What is REimagining Yonge?

Yonge Street from south of Sheppard Avenue to north of Finch Avenue is in the heart of North York Centre – one of four dynamic mixed-use Centres in Toronto with plans focused on the growth of commercial office and residential uses existing side by side.

The City is preparing for a significant $50+million dollar revitalization of Yonge Street, which will require a reconstruction of Yonge Street from Avondale to Bishop Avenue. The development of detailed designs is expected to start in 2023 and construction may begin as soon as 2026.

The overarching goals of the “REimagining Yonge” project are to:

  • facilitate the efficient movement of people, surface transit, and general traffic through better utilization of North York Centre’s road network;
  • improve safety and reduce the number of people who are killed and seriously injured on the street in keeping with the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan;
  • improve the vibrancy of the streetscape in keeping with the economic importance of North York Centre; and
  • address state-of-good repair along the corridor.

Potential design elements include:

  • a reduction from six to four lanes north of Sheppard
  • wider sidewalks and boulevards
  • new and enhanced pedestrian crossings – traffic signals and turn restrictions at some intersections
  • a centre landscaped median
  • protected bicycle lanes (cycle tracks)
  • on-street lay-bys for parking, loading and deliveries, where right-of-way width permits
  • the removal of both northbound and southbound left-turn lanes at the intersection of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue
  • modifications in the section of Finch Avenue and Hendon Avenue/Bishop Avenue to improve TTC bus travel

What is the Willowdale BIA’s role in the project?

As a unified voice, we can have more say in the design process and how it will impact the business community along the Yonge Street corridor. The business community will also need to prepare for the 2-3 year construction on Yonge Street. The BIA’s role is to work with our Members to communicate the needs of our business community, encourage consultation and support initiatives to mitigate potential effects on businesses.

Additionally, the BIA’s role is to implement public realm enhancements in the interests of the business community which are beyond the scope of REimagining Yonge. These enhancements (i.e. lighting, street furniture, art, entrance features, tourism features, etc.) would help Willowdale BIA to be the preferred community to work, shop, dine, do business, invest, live, visit and enjoy in the North Toronto area.

These enhancements would be cost-shared (50% from the City and 50% from the BIA levy). As well, REimagining Yonge is a unique opportunity to complete this work with additional cost savings.

For more information about REimagining Yonge, please visit the city’s website here.

To submit your concerns and have your say about the potential direction of future BIA public realm projects, please click on the button below to fill out a short questionnaire.