TAF Blog: Toronto Financial District: It’s Time to Embrace Active Transportation

Photo Credit: Christina Bouchard, City of Toronto

TCAT Director Nancy Smith Lea was invited by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund to write a guest blog about the commuting and spending patterns of the 200,000 people who flood into Toronto’s financial district everyday.

“Imagine a place with a population the size of Regina, Windsor or Oakville, where virtually 100% of trips between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. are on bike or by foot. This is not a flight of fancy, it’s a real place and it’s called Toronto’s financial district.

According to a new study by Toronto Financial District Business Improvement Area (BIA), as reported in the Toronto Star last week, 200,000 people (the population of a mid-size Canadian city) stream into a 15 square block area in downtown Toronto five days a week. They arrive by public transit (70%), active transportation (16%), or car (14%). This is consistent with other areas of the downtown, such as Bloor Street where research (2009, 2010) by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) found that only 10-20% of people are driving to local businesses; overwhelmingly customers arrive by walking, cycling and transit.

How people are commuting to the area is of interest, but what’s also quite fascinating is the importance of the PATH system for these thousands of people working in the area’s office towers. The PATH is Toronto’s infamous underground pedestrian network, the largest underground shopping complex in the world. 73% of workers surveyed in the financial district use the PATH daily. Suffice to say that 100% of those customers are on foot. The BIA refers to the PATH as a “huge economic driver,” and they’re right.”

Read the full article HERE.

Posted On: September 21, 2015