Advocating Across the City

#BuildTheVisionTO: Safe and Active Streets for All – In advance of the 2018 municipal elecction, Walk Toronto, in partnership with TCAT, 8-80 Cities, Cycle Toronto, and Friends and Families for Safe Streets, launched #BuildTheVisionTO: Safe and Active Streets for All, a set of 15 municipal election priorities for building streets where people of all ages and abilities can get around actively, sustainably and safely.

Vulnerable Road Users – A coalition formed to push for a vulnerable road user law includes United Senior Citizens of Ontario, Safe Streets:  Kids at Play, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto and others. The coalition is also recommending more license suspensions, driver education, and community service for offenders.

Vision Zero Road Safety Plan – Advocacy to ensure the City of Toronto meets its pledge for a strategic, comprehensive, well-funded plan that addresses safety for the most vulnerable users of our roadways — pedestrians, school children, older adults, and cyclists.

Sidewalks for All – Increasing the walkability and accessibility of Toronto’s streets and sidewalks is a City priority. Toronto’s commitment to being a barrier free city means sidewalks must be accessible to all. It is important that all residents are able to participate fully in the community, regardless of their abilities.

People with mobility devices, wheelchairs, and walking with caregivers, guide dogs, shopping bags or children in large strollers deserve the right to move safely on our city sidewalks.

The needs of all people who walk on Toronto’s sidewalks would be best served if Toronto were to adopt a minimum Staff recommendations for an essentially straight, continuous Pedestrian Clearway of at least 2.1 metres.

Friends & Families for Safe Streets – In 2016, Walk Toronto collaborated with Bike Law Canada, Cycle Toronto, Safe Streets:  Kids at Play and the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation to establish a group to support survivors of traffic collisions and friends and families whose loved ones have been killed or severely injured by careless drivers and dangerous conditions on Toronto’s streets.

The goal is to work with legislators, planners, police, transit authorities, active transportation advocates, public health professionals, and the traveling public to improve the design of our streets, the enforcement of safety laws, and the traffic culture that influences how we view serious injuries and fatalities.

Advocating for Sidewalk Snow Clearing – Walk Toronto is focused on making winter walking safer and more accessible. Meetings with City staff and elected officials are ongoing.

Missing Sidewalk Installation Policy – The provision of sidewalks helps to remove barriers to access for vulnerable populations including children, seniors and persons with disabilities. Sidewalks are an essential part of the Toronto’s transportation network and offer a necessary service to those who travel on foot or using mobility devices. In February 2016, the City’s Disability, Access, and Inclusion Advisory Committee provided a unanimous endorsement of the role sidewalks play in reducing barriers to access and the need to add them whenever there are major construction opportunities.  Walk Toronto will continue to advocate for the City to uphold its policies.

Advocating for Seniors – Walk Toronto has secured a seat on the Toronto Seniors Strategy Accountability Table that meets quarterly to hold City council accountable on issues affecting seniors.

Accessibility Coalition – Spoke out against a City of Toronto staff report recommending that accessible vehicles be allowed to stop in designated bike lanes and cycle tracks.

Pushing for National Action

National Active Transportation Strategy – Walk Toronto is supporting a new alliance offering to work with the federal government to develop a national strategy and a framework for implementation. This process will include extensive consultation and collaboration with other active transportation champions in Ontario and across the country.

Additional Railway Crossings for Pedestrians – Walk Toronto supports Federal Bill C-322, An Act to amend the Railway Safety Act, a private member’s bill introduced by Hélène Laverdière which would compel railways to create pedestrian and bike crossings where needed.

Federal Accessibility Legislation – The Government of Canada is committed to developing new accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations.  In February 2017, Walk Toronto submitted a comprehensive written submission as part of the initial consultation phase.

Neighbourhood Issues

REimagining Yonge Street – The City of Toronto is evaluating opportunities to improve the streetscape and public realm for all users (pedestrians, cyclists, transit, and vehicles) along Yonge St from Sheppard Ave to the Finch Hydro Corridor. Walk Toronto is adovcating for the “Transform Yonge” option recommended by City staff.

King Street Pilot Study – Walk Toronto has participated in the ongoing public consultations associated with the Pilot Study which is exploring bold, transformative ideas for how to redesign King Street in order to achieve three broad city-building objectives: moving people on transit more efficiently, improving the public realm, and supporting economic prosperity

Promoting Continuous Public Access to Toronto’s Waterfront – Pushed for removal of CNE parking in Marilyn Bell Park. We are now working to maintain public access to Martin Goodman Trail during the annual Toronto Air Show.

Sidewalks and Pedestrian Safety in Lawrence Park – Local residents fighting for sidewalks, safe routes for kids walking to school, and accessibility for people of all ages and mobility levels have been supported by Walk Toronto.

Pedestrian & Cycling Bridge Crossing at Fort York Blvd – Walk Toronto is providing input to planning for an essential crossing that will form part of The Bentway, a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75 km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population.

Scarborough on the Move – Walk Toronto is a member of the Local Advisory Committee for the Scarborough Centre Transportation Master Plan.

Walk Toronto Has Participated in Numerous Planning Studies and Public Consultations, including

  • Complete Streets Guidelines
  • Toronto Ravine Strategy
  • Bloor Street Bike Lane Pilot Project – Shaw Street to Avenue Rd
  • Sidewalk Patios and Boulevard Café Licensing and Placement
  • Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POPS)
  • Digital/Electronic Billboards
  • Sidewalk A-frame Signage
  • Driveways/ Sidewalk Sloping and Accessibility
  • Cyclist/Motorist One-Metre Passing Rule
  • Sidewalk Cycling
  • Feeling Congested Pedestrian Policy Framework
  • Student Active Transportation
  • Gardiner East Environmental Assessment – Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Richmond – Adelaide Cycle Track Study
  • Yonge Street Transformation/ Re-visioning Yonge Cycling Workshop
  • Allen Road Environmental Assessment – Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Bathurst – Bloor Four Corners Study  Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Dufferin Street Avenue Study, North York
  • Rebuilding of Avenue Road Bridge over Highway 401, North York
  • Leslie Street Connection Track to Leslie Barns Road Alterations
  • EGLINTONconnects Planning study for Eglinton from Jane Street to Kennedy Road
  • Toronto Public Health’s Walk, Cycle, Move Annex Community Consultation
  • Portlands Acceleration Initiative – Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Ontario Place Environmental Assessment
  • Glen Road Pedestrian Bridge Environmental Assessment
  • Scramble crossing, bike lanes/sharrows and new signals at Bay/Cumberland
  • Deputations to City Council and input on many site-specific development proposals

Seeking Change Through Walking and Public Events

  • Walk and Roll Caravan, May 2013
  • On the Move Consultation Walk, June 2013
  • Walking to School – A Talk By City of Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, February 2014
  • Leading the Way – Understanding the World of Wayfinding, May 2014
  • Open Streets TO, August 2014
  • Feeling Congested? Islington to Kipling Station Walk
  • Annual Participant/Organizer in Jane’s Walk Since 2013

Providing Input on Trails Planning and Development, including

  • Chorley Park Trail Design Stakeholder Working Group
  • East Don Trail Community Liaison Committee
  • Evergreen Brick Works/Belt Line Trail
  • Multi-use Path in Rowntree Mills Park, Rexdale
  • West Toronto Railpath Extension
  • Finch Hydro Corridor Crossing at Bayview Ave

Walk Toronto Promotional Video