busiest intersections toronto

The busiest intersections for pedestrians in Toronto

Late last year the City of Toronto released data on the number of cyclists that ride in the downtown core each day. Although limited to a fairly narrow area bounded by Bloor, Spadina, Queens Quay and Jarvis (perhaps not coincidentally the area served by the BIXI bike sharing program), this report struck me as a useful resource when discussing the relative merits of bike lanes in key areas and for painting a picture of just how much bicycle traffic there is in the heart of the city. Now we have a something similar for pedestrian traffic thanks to Patrick Cain of Global News.

Cain, who's been making cool maps like this one for quite a while, made numerous freedom of information requests to acquire the data from the City, which had yet to be made publicly available. The result is fascinating and often surprising portrait of Toronto intersections from a pedestrian perspective. As Dylan Reid explains in a post about the map on Spacing, some of these surprises are the result of imperfect data collection, but the overall picture is still interesting.

"The pedestrian counts are not completely comparable -- there are not the resources to do them all on the same day, so they have been done on an ongoing basis, mostly since 2007. All of them are done on weekdays between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm, but the season and the weather varies (which probably affects pedestrian counts more than car counts)," he explains. "Thus, for example, it seems improbable...that Bay and Dundas gets more pedestrians than Yonge and Dundas (it may also be that Yonge and Dundas gets more walking traffic at night, after the count had ended). So this list is not definitive in terms of the details, but these are certainly useful ballpark figures."

Useful for what? Well, for one, they provide a pretty good idea of where the next scramble intersections should be. And, should one want to get a little bit more ambitious, they might even help to determine what streets warrant talk of pedestrian malls or plazas (a.k.a. Yonge Street).

Toronto's Five Busiest Intersections (by average number of daily usage)

  • Yonge and Eglinton - 42680
  • Bay and Dundas - 35585
  • Bay and Wellington- 32319
  • Yonge and Dundas - 31802
  • Yonge and Carlton - 29115

For a longer list of intersections, check out Reid's article. And, for the interactive map, go here.


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