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Yonge Street revival: Looking at competing visions to invigorate Toronto’s main drag

May 10, 2012, National Post. Toronto’s unofficial main drag, Yonge Street has had its ups and downs. A low point came in January 2011, when the once-bustling Empress Hotel, at the corner of Gould Street, burned down. The destruction of the historic building became a catalyst to look at ways to invigorate the storied street, already experiencing a renaissance thanks to Yonge Dundas Square.

A privately funded master plan for the area recommended narrowing a central stretch of Yonge in order to widen sidewalks. Council will consider whether to give it a try this summer. But councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong has another idea: why not reconfigure both Yonge and Bay streets, south of Bloor, into one-way thoroughfares? The chairman of the public works and infrastructure committee argues that it could move traffic more swiftly, and make space for transit or cyclists. The National Post’s Natalie Alcoba looks at the competing visions and begins with the easiest option. Read More…