Yonge St. pedestrian-friendly transformation in the works – Toronto

City planners and councillors are envisioning an ambitious plan that could re-shape Toronto’s largest thoroughfare over the next four years. 

Yonge Street, in the downtown core, spans from Queen Quay to Bloor Street, and has long been one of the city’s main arteries.  And according to city Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, Yonge is also a source of frustration for pedestrians. 

“People moving north and south on Yonge Street, there is a lot of people. Sometimes there are so many people, they are literally pushed onto the road, onto oncoming traffic,” Wong-Tam said.

“And we know that that’s not a healthy, vibrant neighbourhood condition that we want to see moving into the future.”

Ryerson University hosted a town hall style meeting on the planned future of Yonge Street (CBC News)

The project —  led by Jennifer Keesmat, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto and Wong-Tam — is in the discussion phase and requests for proposal (RFP) are being received by the city.

While details are not set in stone, the aim is clear: make Yonge Street more accessible for pedestrians. 

Keesmat said the project to re-shape Yonge is in keeping with TOcore, the city’s downtown planning program with a focus of opening up mobility. 

“We have a critical mass of people in a much smaller space,” Keesmat explained in a town hall style meeting at Ryerson University on Wednesday.

“We need to look at ensuring we have the spaces for people to walk safely – and for people to use walking as their first option to get from one point to another.”

Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner for City of Toronto is leading the charge to transform Yonge Street. (CBC News)

The project began with a scheduled upgrade to a century-old water main that spans a large section of Yonge Street. 

An upgrade to a century-old water main that spans a large section of Yonge Street was in the works when city officials asked what more could be done to transform Yonge Street.

With construction expected to…

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