Urban renewal revitalizes East York

New streetscaping project will see the modernization of the community

Under the helm of Mayor John Tory, Toronto has been swept up in streetscaping, the process of upgrading infrastructure and the modernization of roadways and sidewalks for better use.

East York will reap the benefits of the overall project, as the community will receive millions in funding to conduct key road and safety improvements over the next two years. Due to the devastating floods East York has endured in the past,  the project will include the construction of a rain garden, additional sewers and the realignment of water mains. These improvements will help ensure that local residents and business don’t again see the costly damage associated with flooding.

The project will also see an additional increase to pedestrian safety efforts through the reconfiguration of the O’Connor Drive and Woodbine Avenue and O’Connor and St. Clair Avenue intersections, improvements geared towards creating a safer neighbourhood.

The entire revitalization project, while pricey at an estimated $17 million, is necessary for the future of the East York community. It’s particularly important to the development of local businesses, which in the past have been negatively affected by flooding. 

The project follows in the footsteps of major metropolitan cities like New York City and fellow Toronto neighbourhoods such as Roncesvalles Village and the Annex. Streetscaping will see East York residents receive the necessary improvements needed for their community to thrive.

Toronto has had a successful history with similar infrastructure modernization projects. In 2010, Roncesvalles Avenue underwent a streetscaping process that saw the elimination of parking spaces and the expansion of pedestrian sidewalks, and last fall saw the permanent addition of bike lanes on Bloor Street. Both adjustments changed each neighbourhood for the better, allowing for safer and more accessible means of moving around for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

East York needs similar improvements in order to become one of the top neighbourhoods in Toronto.

These efforts speak to the city beginning to account for the estimated population boom that will severely impact Toronto over the next few decades. The city has to adapt for the future, and streetscaping is the tool that will help pave the way.