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Yonge Street Revitalization (Downtown Yonge BIA/City of Toronto)

ssiguy2

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I don't really like what's happening to Yonge.

Yonge is, love it or hate it, the main drag of the city and with all the condos and high rises going up it will lose much of it's grit and hence character. There is no such a thing as a new tall building that houses anything at it's base that is not "family friendly" meaning if you can't find it at Square One then it's too riske'. In short, it's the fastest route to gentrification but if there is one street in the city that you don't want to gentrify, it's Yonge. That's Yonge Streets appeal...........anything goes.

Yes, it's lost some of it's edge from the 1970s and some of that is due to changing demographics, values, social interaction, and technology but it's still "Forever Yonge". With these tall building however the street seems to slowly being turned into a neon Asian strip, with tons of flash but little character.

This is of course the city's fault 100%. Some blame the store owners for not investing in their buildings but that's crap. If the city actually put some money and energy into Yonge then maybe they would do the same but seeing the city has no overall plan for the resurrection of Yonge why should the businesses?

Yonge is the ONLY major street in the city where you can't even sit outside and have a coffee little alone a dinner. Of any street could handle being closed down to all traffic, it's Yonge as it has the Yonge subway and the overwhelming majority of the people bound for the Yonge corridor south of Bloor get there by transit. Getting to Yonge isn't a problem but walking on it sure is. It's one of the most pedestrian unfriendly streets in the whole city and it's a shame because no one at City Hall seems to care.
 

ssiguy2

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It's good that someone even acknowledges the problem but the reality is that was written 2 years ago.

Yonge should be careless from Bloor to Union as far as I'm concerned. If New York can do it and then so can Toronto. Toronto is so pedestrian unfriendly in how it treats it's pedestrians. The sidewalks are thin, ill maintained, and there is not one single foot itsy-bitsy laneway little alone block that doesn't have cars on it.

Think about that for a minute............a city of 6 million with thousands of streets and not one little block is for pedestrians only. This will only become more pronounced as the downtown population continues to soar. It's pathetic that there is not a single outdoor chair on the entire Yonge stretch.

Toronto will make the excuse that it's too cold but I guess Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, and St.John's didn't get the memo.
 

Softee

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It's good that someone even acknowledges the problem but the reality is that was written 2 years ago.

Yonge should be careless from Bloor to Union as far as I'm concerned. If New York can do it and then so can Toronto. Toronto is so pedestrian unfriendly in how it treats it's pedestrians. The sidewalks are thin, ill maintained, and there is not one single foot itsy-bitsy laneway little alone block that doesn't have cars on it.

Think about that for a minute............a city of 6 million with thousands of streets and not one little block is for pedestrians only. This will only become more pronounced as the downtown population continues to soar. It's pathetic that there is not a single outdoor chair on the entire Yonge stretch.

Toronto will make the excuse that it's too cold but I guess Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, and St.John's didn't get the memo.
Jus so you know, thee are several restaurants with outdoor seating along downtown Yonge. Also, the Distillery district is pedestrians only.
 

ssiguy2

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Yonge is Toronto's premier street and it looks like crap. The sidewalks are so thin and the street so pedestrian unfriendly that it has become nothing more than a tourist street for the drunk 905 kids and people who want to know what a Canadian McDonald's tastes like.
 

dt_toronto_geek

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It's good that someone even acknowledges the problem but the reality is that was written 2 years ago.

Yonge should be careless from Bloor to Union as far as I'm concerned. If New York can do it and then so can Toronto. Toronto is so pedestrian unfriendly in how it treats it's pedestrians. The sidewalks are thin, ill maintained, and there is not one single foot itsy-bitsy laneway little alone block that doesn't have cars on it.

Think about that for a minute............a city of 6 million with thousands of streets and not one little block is for pedestrians only. This will only become more pronounced as the downtown population continues to soar. It's pathetic that there is not a single outdoor chair on the entire Yonge stretch.

Toronto will make the excuse that it's too cold but I guess Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, and St.John's didn't get the memo.
Toronto has greatly been a car city, it will take time (and political courage) for the curve to change - along with a reliable transit system. Toronto and New York cannot be compared, they have so many factors which are different it would take a book to discuss them all. Until LRT/subway lines are built and expanded, I wouldn't expect to see too much change before then.
Toronto is just under 3 million, not 6 million.
There are patios on Yonge Street, and then there's Yonge-Dundas Square.
The sidewalks are as wide as they can be on downtown Yonge without losing a lane, and they are in a good state of repair. With all the talk of traffic congestion, I wouldn't expect many sidewalks to be widened in the near future.
Gould Street has been pedestrianized, between Church Street and to just east of Yonge.
 

Tewder

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Toronto has greatly been a car city, it will take time (and political courage) for the curve to change - along with a reliable transit system. Toronto and New York cannot be compared, they have so many factors which are different it would take a book to discuss them all. Until LRT/subway lines are built and expanded, I wouldn't expect to see too much change before then.
Toronto is just under 3 million, not 6 million.
There are patios on Yonge Street, and then there's Yonge-Dundas Square.
The sidewalks are as wide as they can be on downtown Yonge without losing a lane, and they are in a good state of repair. With all the talk of traffic congestion, I wouldn't expect many sidewalks to be widened in the near future.
Gould Street has been pedestrianized, between Church Street and to just east of Yonge.
I agree with you completely. If people use their cars it's because it makes the most sense to them (for a myriad of reasons). Not until transit is improved, tipping the balance in favour of it making more sense to people to take transit than drive will we see the shift in Toronto to that which is similar in NYC where having a car is a liability and not the other way around.

This is sort of how I frame the 'war on cars' (as clumsy and trite as it has been represented)... until transit reaches such a point as above any further attempts to snarl traffic (i.e. lanes for bikes, widening sidewalks etc) - no matter how enlightened (truly) on certain levels - will only be seen as illogical and frustrating (inciting an illogical response, i.e. the 'war' analogy). In the end, no matter how you slice it, we need to address the urban and regional transit gap first and foremost before freeing up space to move on to many other urban objectives (a truly extensive network of bike lanes, widened sidewalks, pedestrianized zones etc. etc.).
 

ssiguy2

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I know Toronto is a car city but the one street that could be pedestrianized is Yonge. Yonge has a subway right underneath it and most people getting to Yonge do so by the subway, GO, or streetcars. It is the one street that where businesses wouldn't suffer from people not finding parking because few people who are Yonge bound drive there in the first place.

I could handle maybe one lane in each direction so people in their cars could still "cruise the strip" which is certainly part of Yonge's appeal but in order to make the street a truly pedestrian friendly street they need to, at a very minimum, double the width of the sidewalks so people can walk on it comfortably and restaurants can have large and inviting patios.
 

DSC

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I know Toronto is a car city but the one street that could be pedestrianized is Yonge. Yonge has a subway right underneath it and most people getting to Yonge do so by the subway, GO, or streetcars. It is the one street that where businesses wouldn't suffer from people not finding parking because few people who are Yonge bound drive there in the first place.

I could handle maybe one lane in each direction so people in their cars could still "cruise the strip" which is certainly part of Yonge's appeal but in order to make the street a truly pedestrian friendly street they need to, at a very minimum, double the width of the sidewalks so people can walk on it comfortably and restaurants can have large and inviting patios.
I guess you do not know that Yonge was (briefly) pedestranised. See: http://www.blogto.com/city/2011/03/the_story_of_the_first_yonge_street_pedestrian_mall/ Not that it means it cannot be tried again but ...
 

thecharioteer

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Denver took 16th Street and created a curbless granite-paved "ramblas" down the middle and eliminated all cars except for free buses. In Toronto, given the Yonge subway, we don't need buses. I would only allow taxis, emergency vehicles and bicycles.



 
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dt_toronto_geek

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I know Toronto is a car city but the one street that could be pedestrianized is Yonge. Yonge has a subway right underneath it and most people getting to Yonge do so by the subway, GO, or streetcars. It is the one street that where businesses wouldn't suffer from people not finding parking because few people who are Yonge bound drive there in the first place.

I could handle maybe one lane in each direction so people in their cars could still "cruise the strip" which is certainly part of Yonge's appeal but in order to make the street a truly pedestrian friendly street they need to, at a very minimum, double the width of the sidewalks so people can walk on it comfortably and restaurants can have large and inviting patios.
A lot of shops on downtown Yonge receive their deliveries off Yonge Street, and if there is a subway problem or closure, Yonge must have open roads for buses. That said, I'd agree with you that in the future downtown Yonge could lose a lane or two, or altering it to one-way along with Bay or Church (opposite direction) may be a consideration in the future to widening the sidewalks and possibly bike lanes. I don't think we're there yet though, what with "war on the car" fresh in people's minds.
 

Celeste

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I hated that the Gasworks was closed down as quickly as it was. And a little off topic but the El Mo closed down just last month and the Guvernment is closing down next month to make way for condo developments. It seems that the days where you could go to a sleazy bar or night club to see your favourite bands play is pretty much going the way of the dinosaurs.
 

Celeste

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yeah, and what should they be?

Why do people keep thinking the good old days are the best? If one really misses the much smaller and less diverse Toronto, they can always move to Ottawa. Do they really think there is less to do and see in Toronto nowadays than 30 years ago?
Were you even off of cloud nine 30 years ago?

The Gasworks, not to mention the many other bars and night clubs a long Yonge Street were the music mechas of the city. The Gasworks was an institution.
 

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