November 25, 2021

Diving Into Toronto’s 2022 – 2024 Bike Plan

Back in July, I wrote about the upcoming bike plan update in Spacing to explore whether it would help Toronto build back better. While the overall trend would maintain last year’s annual pace of over 30 kilometres (if built), some major arterials were listed as studies at the time. Now that the final report has been released and will be debated at next Thursday’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting, it’s time to look at what has changed since then and what needs to be done.

Celebrating the opening of the Esplanade-Mill bikeway (Phase 1)

With the report having arrived close to the end of 2021, it now covers the 2022 to 2024 timeframe. This change has lead to several proposed projects being moved from “study planned” to within the near-term plan itself. The city claims the 2022 to 2024 near-term plan would deliver 100 centreline kilometres compared to over 65 kilometres delivered in 2019 to 2021; almost half of which was in 2020 alone. The planned budget increase to $20 million stands.


Originally, the Bloor bike lanes were expected to be extended from Runnymede to Royal York in 2023. The report now confirms a second extension from Royal York to Six Points is planned for 2024; something which I fully support. An extension of the Rathburn bike lanes from The East Mall to Mill Road is now part of the plan which – coupled with the Martin Grove extension planned for next year – will provide a near continuous cycling connection to Centennial Park from Bloor and one leap closer to a proper cycling grid for Etobicoke. Now if only the City could add in Metrolinx’s proposed Dundas BRT route from Six Points to Mississauga, we could have a much needed inter-city connection.

The Queensway is now planned to be reconstructed from the Humber River to Mimico Creek in 2023 as a complete street with a virtual public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 7. It’s unfortunate how the planned bike lane extension falls 600 metres short of Royal York. Just finish the gap already!

North York

Despite the Yonge ActiveTO bike lanes being built from Bloor to Davisville, no extensions further north are expected before 2025. If nothing else, the City needs to fast track an extension to Eglinton to take advantage of the upcoming LRT and the protected bike lanes expected to come shortly after.

The only significant change for North York is bike lanes on Bathurst from Earl Bales Park to Steeles Avenue are now part of the plan. Ultimately, those bike lanes will be connected to Yonge with a route crossing Highway 401 at Avenue Road. Hopefully, Yonge gets chosen instead of Duplex-Jedburgh for the northern extension beyond Eglinton.


While it’s unknown whether the recent Scarborough Cycling Report had much of an influence over this bike plan update, they got the largest amount of arterials moved forward from under study to in the plan itself. With the Danforth bike lanes already approved for extension to Victoria Park Avenue, the City is now looking at a further extension all the way to Kingston Road and Eglinton except for a study needed to deal with the treacherous Danforth-Kingston interchange. Bike lanes on Scarborough Golf Club were originally planned only from Ellesmere to Lawrence, but will now go to Kingston Road for an (almost) continuous connection to Danforth.

Despite opposition from residents in Highland Creek to the Durham-Scarborough BRT, the stretch of Ellesmere from Morningside Avenue to Kingston is now in the plan to build upon the planned bike lanes on Danforth, Kingston, and Scarborough Golf Club. Such a move would help provide cycling infrastructure deep into Scarborough and connect with UTSC. Now the City needs to follow through in filling the gap from Morningside to The Meadoway.

Toronto-East York

Several new studies now appear on the Toronto-East York map. In a nod to the Avenue Road Safety Coalition, Avenue Road now appears as a study from Bloor to St. Clair. Given last summer’s death of Miguel Escanan, it is insulting to see the proposed ActiveTO route up to Davenport get further delayed to at least 2025. This section must be expedited to next year to show Toronto is serious about Vision Zero.

Donlands now appears on the map to provide a second north-south cycling connection north of Danforth. However, groups such as Ward 14 Bikes have been calling for a cycling corridor along Broadview Avenue instead. Given the distance between the two streets, why not do both? 😉

Further east, a study is planned on O’Connor and St. Clair East to connect the Woodbine bike lanes to those to be studied for Victoria Park. O’Connor was the subject of recent controversy given a stretch north of St. Clair East was planned for reconstruction with zero consideration for people biking. Eventually, that gap will need to be filled, but this study is a good start in providing options for the east end. 

One notable omission from the plan is Parkside Drive. While a motion was passed in November to include the redesign of Parkside as part of the High Park Movement Strategy, the City’s notes mention Parkside would appear in the following near-term plan should the strategy recommend bike lanes there. Waiting until 2025 is not acceptable given last month’s fatal collision

Take Action

Next Thursday’s IEC meeting also includes a motion recommending that the ActiveTO bike lanes along Bloor, Danforth, Dundas, University, Bayview, Wilmington, and Huntingwood become permanent. The report has shown considerable increases in cycling volumes along all corridors, though the numbers are smaller on Huntingwood and Wilmington. Several other bike lane projects are included; the most significant of which is Palmerston-Tecumseth.

Finally, I encourage you to please e-mail (and copy your councillor) urging the Committee to keep ActiveTO (Motion IE26.10) and support the bike plan (Motion IE26.9) including projects important to you. Cycle Toronto has an ActiveTO petition with over 5,500 signatures, while they launched a series of campaigns under Move365 which are related to the plan.

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