March 12, 2022

Let's Make ActiveTO on Yonge Permanent!

Yesterday, Sabrina (Brie) Young posted in the Cycling in Toronto Facebook group a flyer she received calling on residents to e-mail the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Mayor Tory, and City Council to remove the ActiveTO complete street pilot on Yonge Street. To add insult to injury, the “Be Green. Be Rational.” tagline was used along with easily debunked arguments such as bike counts during the winter months, greenhouse gas emissions while idling, and the ability for first responders to get through. Sure, the line about the Yonge bike lanes being narrow may have some merit, but it should be noted Bloor Street from Spadina to Lansdowne Avenues is similarly narrow at less than 13 metres wide and the bike lanes worked fine. A petition was started about six months ago calling for the removal of the Yonge bike lanes which got more than 1200 signatures at the time of writing (which I won't share here for obvious reasons).

Given opponents have been organizing ahead of the March 29 IEC meeting which could see the ActiveTO complete street pilot get debated, it’s time for supporters to flip the script by urging the committee and city council to take the true green and rational action of making the Yonge pilot permanent. In addition, supporters need to call for bike lanes on Yonge to be extended north and south as soon as possible to connect with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and future projects in Downtown and North York Centre.

Below is a sample e-mail you can use for your action, though I would encourage you to personalize it to share your story on why a complete street on Yonge is important to you. Cycle Toronto sent this action alert via e-mail this morning about Yonge, along with a link to their Yonge petition which has more than 3000 signatures.



CC: (plus your city councillor)

Date: March 12, 2022

Subject: Yonge Street ActiveTO Complete Street Pilot

Greetings, Members of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC):

It has been brought to my attention that this committee is expected to debate the Yonge Street ActiveTO complete street pilot at the upcoming March 29, 2022 meeting. I am concerned a group of opponents have been using the “Be Green. Be Rational.” tagline along with misleading information to call on residents to write to IEC and City Council calling for the complete street pilot to be removed. If anything, removing the pilot is the exact opposite of being green and rational. Therefore, I would like to write in support of making the complete street pilot permanent.

Per the slides from the City of Toronto Stakeholder Meeting #5 held on October 18, 2021, cycling volumes have more than doubled since May 2021 (before the pilot) to more than 1500 cyclists per day. As Torontonians start to return to the office – either full time or under a hybrid model – these numbers will surely grow in the upcoming months. 76% of survey respondents agreed the pilot achieved its goals of improved safety with protected bike lanes and supporting local businesses through CaféTO. 55% of non-cyclists agreed cycling has become safe or very safe compared to 20% who felt this way pre-installation. 58% of those who switched modes of transport opted for cycling, while the proportion of respondents biking has doubled to over 20% since installation.

However, I am disappointed the 2022-24 Cycling Implementation Plan approved on December 15, 2021 did not call for any extensions of the Yonge Street bike lanes before 2025; instead having studies planned between now and 2024. With bike lanes planned along the upcoming Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, a one kilometre extension from Davisville to Eglinton is needed as soon as possible to encourage cycling traffic on both corridors, while a further extension north will eventually be needed to connect with the REimagining Yonge project in North York Centre. A southern extension to Gerrard should also be considered given yongeTOmorrow calls for protected bike lanes from College to Gerrard Streets.

(optional – insert a paragraph explaining why Yonge Street matters to you personally)

Given the benefits the Yonge Street ActiveTO complete street pilot have provided in terms of supporting local businesses and increasing cycling safety and volumes, I urge you to take the true green and rational action of making the complete street pilot permanent. I also call on you to instruct city staff to extend the complete street north and south as soon as possible.

I thank you for taking these thoughts into consideration and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.


  1. Hi Robert, Councillor MW's email address should be
    Can you correct this above?