From Plan to Reality

Process of getting cycling infrastructure installed

The process of getting a bicycle infrastructure project approved typically starts with the Cycling Network Plan (CNP), but not always. With ActiveTO, some projects were introduced that were not in the CNP. For typical projects under the CNP, the Transportation Services department within the City of Toronto will evaluate a potential route using the following metrics:

  • How many people use it today or might use it if it was built (demand)
  • Does a route make it easier to get to a popular destination? (trip generators)
  • Connectivity
  • Barrier crossings
  • Equity
  • Transit access
  • Network coverage
  • Safety

These factors are then mapped in Attachment 1 of the Cycling Network Plan, "Analysis Scores of Proposed Cycling Network."

City of Toronto plans

The City of Toronto has approved many documents to guide the installation of cycling infrastructure. With the recent pandemic, there are both permanent and temporary projects. For more information on temporary projects, see our webpage on ActiveTO. As well, you can read more about the Cycling Network Plan on the City of Toronto website.

Map of the 10-Year Cycling Network Plan

10-Year Cycling Network Plan (2016)

See page 2 for the full map. This is the overview of routes across the city that the city intends to study or build. The CNP identifies routes to grow, connect, or renew existing infrastructure.
Map showing the 2019-2021 Near Term Implementation Plan. The Map of North York is shown.

Near-Term Implementation Plan (2019-2021)

This was passed in 2019 to focus the efforts of the next three years of work. This was done to focus the work efforts into a smaller time period and improve road work coordination, accountability, and implementation.
Map showing the 2019-2021 Near Term Implementation Plan. The Major City-Wide Cycling Route map is shown.

Map of Major City-Wide Cycling Routes (2019-2021)

This map is one of the many maps passed as part of the Near-Term Implementation Plan. It shows major City-Wide cycling routes that will serve as the backbone of the cycling network.

Consultation to Construction

Once a route is selected, City staff meet with the local councillors and other city divisions, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and other divisions as needed, to identify known issues and plot a collaborative path to success. Once the initial known roadblocks have been identified, staff will prepare a draft design and present it with a community consultation, often with a public open house and survey to collect feedback from residents and stakeholders, such as business owners and local organizations. Throughout the consultation process, the city will also often work with stakeholders to identify challenges and work to solve them.

Learn more

"How do bike lanes get built?" It's one of the most commonly-asked questions we receive, so we asked the experts at the City of Toronto to walk us through the process. Hear from Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, City of Toronto Ward 9 Davenport Councillor; Becky Katz, City of Toronto, Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit; and Kanchan Maharaj, City of Toronto, Cycling and Pedestrian Projects Unit, who present on the technical and political elements to getting a bike lane constructed in Toronto.

Watch the presentation and review the slide deck