King Street pilot

The King St. Pilot now has a counter-protest group

Just a few weeks after one local restaurant owner launched an icy, anti-King Street pilot campaign, a group of more than 15 different resident associations and community groups have come together in support of the public transit initiative.

Calling themselves the King for All Coalition, the project's supporters include advocacy groups and non-profits like 8 80 Cities, CivicAction, TTCriders, Cycle Toronto and the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Resident and business associations from Liberty Village, Corktown, Parkdale, CityPlace, and The Garment District are also on board, as are dozens of independent citizens who support the idea of "building a street that works for all."

"The King Street Pilot prioritizes transit along King between Bathurst and Jarvis," reads a pledge form on the group's newly-launched website.

"The pilot aims to provide faster, more reliable transit and make the street work for everyone," it continues. "Local residents, businesses, community organizations, and commuters who work along the corridor all stand to benefit from a successful pilot project."

Those who agree with the group's point of view are encouraged to sign an online pledge declaring  "I support keeping the King Street Pilot." 

The pledge will be sent to Toronto City Council on behalf of commuters, residents and businesses who feel that the pilot project has already improved King Street and their own daily lives.

"Transit riders are already seeing positive impacts: greater reliability, faster travel times, and a significant increase in streetcar ridership," said Shelagh Pizey-Allen, Executive Director of TTCriders, in a press release issued by the group this morning.

"We believe that everyone stands to benefit from a successful pilot project that moves people quickly, safely, and reliably, and are excited to work together to make it a success." 

Coincidentally (or maybe not,) the City of Toronto is allowing motorists to park in the King Street Pilot area for up to two hours, totally free, beginning today.

The Green P parking promotion is one of several measures the city said would be taking in light of complaints from restaurant owners who say the pilot project is hurting business.

"I believe these updates to the Pilot will help transit riders, businesses and drivers," said Toronto Mayor John Tory when announcing the changes last month. "I remain committed to listening to everyone about this project and making changes where they make sense."

Lead photo by

Mike Layton


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