Complete Streets for Canada

policy and design hub for building safe and inviting streets for all

Richmond and Adelaide Streets, Toronto, ON

 A pilot project that saw one lane of traffic converted to a bike lane on each of them has met with success, and it was one of nine Complete Streets projects profiled in Complete Streets Transformations.


Richmond and Adelaide are a pair of parallel one-way streets that cut through the heart of Toronto's downtown financial district. The addition of cycle tracks along this major corridor streets provides a key east-west bike route through the heart of Toronto’s downtown core.  Since 2011, the streets have been part of a Municipal Class Environmental Assesment, and the cycle tracks were installed in two phases as a pilot project for demonstration, testing and evaluation. Final recommendations will be made in 2016. 


  • Uni-directional cycle track on each street
  • Cycle tracks separated from motor vehicle traffic by a painted buffer and a combination of bollards and planters
  • Reduction of traffic lanes on most sections of the streets from four to three, and at times to two to accommodate off-peak parking or construction staging areas


  • Cyclist counts over an eight period on Adelaide Street increased from 529 in June 2014, to 1,573 in May 2015, after the first phase of the pilot project was implemented.  On Richmond Street, cyclist counts rose from 504 to 1,296 in the peak hours.
  • Perceptions of safety and comfort have improved, with scores from cyclists rising from 3.6/10 to 8.3/10 after the cycle tracks were installed.  Drivers as well reported an increase in safety, and scores relating to how comfortable they felt driving with cyclists on the road went from 5/10 to 8.2/10. 
  • Travel times for motor vehicles decreased by as much as 30% along Richmond and Adelaide after the first phase of the pilot project.  The only increase in travel time for drivers was by 35 seconds (or 12%) on Adeliade during the afternoon peak period.

Before and After

Photo - After: 
Photo - Before: