| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

$1 billion Astral Media deal helps city's walking strategy win national prize

Toronto's walking strategy has been named the best transportation plan in the country.

As described in the citation from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who gave the award, "The city aims to strengthen Torontonians' sense of community by putting more "eyes on the street' and by creating more shared public spaces and opportunities for social interaction and recreation."

The plan, developed roughly between the Walk 21 conference in Toronto in 2007, and its adoption in May, 2009, has been funded through the public realm section of the city's $1-billion street furniture advertising contract with Astral Media, from which the Pedestrian Projects division gets roughly $1 million a year.

"I think it's that, for me, it's the three guiding principles: design excellence, universal accessibility and safety," says Fiona Chapman, the woman in charge of executing the strategy.

She's especially enthusiastic about the strategy's design aspect. "If it isn't handsome, there's no point in it," she says. "A lot of walking is not just about getting from a to b; it's sitting, watching other walkers, that's what makes our city so fantastic."

The strategy involves physical things, like paths, green spaces, benches; promotional items, such as ad campaigns and a walking website; as well as more strictly pragmatic things, like the pedestrian scrambles at Yonge and Dundas, Yonge and Bloor and Bloor and Bay.

The current strategy has a 10-year time frame.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Fiona Chapman

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts