Toronto's Great Streets

July 2018

Ingredients of a "great street:" a review of recent street redesign projects in Toronto and their successful outcomes.


This report profiles five recently redesigned streets in Toronto and uncovers some of their ingredients for success. It also features five future great streets, The Ones to Watch, that have great potential for revitalization and change, with the right recipe.

There is no standard recipe for a great street. But a common thread among the streets featured in this study is that they all play a key role in making the surrounding neighbourhood a great place to live, work, and visit.

Toronto’s Great Streets was produced with support from The Metcalf Foundation.


Authored by Claire Nelischer and Cherise Burda

Research support by Kasia Kmieć and Tamara Nahal

With support from: Graham Haines, Colin Wolfe, Ken Greenberg, Andre Vallillee

Special thanks to: Staff from the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division, Infrastructure Planning Section, staff from the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division, Public Realm Section, staff from the City of Toronto’s City Planning Division, Transit and Transportation Planning Section, staff from the Toronto Transit Commission’s Strategy and Service Planning Department, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, Cycle Toronto, St. Lawrence Market BIA, Downtown Yonge BIA, Harbord Village BIA, Toronto Association of BIAs, Harbord Village Residents Association, John Bowker, Caran Construction, Woodcliffe Landmark Properties, Councillor Gord Perks and staff, Councillor John Filion and staff, Councillor Joe Mihevc and staff, Councillor Mike Layton and staff, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and staff, and all others who contributed interviews and information.

“Though the authors provide important insights into how streets function, their work leads us to wonder whether making streets is an art or a science. Is it a job for engineers or urban designers? The answer, of course, is all the above. More important, perhaps, is the question of for whom streets are designed.”

Christopher HumeToronto Star