Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, joined by Mark Garner, Executive Director of the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, President of Ryerson University, and Gary Switzer, CEO of MOD Developments, announced today the release of the RFP for the Yonge Street Environment Assessment (EA). The EA is the culmination of years of advocacy and consultation.
In 2011, the renowned architects and urban thinkers Marianne McKenna of KPMB Architects and Ken Greenberg co-authored the Yonge Street Planning Framework, laying the initial foundation for a new vision of Yonge Street, calling for improved public spaces, innovative wayfinding, fine grain retail expressions, heritage and cultural preservation, and wider sidewalks.
Celebrate Yonge, a pilot program launched in the summer of 2012, put those recommendations into action. Converting both curb lanes on Yonge Street between Gerrard and Queen into dynamic public spaces for patios and performance, Celebrate Yonge successfully demonstrated the desire for a more flexible pedestrian friendly street.
In 2014, the Downtown Yonge BIA launched Yonge Love, a seven month long community consultation, gathering feedback from thousands of participants from across the City. The campaign clearly illustrated support for widened sidewalks, pedestrian only events, public art, and unique retail opportunities.
The next step in this process, the Environmental Assessment will focus on designing the new public realm, with consideration given to reconfiguring the street towards increasing pedestrian space, cycling infrastructure, tree planting, lighting, pavement treatments and street furniture.
There is significant support for revitalizing Yonge Street from community stakeholders and Torontonians, who will be provided with numerous opportunities to get involved and have their say about the future of Yonge Street.
Mark Garner, Downtown Yonge BIA
416-597-0255 ext. 225