Summary Notes from the Leslie St. Walking Safety Audit, Nov. 20, 10–11 AM
Approximately 18 people attended the tour including
• Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher
• Ward 32 Councillor Elect Mary Margaret McMahon
• Residents on or near Leslie
• Cycling Pedestrian advocacy groups (South
Riverdale Bicycle User Group & SoDa Bikes)
• City of Toronto Office of the Public Realm –
• City of Toronto – Transportation Services
• Toronto Transit Commission (Leslie St. Maintenance
Barns Project Managers and design consultants)
• South Riverdale Community Health Centre
Paul Young, health promoter and landscape architect from the South Riverdale Community Health
Centre welcomed everyone and explained the objectives of the tour:
1. To see first hand how the area functions as a local destination for shopping and for
2. To discuss safety issues and improvements on Leslie – changes that would
improve safety for pedestrians (especially seniors and children), people with
disabilities and cyclists.
Paul cited a few statistics about how people move around in Toronto.
- Approximately half the people in Toronto do not have access to a car (they take transit,
walk or bike)
- On average 6 – 7 pedestrians are hit daily in Toronto, ½ of all traffic related fatalities are
pedestrians (Toronto Star).
- Over ½ people in Toronto are cyclists, of these ½ of these use their bikes for practical
purposes (shopping, work, school, etc.) 2009 Toronto Cycling Survey.
Paul clarified that this tour is not meant to raise expectations about how the TTC may or may not
re-design Leslie if/when the new service tracks go in. It is meant to begin a conversation on how the
TTC, City and community can pool their collective resources and wisdom to ensure Leslie is made
physically safer for our most vulnerable road users.
The Tour Route
The group went from Lakeshore Blvd. up the west side of Leslie to Queen St. E. and back down the
east side of Leslie.
The intersections and driveway entries feel dangerous and dominated by car and truck movements.
As a pedestrian or cyclist one feels out of place and in danger of being hit.
Local foot and cycling traffic is mixed with regional car commuters and truck traffic without much
physical separation. The car-oriented retail compounds the problem with large parking lots and few
pedestrian / cycling routes.
Statistically intersections and driveway crossings are where pedestrians or cyclists are most likely
to be hit. All the intersections on Leslie south of Queen feel dangerous.
Cyclists (especially young people) often use the sidewalks - most commonly on weekends.
Leslie St. sidewalks are dark at night in certain places. The back-lotted town houses make the
sidewalk feel like a back lane, unwatched and unsafe.
Drivers do not seem to respect pedestrians or cyclists (esp. at crossing points).
Connections between the sidewalk and the
store entries are difficult on foot and especially
difficult in a wheelchair. For example, there is
no clear route for pedestrians to access
Loblaws from Eastern and Leslie. The Tim
Hortons entry for pedestrians is dangerous
and not accessible. There are few cycling
connections between the existing bike lanes
(on Eastern, Dundas and Lakeshore) to the
There is significant flooding at the entrance of
the building at north west corner of Eastern
and Leslie (covers the sidewalk and bottom
steps going to the building). This area needs
to be raised and / or catch basin re-located.
Could Leslie become a “green way”
connecting people to the lake – as
Vancouver is doing?
There were discussions about designing
the section between Eastern and Queen
with permanent parking and/or a widened
sidewalk. Car volumes would need to be
considered but peak commuter volumes
seem to use Eastern.
Some pedestrian signals could be
adjusted to provide better conditions for
pedestrians (i.e. at Loblaws / Price
Bright pavement markings might help (“zebra crossings”) where sidewalks cross intersections.
Toronto Hydro will come out if requested, to do a review of
Re-grade area at north west corner of Leslie and Eastern Ave.
There may be an opportunity (depending on Loblaw’s future
plans) to create a pedestrian and cycling connection along the
east side of Leslie between Lakeshore Blvd. and Eastern Ave.
This would require a discussion with the City of Toronto area
planner and the property owner / tenant about feasibility and cost/benefit.
Other opportunities may exist to improve conditions on Leslie (i.e. sidewalks, trees, lighting) if any
new developments are planned. This too would require a meeting with the area planner.
Perhaps car and truck traffic could be re-routed onto Lakeshore Blvd rather than Leslie.
Perhaps a shared pedestrian / cycling facility could be introduced along one side of Leslie.
Speed control: perhaps some
intersections could have raised
crossings (i.e. similar to Esplanade
and Market St.)
A contra-flow bike lane on Leslie north
of Queen could connect Eastern bike
lanes up to the Dundas E. bicycle
Councillors Fletcher and McMahon
will post information from the tour and will collect comments from others interested in the issue.
Send ideas to:
Ward 32 Councillor Elect Mary Margaret McMahon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 30 Councillor Paula Fletcher email@example.com
It was suggested that the TTC design team will correspond with participants through the Councillors
regarding design options.
It was suggested that the Councillors meet with the Area Planner(s) to review options for the
Loblaw’s site frontage (and any other new development opportunities)
End of Notes
Recorded by Paul Young, South Riverdale Community Health Centre firstname.lastname@example.org (416)
461-1925 ext. 241
Cc Attendees, South East Toronto Bicycle Users Group, SoDa Bikes, Toronto Coalition for Active