We did it! Yesterday was a big day for cycling at City Hall! Cycle Toronto is only able to push for these wins with the help of our supporters, so thank you to all of our volunteers, members, donors, supporters, petition signers, Councillor champions, City staff, and everyone who made this happen!
The impact of these changes to our city’s streets cannot be overstated. Here’s an overview of what happened and what’s next.
City Council voted to make the ActiveTO bike lanes installed in 2020 permanent! After a year and a half, we no longer have to worry that the following bike lanes will be removed:
- Bayview Avenue (Rosedale Valley Road to River Street)
- Bloor Street E
- Danforth Avenue
- Dundas Street E
- Huntingwood Drive
- University Avenue / Queen’s Park Crescent
- Wilmington Avenue
All of these routes can be improved further (e.g. better protection), and City Council has supported extending two of these routes: University south to King Street and Danforth east to Victoria Park Avenue.
City Council also agreed to start consultations and designs on another 100 km of bikeways throughout the city, hopefully to be installed or upgraded by 2024. We did a full write-up on the proposed projects a few weeks back, and some of the highlights include:
- Adelaide, Bathurst to Parliament
- Annette, Dundas W to Humbercrest
- Bathurst, Steeles to Earl Bales
- Bloor, Kipling to Runnymede
- College, Manning to Bay
- Danforth, Dawes to Warden
- Davenport, Dupont to Bay
- East Don Trail, Don Mills to Eglinton
- Eglinton, Jane to Kennedy
- Ellesmere, Highland Creek Trail to Morningside
- The Esplanade, Yonge to Sherbourne
- Finch, Keele to Hwy 27
- Huntingwood, Pharmacy to Kennedy
- Kingston, Cliffside to Eglinton
- Overlea & Don Mills intersection
- Sheppard, Doris to Leslie
- Rosedale Valley, Park to Bayview
- West Toronto Railpath Extension, Dundas W to Sudbury
Cycle Toronto has ongoing campaigns along many of these major corridors, and we need your help sharing our petitions so that we can turn these plans into reality:
- Connect the complete street on Danforth east of Victoria Park and up Kingston Road to Eglinton
- Eglinton for Everyone, from Jane to Kennedy running along the Crosstown LRT route
- Connect Bloor from Runnymede to Kipling
- Connect Sheppard, starting with Yonge to Leslie in North York
- Connect Scarborough with a network of protected bikeways
- Connect Thorncliffe-Flemingdon from Danforth to Eglinton along Overlea and more
As part of their TransformTO climate action plan, City Council has adopted much more ambitious goals and targets:
- Aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto by 2040, 10 years ahead of the previous goal
- 75% of all work/school trips less than 5 km taken by walking, cycling, or on transit by 2030. This is very ambitious, and will require a huge rollout of safe bikeways and reliable public transit.
- Continue to accelerate the capital funding for the Cycling Network Plan
- Begin considering complete street designs for every major road rehabilitation project
While this is a great milestone, Cycle Toronto will need to have a strong cycling advocacy push to ensure that City Hall follows through on achieving these lofty goals.
The City of Toronto will now allow cargo e-bikes that weigh more than 120 kilograms to help meet increasing demand for local deliveries, reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to less traffic congestion. The use of cargo e-bikes weighing less than 120 kilograms was approved by Council in 2020.
Cycle Toronto has been supportive of allowing commercial e-bikes to flourish in Toronto (we even trained FedEx’s cargo bike team) and reaffirms what we already know: bikes mean business.
ActiveTO bike lanes installed in 2021 are still up for debate and the return of ActiveTO weekend major road openings in any form has not been decided!
- Yonge Street - Midtown could be disconnected from downtown, if removed
- Bayview, from River to Mill Street - The new Esplanade - Mill bikeway could be disconnected from the Don Valley for years, if removed
- Major road openings along Lake Shore Boulevard, Allen Road, Black Creek Drive, Bayview, and other streets
Our major campaigns along streets like Sheppard, Eglinton, Kingston, Danforth, Yonge, and Bloor will need to come back to City Council for a vote to be installed.
The 2022 budget will be voted on in February, and that’s the opportunity for City Council to prioritize these plans with the funds to deliver.
And of course, there are two elections next year: a provincial election on June 2, 2022 and a municipal election on October 24, 2022. Making sure that cycling is top–of-mind for candidates will be a huge priority in 2022 so that it’s not always a fight to make our city safer, healthier, and more vibrant through cycling investment
Please consider supporting our work by making a donation to Accelerate Our Advocacy. Donations over $20 will receive a charitable tax receipt and Cycle Toronto will be able to continue pushing forward urgent cycling initiatives in Toronto.
Thank you for helping us make Toronto a safe, healthy, and vibrant cycling city for all,
Photo by Bruce Christie via Flickr