In response to the growing number of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities on Toronto streets, we joined 8 80 Cities in reimagining a stretch of Danforth Avenue between Woodbine Avenue and Woodmount Avenue. Considering the many tragedies that made the project necessary and how this would be our first-ever project in Canada, we wanted to go big. We began by transforming a parking lane into a green bike lane complete with boxed planters to visibly separate cyclists from traffic. We extended the pedestrian space and invited people to linger by introducing new parklets, cafe seating, Wikiblock elements, and plants.
And then we watched what happened. We’re not sure which was used first or more: the seating or the bike lanes.
Regardless, we got the message: most people wanted more spaces built for them, not the car. The others? They claimed there’s a war on cars.
We had countless interesting conversations with those for and against the bike lanes, and we enjoyed learning about how community members thought about and used their streets. We are grateful to 8 80 Cities for letting us be a part of the project, City Councillor Brad Bradford for finding ways to make it happen, and to the amazing volunteers who made the job easy!