The Bloor Street Transformation Project in mid-town Toronto’s tony Yorkville neighbourhood has completed its transformation of a stretch of the boulevard from Church Street to Avenue Road, making it Toronto’s most ambitious, privately funded, streetscape project ever.
“Shoppers and visitors will immediately experience the benefit of the transformation,” says Briar de Lange, Executive Director, Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area. “A widened granite boulevard replaces cement sidewalks and curbs, providing visitors with ample room to stroll, peek at window displays and enjoy a streetscape Torontonians have long associated with enjoyment of the holiday season.”
Fully funded by the Bloor Street BIA members, the $20-million project will boast 134 London Plane trees planted in sustainable soil cell systems to promote optimal growth, seasonal flowerbeds and attractive up-lighting for each tree. Bike rings and benches are installed east of Yonge Street, with more to come west of Yonge Street in spring 2011, along with trees and plantings.
Permanent works of art, selected from submissions by international artists are installed on the northeast corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street, as well as the southwest corner of Bay and Bloor Street West.
The new Bloor Street design, created by the team at architectsAlliance, was led by Peter Clewes and Adrian DiCastri. “While the process took some time, the end result was worth it,” says Halima Khan, Operations Canada, Tiffany & Co. “We’re pleased with the new look and encourage Torontonians and out-of-town visitors to come out and enjoy this special part of the city.”
In the late 1990’s, the City of Toronto advised the Bloor-Yorkville BIA that extensive construction work was required to replace the antiquated water main system running the full length of the Bloor-Yorkville shopping district roadway of Bloor Street between Church Street and Avenue Road. Recognizing the construction would have to be carried out, the BIA Directors decided to turn the situation into an opportunity and approached the City of Toronto with the idea of completely transforming the corridor with many exciting upgrades.
In the fall of 2007, City contractors carried out the water main replacement project. With that work completed, construction on the Bloor Street Transformation Project began to beautify and completely revamp Bloor-Yorkville’s beloved fashion mile. The BIA kicked off the Bloor Street Transformation Project at a groundbreaking ceremony held July 9th, 2008. The transformation was phased in over 30 months and completed October 2010.
- Atlantic Gray Granite Pavers – Quarried in Quebec – 11,415 square meters
- Atlantic Gray Granite Curbs – Quarried in Quebec – 2,016 linear meters
- Concrete – 5,490 cubic meters
- 20′ London Plane trees – 134 in total
- Silva Cells to support tree growth and allow for root expansion – Placed at varying heights, under the tree wells occupying a total underground area of 9,891 square meters
- Benches – 6 built in to planters, 9 independent east of Yonge, 18 planned for west of Yonge (spring 2011)
- Sleek Bike Posts – 24 east of Yonge, 46 planned for west of Yonge (spring 2011)
- Wider than standard curb lane (3.9 meters) for shared use by drivers and cyclists