Inquiry
Toronto Police Service
- Reporting a collision (non-emergency)
Other City Initiatives
Union Station Revitalization Pedestrian Initiatives
Plans for the revitalization of Union Station include detailed pedestrian planning to improve existing and future pedestrian activity in and around the station. More information on pedestrian modeling at Union Station.
Toronto’s Waterfront is undergoing important development. Already a popular walking destination, plans for the new Toronto waterfront aim to maintain and improve miles of wetlands, parks, boardwalks, promenades and heritage foot trails. It will also be a place for festivals, bike and boat races and activity-filled public squares.
Metrolinx is investing in the design and construction of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown line. This investment will result in improvements to public transit service and the public realm along Eglinton Avenue over the next decade. The construction of the Crosstown will significantly improve mobility and transportation options for Torontonians, while also bringing a number of planning opportunities and challenges. Find out more.
Public Health – Active and Safe Routes to School
Active & Safe Routes to School is a community-based initiative that encourages and promotes active transportation like walking and cycling for the daily trip to school.
For many Canadian parents, driving their children to school seems like the safest, most convenient option. However, less than one-third of Canadian students walk or cycle to school and 57% of Canadian youth are so sedentary it is harmful to their health.
Walking to school is good exercise, reduces stress and makes our streets safer and less polluted.
Financial Incentive Programs for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)
The City offers BIAs various financial incentive programs for initiatives to improve or enhance the business districts in neighbourhoods across Toronto. The streetscape improvement program provides 50/50 matching capital funds for streetscape beautification projects such as decorative pedestrian lighting, kiosks, banners, theme signage, landscaping, fountains, and decorative street furniture.
Come join us to hear about "Creating a More Walkable Toronto - Strategies from Chicago and New York City". The event will be held on Tuesday April 9th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West. Keynote is Sam Schwartz, former traffic commissioner and chief engineer for New York City, whose firm has developed Chicago's Pedestrian Plan and America Walks' guide "Steps to a Walkable Community". Also, hear from Stephen Buckley, the city's General Manager, Transportation Services. Seating will be limited, so please come early. Co-sponsored by the Toronto Society of Architects and the city's Public Realm Section of Transportation Services. (see poster)
St. Dennis Drive – Public Meeting on Tuesday March 19, 2013
A community meeting will be held on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 from 7:30pm to 9:15pm at the Flemingdon Park Library auditorium (29 St. Dennis Drive). The meeting will talk about creating a safer street for everyone by slowing down car traffic. The proposal is to re-paint lane markings on St Dennis Drive to put in left turn lanes at intersections, 2 bike lanes and on-street parking. To learn more, please see the poster. Tell us what you think - come to the meeting or email us at: email@example.com
St. Dennis Drive – Translations (Farsi, Chinese, Tamil, Urdu)
Pedestrians got to enjoy and discover the full stretch of St. Clair Avenue West during the St. Clair Feet on The Street event on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, 2010
Walk 21 Conference
Walk 21 The City of Toronto and Green Communities Canada were proud to co host the 8th annual Walk21 conference, Walk21 Toronto 2007. The conference was a great success, from many scheduled events and workshops to an international spirit and exchange of ideas.