October 28, 2021

Call for Action RE Latest Bloor Gap Delay

On October 13, 2021, the City of Toronto released a construction update for the Bloor Street West bridge rehabilitation claiming the completion date has been delayed from December 2021 to June 2022. This delay effectively means the Bloor bike lane gap which currently exists there between Symington and Dundas will have been left unfilled for two years since the rest of the Bloor bike lane extension was installed from Shaw to Runnymede.

Bloor at Symington looking west towards the bike lane gap

It is time to call out Councillors Gord Perks and Ana Bailao – as well as Mayor John Tory – for the City’s poor handling of this critical gap in Toronto’s bikeway network. A tragedy back in August which saw 18-year-old Miguel Joshua Escanan prompted Toronto City Council to approve a motion to expedite work on a complete street on Avenue Road, as well as examine cyclist safety in construction zones. We cannot wait for another cyclist to get killed by that area to force action in this case or other safety hazards across the city.

This ridiculously short addition to the Bloor bike lane east of Dundas spotted in June is not enough

Please see below an e-mail I sent, though I encourage you to come up with your own submissions.


TO: councillor_perks@toronto.ca; councillor_bailao@toronto.ca 

CC: mayor_tory@toronto.ca

Date: October 28, 2021

Subject: Bloor Bike Lane Gap

Dear Councillors Perks and Bailao,

It has been brought to my attention earlier this week that the Bloor bike lane gap under the West Toronto Railpath from Symington to Dundas West will not be filled in until at least June 2022. This effectively means that critical gap in the bikeway network will have been there for two years since the remainder of the Bloor bike lane extension from Shaw to Runnymede was installed.

Initially, the reason for the delayed installation back in 2020 was to accommodate Toronto Hydro utility work. Since then, bridge rehabilitation work has become the focus of the blame with work originally expected to be done by December 2021 and now pushed back to June 2022. Regardless of the reasons, I am frustrated with the City’s poor handling of this file along with a lack of willingness on their part to address the safety of people biking between High Park and destinations further east. While other parts of the City have access to reasonable detours in case a bike lane is closed, the same cannot be said for this part of Bloor which involves a detour of roughly two kilometres return to Dupont and Annette Streets. People riding bikes are supposed to be given reasonable accommodation to safely get around construction zones; the lack of which was raised when 18-year-old Miguel Joshua Escanan was killed at Avenue and Bloor back in August.

Since that tragedy, Toronto City Council approved a motion in October to expedite work on making Avenue Road a complete street, as well as examine cycling safety in construction zones. It is time Toronto take this Bloor gap equally seriously instead of waiting for a cyclist to be killed there in order to be forced into action. Toronto’s road safety advocates have seen too many people walking and biking get killed in recent years because of inaction from the City’s elected representatives in fulfilling Vision Zero.

I urge that Toronto immediately provide safe access to people biking along Bloor between Symington and Dundas while the bridge work continues. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss further.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Zaichkowski, CPA, CMA

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