Roads and Trails

St. Clair Avenue West Area - Transportation Master Plan

The City of Toronto is examining potential solutions to improve transportation options in the area around St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Old Weston Road. 

Scroll down to read a project update and learn more about the:

  • Project Background
  • Consultation Process
  • Alternative Solutions
  • Study Area
  • Frequently Asked Questions

PROJECT UPDATE - June 2017

A Project Update was issued via Canada Post delivery to the Study Area on June 29, 2017. Click here to download the complete text.

What's been happening?

Following the December 2015 public event, City Staff and the Project Team have been working on detailed technical evaluations of the solutions including study of:

  • traffic movement and travel patterns to identify how each solution will impact travel time and movement
  • construction and engineering feasibility to determine how solutions would need to be built
  • costs of construction of each solution, and
  • potential impacts to the natural, cultural, and socio-economic environment. 

Additionally, all solutions are being evaluated in relation to connections and access for the potential new St. Clair SmartTrack station. The evaluation of solutions is not yet complete, and no solutions have been recommended to move forward at this point. As the evaluation continues, the City will keep you informed with project updates, and issue notification in advance of the next public event.

Coordination with SmartTrack Station Planning and Regional Express Rail
Completion of the St. Clair West Transportation Master Plan (TMP), including the evaluation of solutions, is taking more time than anticipated so that the City can coordinate the TMP solutions with the St. Clair SmartTrack station that is planned along the existing Kitchener GO rail corridor at St. Clair Avenue West. The proposed SmartTrack station adds complexities that must be investigated before recommendations are made about the TMP, including coordination of potential station access points, connections to TTC services, accessibility, and design considerations.

The TMP Project Team is working closely with City Planning and Metrolinx to coordinate SmartTrack station planning and the Regional Express Rail (RER) initiative with potential improvements to the St. Clair Avenue West bridge, new rail crossings, and potential road extensions.

Coordinating the planning of these initiatives will benefit residents and businesses.

For more information about SmartTrack, please visit: www.toronto.ca/smarttrack . For more information about Metrolinx’s RER initiative, please visit:  www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer

Project Updates

To request assistance reading these files, please contact Robyn Shyllit at 416-392-3358 or rshyllit@toronto.ca.


Public Consultation Report - January 2016

This report summarizes the public consultation process and feedback received from November to December 2015, including Public Information Centre #1.

Public Information Centre #1 - December 2, 2015

A Public Information Event took place on December 2, 2015 at the J.Piccininni Community Centre at 1369 St.Clair West from 6:30-8:30pm. The meeting consisted of open house panel displays, presentation, and question and answer period. Materials presented at the meeting are listed below:

In 2012, City Council directed staff to carry out an Environmental Assessment (EA) Study to investigate solutions to traffic congestion concerns on St Clair Avenue West around Keele Street and Old Weston Road.

A Transportation Master Plan (TMP) study commenced in summer 2015. The TMP will meet Environmental Assessment (EA) requirements and is expected to be completed by Spring 2016. A notice of commencement was issued on September 10, 2015.

Functional Planning Study

Prior to the Transportation Master Plan, our first step in this project was a Functional Planning Study to do the following:

  • Identify the existing constraints, problems and issues in the study area.
  • Identify short-term and long-term solutions that can improve vehicular operations along St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Old Weston Road.
  • Develop functional designs and high level cost estimates for the alternatives
  • Short-list improvements that the City can implement (with or without an Environmental Assessment Study).

 

Our technical investigation of the options includes working closely with TTC, Hydro One and Metrolinx.

Below is the June 2015 Functional Planning Study report in full (large PDF files):

 

Study Appendices:

 


Alternative Solutions

The north/south rail corridor in the vicinity of St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Old Weston Road limits east/west movement for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles. This results in issues of congestion and connectivity.

The Transportation Master Plan will evaluate the following alternative solutions to improve movement using existing and potential new road connections for the benefit of all modes of travel:

  1. Widen St. Clair Avenue West to provide 2 lanes per direction between Old Weston Road and Keele Street. The streetcar would continue to operate in a dedicated right-of-way shifted north or south to allow for additional lanes. Both options will be evaluated.
  2. Extend Gunns Road from Weston Road to Union Street. Gunns Road would extend from Weston Road to Union Street, either under or over the rail corridor. Both options will be evaluated.
  3. Connect Davenport Road to Lloyd Avenue. Davenport Road would extend either under or over the rail corridor. Both options will be assessed.
  4. Extend Keele Street south to meet the Gunns Road extension between Weston Road and Union Street. The new east-west Gunns Road connection between Gunns Road and Turnberry Avenue would either be under or over the rail corridor. Both options will be assessed.
  5. Extend Davenport Road northwest to Union Street, and implement Option 4. Potential road extensions would either be under or over the rail corridor and St.Clair Avenue West. Both options will be assessed. Extending Davenport Road without inclusion of Alternative 4 would be of little benefit. Both connections are needed to enhance connectivity.
  6. Extend Davenport Road to West Toronto Street to improve east/west transportation capacity.

Alternative 6

A small number of suggestions for Alternative 6 were received at the first public meeting and during the comment period. These were reviewed in terms of the project mandate (expanding east/west transportation capacity), feasibility, and potential impacts.  Suggestions received that were variations of Alternatives 1 through 5 are already under consideration.

The westerly extension of Davenport Road to West Toronto Street was identified as Alternative 6 based on the key study goal of increasing east/west transportation capacity,  reducing some congestion along St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Old Weston Road, and to accommodate continued growth in the area.

Frequently asked questions about the St.Clair Avenue West Area Transportation Master Plan

How does SmartTrack impact the Transportation Master Plan?

SmartTrack studies are currently being undertaken by City Planning staff to review potential station locations. Future expansion of the railway and a potential SmartTrack station are being considered in the solutions being reviewed and evaluated for the Transportation Master Plan.

How will a solution be selected?

A list of criteria has been developed to evaluate the solutions, which include consideration for transportation, and the natural, socio-economic and cultural environments. You can see this criteria on the Public Information Centre panels under the Consultation Materials tab, and provide comments using a comment form at a public meeting, through online survey during the comment period, or by contacting the project team.

Robyn Shyllit is the Senior Public Consultation Coordinator for the project and can be reached by email at rshyllit@toronto.ca or phone 416-392-3358 to receive comments and questions about the project.

How will the public be involved? How can I provide feedback?

Input can be provided to the Project Team at any time throughout the study by phone, mail, fax, email, by attending one of the consultation events, or visiting the project website. Key opportunities to participate include two rounds of Public Information Centres (PICs), the release of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) for a 30-day public review, and a presentation to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) in 2016.

 

Robyn Shyllit is the Senior Public Consultation Coordinator for the project and can be reached by email at rshyllit@toronto.ca or phone 416-392-3358 to receive comments and questions about the project.

What was the purpose of the previous Functional Planning Study?

A Functional Planning Study was completed in 2015 to develop and evaluate the feasibility of short-term and long-term solutions to address traffic operations, safety conditions and city building along St. Clair Avenue West between Keele Street and Old Weston Road. The Functional Planning Study sets the framework for the Transportation Master Plan (this study) to define the overall vision for the transportation system.

When will a solution be selected, and when will construction start?

Following the first public event on December 2, 2015, the Project Team will evaluate solutions and present the preferred solution to the public in 2016 at a second public event. Construction timing depends on availability of funding from City Council, property acquisitions, receiving the necessary planning approvals/permits, and completion of the design. Once funding is approved, the earliest construction could begin is 3 to 5 years from the conclusion of this Study.

Why wasn't work done to relieve traffic congestion in this area during previous projects?

The level and pace of recent developments in the area was not foreseen during previous projects and has produced significant impacts that need to be assessed. This increase in activity has brought more travel demands to the area for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.  For this reason, the focus of the current Transportation Master Plan is to accommodate accelerated growth in travel demand throughout the area, not just along St. Clair. 

The 2005 St. Clair Transit Right-of-way project did not actually reduce the effective road capacity through this area, so increasing the road capacity across the railway corridor was not part of the scope of that project. A complicating factor following the construction of the transit right-of-way was the rail corridor work that temporarily closed the Junction Road connection across the railway tracks. This limited east-west movement through the area, significantly reduced  road capacity, and forced a lot of additional traffic onto St.Clair Avenue. Improvements to St. Clair have since been made by the City, and the full-time re-opening of Junction Road has returned the effective  road capacity across the rail corridor to what existed prior to the transit right-of-way project.

Will there be property impacts?

Property impacts are anticipated for all proposed solutions. As the project progresses and the preferred solution is selected, property impacts will be further identified and the City will notify property owners.  Following completion of this study, and once the City initiates design and construction activities, the City’s Real Estate Services division will initiate discussions with owners of affected properties about the City’s property acquisition process.

How will this impact planned or proposed developments within the study area?

Transportation Services and City Planning are working together to review development applications submitted within the study area on a case-by-case basis. When applications are submitted that could be impacted by one of the solutions, the City will advise that the application be put on hold until the Transportation Master Plan is complete in June 2016.

Why is the second public meeting delayed?

At the first public meeting held on December 2, 2015, the Project Team tentatively scheduled a second public meeting for March 2016. The second meeting is now delayed until Fall 2016. The delay is due to the evaluation of alternative solutions taking more time than anticipated, specifically, in coordinating review of technical information on Alternative Solution 1 – widening of St. Clair - with Metrolinx and the Rail Authority.

The evaluation of solutions is not yet complete, and no solutions have been selected at this point to move forward. There are numerous issues related to the rail bridge over St. Clair which must be addressed in a coordinated fashion to ensure that a potential optimal solution is defined – a solution which addresses conditions during construction and in the post-construction stage.

During the Environmental Assessment process, solutions are reviewed with agencies and utilities to help inform the project. Because the rail bridge over St. Clair is shared in ownership by the City of Toronto, TTC, and the Rail Authority, decisions that may impact the bridge need to be reviewed and evaluated by all parties.  GO Transit, CP Rail, CN Rail and VIA Rail all operate on the rail corridor, adding to the complexity of consultations.

Additionally, the Project Team is awaiting information from SmartTrack integration studies (expected in Summer 2016), including potential stations and routes that may influence the St. Clair Avenue West Area Transportation Master Plan.

The evaluation process for all alternative solutions involves detailed technical study of traffic movement and travel patterns, constructability of solutions, costs, and impacts on the natural, cultural, and socio-economic environment.

The second public meeting will present the results of the evaluation, preferred solutions, designs, and construction staging. More information about the meeting date, location, materials presented, and opportunities to comment will be posted to the project website as soon as it is available, and sent to all stakeholders in the study area and on the project email list.