In 2017, the City of Toronto adopted Complete Streets Guidelines, a set of policies for designing streets that consider the needs of the people who use them, whether they’re driving, walking, cycling, taking transit, or using mobility devices.
Complete Streets projects in Toronto include Bloor Street West, Danforth Avenue, Midtown Yonge Street, and Shuter Street. They have taken years of community advocacy, stakeholder consultations and many committee and council approvals to prove their merit on a case by case basis. The data are clear: Complete Streets incentivize local shopping and dining, create a healthy and vibrant public realm, and provide safe and active alternatives to driving as well as transit relief.
Despite the evidence supporting Complete Streets, many streets are still being resurfaced and reconstructed based on the old standard that prioritizes the movement of motor vehicles, leaving residents without even the opportunity to voice their wishes during public consultations to choose a Complete Street design.