Current status

Environmental assessment: approved, April 19, 2006

Project summary

The purpose of the undertaking is to construct a 12.5 kilometre centre lane median transitway on Yonge Street between Steeles and 19th Avenues.


Regional Municipality of York


Yonge Street Corridor between Steeles to 19th Avenue, Toronto



Reference number



Environmental Assessment and Permissions Branch

Project history

Environmental assessment: approved
Date submitted: August 5, 2005
Expiry of public comment period: September 23, 2005
Expiry of public comment period for ministry review: December 20, 2005
Decision date: April 19, 2006

Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: April 9, 2004
Expiry of public comment period: May 14, 2004
Decision date: June 30, 2004

Environmental assessment

On August 5, 2005, the Regional Municipality of York (proponent) submitted their Yonge Street Corridor Public Transit Improvements Environmental Assessment (EA) Report to the Minister for review and approval. The Region is proposing to construct a 12.5 kilometre centre lane median transitway on Yonge Street between Steeles and 19th Avenues.

The EA assessed alternatives to public transit and their environmental effects. The EA was placed on the public record for a seven week comment period that ended on September 23, 2005. The ministry’s review was completed on November 10, 2005, and the ministry concluded that the proponent met the requirements of their terms of reference. On November 10, 2005, the ministry published a notice of completion of review. The notice identified where the review was placed on the public record, and how to submit comments to the ministry. The completion of the public review period ends on December 20, 2005.

Terms of reference

Purpose of study

York Region has had the greatest proportional increase in population and employment amongst the four suburban regions of the Greater Toronto Area over the past 10 years. By 2021, York Region’s population is forecast to increase from the current 0.8 million residents to 1.2 million, while employment is estimated to increase from the existing 385,000 jobs to 655,000 by 2021. This population and employment growth will generate a proportional increase in travel demand.

York Region’s Official Plan places a strong emphasis on significantly increasing public transit use to accommodate future transportation needs and support the Plan’s vision of sustaining the natural environment, optimizing economic vitality and ensuring healthy communities. The Region’s 2002 Transportation Master Plan has reaffirmed the need for a significant increase in public transit use to achieve a balanced transportation system.

Premised on the findings of the Transportation Master Plan, the Region in 2001 initiated a Need and Justification study to assess the need for public transit improvements in the Yonge Street Corridor. This study enabled York Region to prepare a focused terms of reference (ToR) under section 6(2)(c) of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). The ToR was approved in January 2003.

Due to a change in legal requirements under the EAA, the Region decided to broaden the scope of its environmental assessment study and submit a new terms of reference for approval under section 6(2)(a) of the EAA. The new ToR includes both the rationale and an updated assessment of alternatives to public transit. Study findings and previous input received where it remains relevant are being assembled and addressed for incorporation into the new study process.