bloor and lansdowne

Toronto restaurant owner worried about safety issues at busy intersection

Conor Joerin says he's concerned for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists at the intersection near Sugo, the restaurant he co-owns, following several mishaps that he believes could've resulted in injuries. 

The intersection at Bloor and Lansdowne is often congested with motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike, especially following the recent installation of a bike lane along Bloor Street as part of the city's ActiveTO program

But Joerin says there just isn't enough signage to notify drivers of the newly installed bike lane, and he believes the fact that such a small amount of space is being shared by so many road users will likely end in disaster if the city doesn't intervene.

"I want something done to protect people and make this a safer intersection," Joerin told blogTO. "I personally feel like someone from our community is going to get hurt."

Just this morning, Joerin said he witnessed the aftermath of an incident in which a dump truck accidentally knocked down a large pole onto the sidewalk while moving eastbound through the intersection.

And last winter, Joerin said he witnessed another incident where a car mistakenly hopped the curb and drove down the street on the sidewalk — narrowly missing pedestrians in its tracks. 

Now, thanks in part to the new bike lane along Bloor Street, Joerin says he fears the next incident will actually result in someone getting hurt. 

"I don't want to see the third thing result in an injury... We're expecting large trucks to share a very small lane right next to cyclists," he said, explaining that he feels there aren't enough barriers to protect cyclists from cars on this stretch of the lane, nor is there sufficient signage to notify road users that a bike lane has been installed in the first place.

"The city hasn't put any infrastructure in really, besides some pylons on side streets, to protect pedestrians and cyclists and people that are out on the road."

He also said eastbound traffic is coming in too fast on Bloor from Dundas West to Landsdowne, and that he believes the speed limit should be reduced or, at the very least, enforced. 

When asked about the issue by blogTO, a spokesperson for the city said "ActiveTO bike lanes are planned and engineered with the safety of all those who use the roadway top of mind, including people biking, driving, taking transit and walking."

The spokesperson also said the Bloor Street East cycle tracks do have some separators (planters, wave delineators, flex posts etc.) wherever possible, as well as paint markings and signage, in order to clearly identify the new bike lane.

They added that residents who have concerns about specific ActiveTO cycling locations are encouraged to contact 311 and make a service request.

Meanwhile, Joerin said he reached out to city councillor Ana Bailão's office with his concerns, and they told him they've raised the issue with Transportation Services and are working on getting a response.

"I don't want to whip everyone into a frenzy and get everyone upset, I just want this sidewalk to be safe," Joerin said. "I'm basically just a concerned community member who wants to see a safer intersection."

Lead photo by

Conor Joerin

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