See pedestrians crossing mid-block while cars are moving fast on Front Street at Union Station in Toronto:

Morning rush-hour at Front Street and Bay Street

Morning rush-hour at Front Street and Bay Street

Union Station in Toronto, Ontario is Canada’s busiest transportation hub for the following reasons:

  • Serving upwards of 200,000 passengers every business day
  • This number is expected to double in the next 10-15 years as GO Transit expands
  • Proposed frequent train service to Pearson Airport and improved TTC services will also increase the number of passengers who will be entering and exiting Union Station
Afternoon rush-hour at Front Street and York Street

Afternoon rush-hour at Front Street and York Street

Thus, there is a pedestrian traffic congestion problem during busy periods causing:

  • Pedestrians to spill onto the roadway – on Front Street between Bay Street and York Street; pedestrians outnumber vehicles 10 to 1 during the peak periods
  • Over 2,500 people cross the street in the mid-block in a single peak hour
Mid-block crossing on Front Street

Mid-block crossing on Front Street

Project Goals

  • Safe and efficient pedestrian travel is the top priority.
    • City is considering the creation of a “Pedestrian Priority Zone” that ensures safe, direct, comfortable, attractive and convenient walking access to and from Union Station across Front Street
    • The needs of cars, taxis, bikes and other private vehicles will be addressed in a sensible approach that follows the primary needs of pedestrians
  • Designs will balance historical significance with modern needs and opportunities.
    • Redesign of Front Street will follow established Heritage Precinct Guidelines to preserve the historical importance of the area while allowing for creative and contemporary design solutions
    • Resulting in an expanded and improved civic space
    • Featuring historical architecture and blending with the existing and ongoing streetscape improvements in the surrounding district”

Study Area


Plans have not been finalized.

The City of  Toronto is seeking your input.

The City will be consulting with many stakeholders and will seek public input on options at key stages.

The City of Toronto is about to complete its study on Changes to Front Street at Union Station.

Proposed New Design: Preliminary Preferred Design for Front Street at Union Station

This final public consultation and second Public Information Centre will present the proposed new design which includes the following features:

Changes to Front St. at Union Station: Final Public Consultation Nov. 3, 2011

Changes to Front St. at Union Station: Final Public Consultation Nov. 3, 2011

Lay-By Parking Spaces

  • are modified lay-by taxi, bus and private vehicle parking arrangements on both sides of the street,
  • organized to result in unobstructed space for mid-block pedestrian crossing

Expanded Pedestrian Space
The sidewalk would be expanded, resulting in more walking space and a grand civic plaza.

A grand civic plaza with new lighting, additional seating and a granite pavement treatment.

Wider crosswalks at intersections and reduced crossing distances are also included.

Traffic Lanes Reduced
The existing two typical travel lanes in each direction would be reduced to one wider travel lane in each direction, to be shared by both vehicles and bicycles.

Improved Tree Planting on North Side
Soil cell planters are recommended to ensure the street trees have enough soil space to flourish.

New “Table Top” Mid-block Pedestrian Crossing

To allow for the increased pedestrians moving from Union Station in the morning and returning to Union Station in the afternoon, the City is proposing a mid-block crossing consisting of a raised section of the roadway (a “table top”) spanning the width of the central plaza.

Median Planters Removed
The large planter medians would be replaced with a smaller median that provides pedestrians with a refuge when crossing the street. The median would be mountable for emergency access.

Improved Streetscape
New lighting, additional seating, granite pavement treatment, harmonized street furniture and new way-finding information posts are included.

Improved Bicycle Parking
Bicycle rings would be distributed along the north side. Bixi bicycle rental stations are recommended to be placed immediately east of Bay Street and west of York Street on newly expanded sidewalks.

Maintain Existing Turning Options
No new turning restrictions are being proposed at this time. A left turn storage lane would be provided from Front Street going north on to Bay Street. U-turns would still be possible within breaks in the median.

To learn more about the proposed design and to give your feedback, join us at the second and final public consultation event on November 3, 2011. The Preliminary Preferred Design for Front Street at Union Station will be on display. We invite you to drop in, view materials and speak one-on-one with members of the project team:

Changes to Front St. at Union Station – Public Information Centre #2

Date: November 3, 2011
Time: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Room 309″

Please click here to download the PDF flyer to view images and learn more about the proposed design.

For further details about the study, including materials from last year’s Public Information Centre #1, please click here. 

“You can also learn more about this project and share your insights and opinions through other means:

To submit your comments and questions, please contact:

Jason Diceman
Senior Public Consultation Coordinator
City of Toronto Metro Hall, 19th Floor
55 John Street
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Tel: 416-338-2848 
Fax: 416-392-2974
TTY: 416-397-0831

Please note that:

  • All submissions will be documented, reviewed by the project team and included in the project record.
  • We regret that we can not directly respond to every individual message received.
  • A summary of comments and project team responses will be published on this web page following each stage of public consultation.
  •  Information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.


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