February 22, 2024

Fixing the Bloor and Castle Frank Intersection

On Sunday, February 18, a 19-year-old woman was biking eastbound on the Bayview – Bloor ramp where she was hit by drivers of two motor vehicles. While it is technically illegal to bike on this ramp, the sign saying no pedestrians or cyclists allowed is not apparent as soon as you turn right. You have to complete a U-turn in order to see it given drivers could use this turn-off to turn left to get onto to Castle Frank Road. Let’s take a look at how this intersection can be improved to make it safer for everyone.

A Google Maps view of the existing conditions at Bloor and Castle Frank

Since drivers can already access Castle Frank Road at the traffic signal, I would suggest removing the left turn channel at the Don Valley Parkway on-ramp and placing the no bikes and pedestrians allowed sign right at the start of the on-ramp so westbound cyclists can see it loud and clear. This would also ensure smoother traffic flow from the DVP to Bloor-Danforth.

Per Google Street View, the "no bikes and pedestrians" sign is not visible when riding westbound on Bloor

At Castle Frank, there is one northbound lane and three southbound lanes. Having used this intersection often to cross the Bloor viaduct to get to the east end, I can vouch for the danger it poses for those who bike. Some cyclists even resort to using the narrow sidewalk to go between Castle Frank and Bloor. To fix this issue, one of the southbound lanes should be replaced with a short bi-directional cycle track on the west side. Since this is in front of Castle Frank station, a raised platform could be installed to allow easy pick ups and drop offs at the station. The curbs could then be tightened which would help reduce pedestrian crossing distances and slow down motor vehicles.

These changes would leave an extra lane east of Castle Frank. Two options can be pursued here. The first is to make the right hand lane right turn only while the other two lanes would continue to Bloor. However, if the City wishes to maintain the right turn restriction from 7 to 9 AM on weekdays, a second option could involve closing off that right lane as per the rendering below.

In either case, overhead signage could be used to indicate the left lane is for Danforth, the middle lane is for Bloor, and the right lane (if maintained) is for Castle Frank. An example is found below.

Redesigning Bloor and Castle Frank could be done quickly and affordably by using quick build materials including jersey barriers to block off that left turn channel from the DVP on-ramp. These changes will go a long way in ensuring safe cycling access to and from Rosedale, while making it clear cyclists should not be riding on the DVP on-ramp.

Since putting up that post on Thursday, I received a suggestion from George Bell about adding a protected cycle track on the east side to connect with the Bayview and Lower Don Trails. The on-ramp is about 13-14 metres wide which is certainly wide enough to accommodate a multi-use path, but I suggested installing it on the north and west side to connect with the Beltline Trail in order to remove conflicts with motor vehicles. Of course, the Beltline Trail would need to be paved from this proposed trail to Evergreen Brickworks and maybe west to Mount Pleasant as well.


  1. I would love an easier time cycling into Rosedale instead of waiting for a moment of calm in the river of traffic coming off the DVP.

    The Bayview/Bloor ramp actually has strong potential as a connection from Bloor to the Don Valley and the Brickworks for both cyclists and pedestrians. It has two big advantages over other routes: access would be obvious and direct from Castle Frank subway station, rather than forcing a long detour via Milkman's Lane, Pottery Road, or Riverdale Park; and it's by far the gentlest slope out of the valley anywhere in the area. If you look at it on a map, a bi-directional protected mixed-use path along the west side of the ramps, connecting to the Belt Line trail where it abuts the exit ramp onto southbound Bayview, provides the most direct route and wouldn't have any traffic crossings. Access at the top could be provided by extending your proposed cycletrack east from Castle Frank Road.

    I know at least a few people who have used this route regularly for years to walk or ride into and out of the valley. It ought to be made safer.

    1. I agree, Val. Even brought up that proposed routing the other day when George suggested putting a trail on the east side which I feel would lead to too many conflicts with motor vehicles. Think I will have to update the post to include this suggestion.