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City

This is what Eglinton Avenue could look like in 10 years

Posted by Chris Bateman / October 10, 2013

toronto eglinton bike laneThe City of Toronto is honing its vision for Eglinton Avenue in the age of the LRT. When the $4 billion Eglinton-Crosstown opens in 2020, the city hopes to weave its new rapid transit links with development around major intersections, beautification projects, and protection for the street's complex and varied heritage.

With input from the public, city planners are preparing "Eglinton Connects," a blueprint for how the street will be developed in years following the arrival of rapid transit. It's almost complete, and, if approved, the changes could be striking.

Major intersections and LRT stops will become targets for high-rise development but the street will remain mostly low- to mid-rise where appropriate, says Lorna Day, a project manager on the planning study. A separated bike lane from Brentcliffe Road to Kennedy is also on the table, nestled among a forest of new trees.

Eglinton is the only street in Toronto that passes through all of its former boroughs, through residential areas, mid-rise clusters, and more developed pockets around major intersections. "Eglinton exhibits every major form of urbanism found in Toronto," the preliminary report notes.

toronto eglinton avenue"We're trying to get ahead of the growth that we know is going to come as a result of the Crosstown," Day says. "We probably would have gotten to it anyway, but now we've got some detailed ideas about what's going to happen."

When the LRT arrives, it will replace the high-occupancy lanes on large portions of Eglinton, freeing up space for wider sidewalks, bike lanes, and improving the flow of auto traffic. The staff working on Eglinton Connects have made installing a tree canopy and other environmental features a priority, too.

toronto eglinton avenueThe study covers three themes: travelling, greening, and building, but it also hopes to manage Eglinton's heritage. Where there are buildings or other features of value, Day says planners will attempt to keep new buildings in proportion. It will also seek to recognize buildings that haven't been given official protection under the Ontario Heritage Act.

"We've done a lot of consultation, we've had a lot of really good conversations with communities all along Eglinton ... we're putting out these recommendations in draft form to ask people 'did we hear right and did we get it right?'" The final report will be presented to city council next spring for debate and approval.

Browse the report here.

MORE IMAGES:

eglinton connectsRendering showing mid-rise placeholder buildings.

eglinton connectsMid-rise model near Caledonia Road.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: City of Toronto

Discussion

35 Comments

Dogma / October 10, 2013 at 02:17 pm
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Cue the people wigging out over the bike lanes.
v79 / October 10, 2013 at 02:19 pm
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The sad part is, there are already businesses (better quality ethnic restaurants for the most part), moving into the Caledonia/Dufferin/Oakwood area along Eglinton hoping to get a jump on the competition, but most of them sit empty and unfrequented, many closing within only a couple months because there is no demand for their services as of yet. At least it's lead to the facades of long neglected buildings being ungraded.
Cat / October 10, 2013 at 02:23 pm
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Where are the flying cars?
Sydney Bridge / October 10, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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So in 10 years the only black people on Eglinton are ghosts? What's with the dude in picture two?
Mr Dickbag / October 10, 2013 at 02:41 pm
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Yea, fix the rich neighborhood, for the rich people that already looks rich. Meanwhile Dundas street is broke and there are no useable bikelanes on College queen or bloor... but I guess it's a start?
John replying to a comment from Dogma / October 10, 2013 at 02:49 pm
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I think it's also a hoverboard lane
Dogma replying to a comment from John / October 10, 2013 at 02:54 pm
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Gah! Hoverboards. They'd be even worse than e-bikes. Look if your hoverboard travels at 30 km plus, you have to travel with the flying cars.
Steve / October 10, 2013 at 03:08 pm
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NO THIS CAN'T HAPPEN. EGLINTON WANTS SUBWAYS SUBWAYS WUBSAYS! LOOK AT THEM LRT STREETCARS TAKING LANES AWAY FROM CARS AND THEM PINKO CYCLISTS TAKING AWAY CAR SPACE. ROADS ARE FOR SUVS AND EVERY ROAD SHOULD BE 6 WIDE LANES FOR CARS.
Yardl / October 10, 2013 at 03:14 pm
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Will never live up to any of the hype - will be a failed version of Spadina and a sadder version of St. Clair.
The areas of future growth will be the subway end nodes Scarboro Town Centre and McCowan/Sheppard, Keele along the new subway route past York, above Sheppard - and along Sheppard where the subway is currently. Midtown 5 blocks west of Yonge and outward is stagnant at best, dying most likely, as people tire of cutesy neighborhoods without fast access to other hippish districts and out-of-city destinations. Older low income and poorer others will take over the area - it won't even be interesting ethnically like Bloor between Bathurst and Keele or the Danforth. The rich-ish families are getting older, no matter how jewish they are, and moving to the suburbs.
We seem to be stuck in some type of Euro-trash 90s urbanism ideal somehow featuring never-exisiting Paris promenades set into the rare hours that are 20C and sunny - what's that? 5% of the year here? featuring walk-arounds by cheap stay-at-homes, under-employed artist/writers living with their parents, and secretary lunch hours as the only pedestrian happy-hour - you can't even close down the street for festivals due to access and flow importance. I look at a place like this and think.. hmm nice for a weekend hour once in a while or when i retire - bustling and intense and financially viable, not. The rent will be more in line with Bloor and Bay than Bloor and Ossington. What pubs, eateries, cafes, and street-life will go for that? The LRT won't be that fast and people will still have to wait for them outside like chumps - regular car-goers won't go for that. A slow, tedious, 'core' route, winding through pre-tentious mediocrity - sounds like the lakeshore W trolley past roncessville to Long Branch station. Seriously. What urban planner reject thought that people wanted to meander through toronto on the way to their expensive, important, and busy lives that actually pay for the services of the city? What non-existent or useless leaching demographic did they try to appeal to? What sort of sentimental architect/unemployed urban designer failed to see the connection between the 'right' people's lifestyles and this nonsense Markham/Unionville type community layout? The most successful TO communities are liberty village, Union station south, Bloor W because of the money, and tiny bits of Danforth because there is fast access to all types of transportation - cars and parking, subways, big box stores city minis, patches of condos, and less than 15min access to highway -- everywhere else is where people go to die, raise children, or get their nails done at 2:30 in the afternoon. At least with a subway going through, we wouldn't have to watch those tired facades go by for 45 min as we move from Yonge to Oakwood at 8:15 and 5:30. Lose.
Steve / October 10, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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Wow my parody actually took form. That was quick.
Dogma replying to a comment from Steve / October 10, 2013 at 03:30 pm
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I wonder if there's any point telling him that the LRT runs underground for most of Eglinton?
downer replying to a comment from Yardl / October 10, 2013 at 03:43 pm
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thats the spirit!

with an attitude like that, why do you even bother living?
ACMESalesRep / October 10, 2013 at 03:54 pm
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Yardl: I'm willing to bet that the LRT will do far more to spur growth and investment along Eglinton than the Sheppard subway ever has, or than the Scarborough subway ever will.
tommy replying to a comment from Yardl / October 10, 2013 at 04:00 pm
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My god. I'm impressed by the number of outright incorrect statements in your rant. Lets try to keep this organized.

1. Right-of-way streetcar routes such as Spadina and St Clair are not LRT. They have local stops, use smaller trains, no proper shelters, and generally aren't designed for long haul travel. And St. Clair is by no means 'sad'. Since the reopening of the line, the area is flourishing.

2. While people do flock to subway stations for density (duh), what people are interested in is transit permanence and reliability. Whether this is done with rails (above or below the ground) or even with BRT, it doesn't matter. Take a look at Hwy 7.

3. You must not do much walking in the areas '5 blocks west of Yonge'. They may not be the richest areas, but they are absolutely functional and essential to their communities. Not every street in Toronto is or needs to be 'cutesy' or 'hippish' to survive.

4. And what's wrong with poor people living and working in an area?! Or are you afraid of non-Jewish others who are different than yourself?!

5. I'm not seeing any promenades in these pictures. Just sidewalks. Unless you have something against sidewalks? I don't get it. Also, it's been 20 degrees pretty consistently since April. That's at least 50% of the year.

6. The ability to close down a street for a festival is hardly a metric that should be used when city building.

7. The street scape is hardly being designed for neighbourhood tourists, such as yourself. In fact, I think the people living there will be happy with your absence.

8. Are you seriously comparing the rent on Bloor, which is in the top 50 highest rent areas in the world, to Eglinton?!

9. Most people who take the subway connect to it via bus. Which they wait for. Outside. Like 'chumps'. It ain't a problem. And by the way, half the Eglinton is underground, and the other half will have indoors waiting areas, a la the Viva BRT in York Region.

10. Please tell me where this route is 'winding' in any way, shape or form. Eglinton is a straight line. Maybe drop your thesaurus boy-o. I fail to see where one would 'meander' on this line; it's a pretty direct route.

11. Please tell us who the 'right' people are, and what their lifestyles entail. I would like to know if I am a right person.

12. You're absolutely right about Liberty Village et al. The rest of Toronto should be nuked, right? Am I a right person now?

13. Guess what, people live, die, raise children, and yes even get their nails done in this city. Nothing wrong with that, Mr. Robot.

14. And for FUCKS SAKE - the LRT is underground from Black Creek to the Don Valley. This is no secret and has been in the plan from day one. How the hell do you expect to watch the "tired facades" between Yonge and Oakwood underground, huh?
Welshgrrl replying to a comment from downer / October 10, 2013 at 04:02 pm
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And why bother living here?
Rafa / October 10, 2013 at 05:20 pm
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Did they kick all of the black people out?
James / October 10, 2013 at 05:43 pm
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There is something missing from these pictures. The constant traffic gridlock this little fantasy will cause. Two levels of traffic flow (one underground) has twice as much as one level of traffic flow. I wonder how many people are pushing for this LRT nonsense, merely out of spite for our mayor while hiding behind a mask of a sudden bout of fiscal responsibility. Where where you when Douche Miller was emptying the cities trough? Regardless what you think of our mayor "Even a broken clock is right twice a day." Subways people. London, Tokyo, New York and all those other cities you love because of their mass transit. Subways.
jd / October 10, 2013 at 06:28 pm
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Anyone really interested in this stuff. There is a great TED talk by Janette Sadik-Khan (New York City Commissioner of the Department of Transportation).

Show's some great things that are possible. Even at very low costs.

http://www.ted.com/talks/janette_sadik_khan_new_york_s_streets_not_so_mean_any_more.html
E. Toby Coke replying to a comment from James / October 10, 2013 at 06:29 pm
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"Subways."

The Conservatives killed the Eglinton subway nearly 20 years ago, remember? Harris, Flaherty & company?

Subways indeed.
seanm replying to a comment from Mr Dickbag / October 10, 2013 at 07:59 pm
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Seriously? The "rich people neighbourhood". Do you realize that as it passes through all 5 boroughs (as mentioned) the neighbourhoods along Eglinton run the gamut from some of the poorest to, yes, some of the richest. If you averaged it out though, it'd be poorer than Dundas, Bloor, College or Queen.

Also, College has perfectly serviceable bike lanes, just keep your eyes open for the car doors.
m / October 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm
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i do not want to admit this, but i do think yardl has a point...
Arn replying to a comment from Dogma / October 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm
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Bike lanes??? WHY!!!!
Get off my roads you tree-hugging hippie cyclists!
tommy replying to a comment from James / October 11, 2013 at 12:23 am
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1. Please explain why this will create gridlock. No lanes of car traffic will be lost. In fact, it will help by removing the current buses from Eglinton mixed traffic.

2. Given that there *will* be two levels of flow (one underground) for over half the length of the route, I'm not sure what your point is. The at-grade section in Scarborough travels along parts of Eglinton that are wider than most of the 401. I don't think there's anything to worry about.

Plus, talking about 'flow' isn't useful, unless you're looking to build a racetrack. The ability to move commuter density is more important. Single occupancy vehicles are a waste of space compared to transit.

3. I'm glad you brought up the spite angle. Please remember that this line was originally conceived as part of the original Transit City project, before Rob Ford's mayor run was even a glimmer of an idea. Planners looked at the data, and the data showed that the best option financially and transit-wise was an LRT. Unless they have ESP, they couldn't have known about Rob Ford's obsession with unnecessary subways, to spite him *before* he became mayor.

The LRT suits the neighbourhood and density of the area without putting additional strain on the rest of the TTC system. It was probably a good idea that the Tories cancelled the original Eglinton subway project, otherwise we would have been left with another Sheppard-like stub line that loses money and is subsidized by the rest of the transit system.

Believe it or not, many transit-minded folks have always been fiscally concerned - mainly because we see the cost every time we drop a fare. Once upon a time the TTC was able to fund itself - running it, fixing it and expanding it - and it did this by running transit where it could make money and with equipment it could afford, i.e. in dense pockets and routes in downtown Toronto proper. It was the demands from the suburbs via Metro Toronto that forced the TTC to expand routes to unprofitable, far flung points, and drop the zoned fare, which eventually forced the city to start subsidizing the system, paving way for the yearly fare hikes we now see.

4. Rob Ford's KPMG report right after taking power stated that the city was running in the range of >90% financial efficiency. Sure there are places to be optimized, but the city is in no where near the rough shape Ford makes it seem. A few thousand bucks for councilor office supplies is pennies in the long run, and worrying about it detracts from bigger issues (that Scarborough subway money from Feds could have taken a big chunk out of the repair backlog for TCHC).

5. Toronto has no where near the density of London, Tokyo and New York, or the political wherewithal to build similar effective transit systems. If we've learned anything from Sheppard, if you build it, transit riders will not come. With all the development along Sheppard, the TTC still can't fill tiny 4-train car sets and subsidizes rides at 8 dollars. Ridiculous. Wasteful. Shameful. The entire route should be shuttered.
challenger / October 11, 2013 at 01:10 am
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Cue the OMB ... Ontario Municipal Board ...


... They'll VETO whatever good intentions the people of Toronto vote to do.

Matt replying to a comment from seanm / October 11, 2013 at 01:26 am
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Hipsters think anyone who owns their own home is "rich".
Abstracteden / October 11, 2013 at 09:53 am
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Why is everyone so angry? Lol.
It appears that there might only be 2 comments from people oh actually live in this area? I live at Eglinton and Caledonia and my family has lived here for 70years. I am neither Black or Jewish, however the history of this area has always been a multicultural working class area. I love the idea that as you go along you enter different neighbourhoods whether it be internationally diverse or income diverse. It makes this area great and adds to what Toronto stands for.
I like the develop that is being proposed here. We are a overlooked area for services and many businesses struggle due to a lack of awareness and pedistrian traffic. Not everyone will be happy, most of us that live here and have attended meetings are thankful that City Hall finally has allowed the City of Toronto to be north of Bloor St.
Steve replying to a comment from James / October 11, 2013 at 10:27 am
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Psssttt... London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo all have LRT.

Don't tell anyone though!
H. Craic replying to a comment from Yardl / October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am
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Get a job hippie
EastEndErin replying to a comment from challenger / October 11, 2013 at 02:17 pm
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Exactly!

We can blame the City all we want for horrible planning decisions (not saying LRT is one of them), but every time Toronto tries to do what's right for the City, the OMB overturns it and leaves us the gridlock. Thanks for all the awesome Condos w/o the transit infrastructure OMB.
Patrick Smyth / October 12, 2013 at 01:49 pm
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If you live on any street immediately behind Eglinton Avenue, be weary, be very weary. If you wish to abolish the OMB, be weary, be very weary. If you think planning is ahead of the curve, think Midtown - already very dense and still no plan. Dwell also on what is happening at Eglinton/Avenue Road - density and community benefit opportunity lost for wont of a plan in place. Midtown is a $3billion redevelopment (1/2 of a Crosstown) and there's not even a plan in place. Be weary - read TTC PR stuff with a decent grain of salt. Consider past experiences.
relax / October 15, 2013 at 02:22 pm
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As a commuter cyclist and a resident that lives 2 blocks from the underground Eglinton section, I abhor the idea of bike lanes on this stretch. A vibrant and EFFICIENT city needs public transit AND roads to move vehicles around. Bikes can use motor vehicle lanes, but the reverse cannot happen. Use 10% of the money for these lanes and educate motorists on how to share roads with cyclists. (And, yes, cyclists need to obey the rules of the road too.) In summary, maximize car lanes and share the roads.
laxer replying to a comment from relax / October 15, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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Why should motor vehicles be able to use bike lanes? Vibrant and efficient cities separate bikes from motor vehicles to keep vehicles (including bikes) moving.

Educate drivers on sharing the road? Hahahahaha. A commuter cyclist calling for car lanes to be "maximized"? What?
Lamby / March 30, 2014 at 06:47 pm
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Everything looks nice in the summer...the bike riders will be there for 3 months of the year, and the other 9, we will all be stuck stairing at useless LRT... everyone who thinks green, forgets subways are the preferred method of transport, and that plays a role. Cyclists ignore the rules of the road, and are outnumbered, yet their voice is considered more important? i am fed up to see how our gridlock has worsened in the last 15-20 years, and the only solutions have been buses on our congested roads, bike lanes for June-August riders (as if someone on bay street rides a bike anyways), and whatever happened to the 90's model when bike alnes were part of the sidealk paths...did the city think that was wrong? and the guys mentioning the cities with LRT.. try no to forget that their LRT run above and below ground unless on open freeways. Those cities also keep investing in subways before LRT on the road... I have been reviewing the eglington LRT and it cuts through the city most of the time on the lanes / am I wrong on this? i see comments indicating otherwise -- hoping I am wrong and theya re correct
Lamby replying to a comment from tommy / March 30, 2014 at 06:50 pm
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I can't find the links to show the eglington LRT is mostly above and below ground, the metrolinx site indicates it mostly runs through Eglington, do you have the right link to review..I hope you are correct on that, and we are wrong.
Dan replying to a comment from Lamby / July 9, 2014 at 08:16 pm
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You are wrong. The Eglington Crosstown line is udnerground through the core. IE where these artistic renderings are shown. http://www.thecrosstown.ca/

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