St. Joseph Street Roadway Consultation

At the request of local residents, Councillor Wong-Tam has had Transportation staff undertake a review of operations on St. Joseph Street between Queen's Park Crescent and Yonge Street. Residents' concerns primarily relate to pedestrian safety on St. Joseph Street west of Bay Street and automotive traffic driving the wrong way along St. Joseph Street between Yonge Street and Bay Street.

A drop-in consultation will be held at City Hall on Tuesday, November 21 from 6pm to 8pm in Committee Room 1 and will feature the materials illustrated below.

In the interest of gathering as much feedback as possible, this page has been developed to be shared with local residents. You are encouraged to provide feedback on the two sets of proposed changes below. You may answer the questions below or provided your own concerns and suggestions.


Two-Way Operations Between Yonge Street and Bay Street

In spite of police enforcement, community members continue to report vehicles driving the wrong way down St. Joseph Street. This has been identified as unsafe for both road users and pedestrians. Physical roadway alterations, such as bump-outs of the sidewalk to narrow the lanes, are not possible in the next two years while Transportation Services staff are undertaking a comprehensive downtown traffic study as part of the Yonge Street Environmental Assessment.

Community members have proposed that the roadway be made two-way, in order to prevent collisions. This change would not impact the total number of parking spaces on the road, though vehicles would need to park facing west on the north side in accordance with traffic direction.

The following report was provided by Transportation Services this year at the request of Councillor Wong-Tam:

Existing Conditions

St. Joseph Street, between Bay Street and Yonge Street, is a local roadway with a regulatory speed limit of 50 km/h.  It operates one-way eastbound on a pavement width of about 11 metres with sidewalks on both sides.  Our studies indicated that St. Joseph Street has a daily eastbound traffic volume of 2,164 vehicles and no westbound illegal traffic, from Bay Street to St. Nicholas Street, and a daily eastbound traffic volume of 1,810 vehicles and westbound illegal traffic volume of 29 vehicles, from St. Nicholas Street to Yonge Street.

This section of St. Joseph Street is comprised of an eastbound travel lane and a parking lane on each side of the road.  The land use in immediate area includes commercial and residential portions.  There are three driveways on the north side and two driveways on the south side.  There is no TTC service provided on this section of the road. 

The existing parking regulations on both sides of this section of St. Joseph Street are as follows:

  • Permit parking, 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.;
  • Pay and display parking, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Sunday; and
  • Three-hour time limit parking, all other times (unsigned, statutory).

Impacts of Two-way Operation 

Introducing two-way traffic on this section of St. Joseph Street will enhance access to the land uses in this area.  Additionally, as the through traffic lanes will be narrower and motorists will need to be aware of opposing traffic, this operation will promote slower operating speeds.  However, the potential operation will increase traffic volumes on this street and introduce new potential conflict points between westbound motorists and traffic at the intersection with St. Nicholas Street and the mid-block driveways.

Since this section of the road has a pavement width of 11 metres, it could accommodate two-way traffic lanes and maintain the parking lanes on both sides.  The potential two-way operation will also require the installation of westbound signal heads at Bay Street.


The conversion of St. Joseph Street is technically feasible and will enhance the connectivity of the area road network as motorists will need to take a less circuitous route to/from their destination.  Additionally, this proposal will promote slower operating speeds, due to the narrower lanes for through traffic and the introduction of friction with opposing traffic flows.

However, it will likely increase traffic volumes and introduce new potential traffic conflicts between westbound motorists and pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

In view of the forgoing impacts, it is recommended that extensive community consultation be undertaken prior to the potential two-way conversion of St. Joseph Street, between Bay Street and Yonge Street, to ensure that all residents, businesses and institutions are aware of, and generally in support of, this operation.


Speeding Control Measures Between Queen's Park Crescent and Bay Street

Community members, students, and staff at the University of Toronto have raised concerns about speeding on St. Joseph Street between Queen's Park Crescent and Bay Street. Staff have identified the installation of speed humps at three locations as the best means of addressing this issue.


Your Feedback is Important

Do you support two-way operations on St. Joseph Street between Yonge Street and Bay Street?
Do you support speed bumps as a traffic calming measure between Queen's Park Crescent and Bay Street?
Do either of the proposals raise new concerns for you?
Would you like to note any information that you feel should be considered by Transportation staff?

Please provide your feedback on these questions and any related thoughts you may have on the alterations in the form below.

This page will be maintained through November 30, 2017.

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