Yonge + St. Clair BIA
Janet Rosenberg & Studio (Landscape Architecture)
Photography Credit: JRS, Yonge + St Clair BIA
Centered on the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue, the Yonge + St Clair Business Improvement Area (BIA) represents over 450 businesses in midtown Toronto. The BIA includes a wide variety of user types, including office, retail, service, residential, and hospitality. Businesses serve the surrounding residential community as well as users who commute into the neighborhood for their shopping, employment, or entertainment. After decades of relative stasis, Yonge + St. Clair is experiencing a wave of development interest. The mandate of the BIA is to improve, beautify, and promote the area as a vibrant business and lifestyle community.
This Master Plan integrates the results of a robust public consultation process that provided multiple avenues for public input. The process identified the need for a number of improvements to the area. Through gathering feedback from the community, input from the BIA membership and board, consultation with local stakeholders, context and inventory research, and public realm best practice research, we were able to establish a set of guiding principles that best define the concepts, strategies, and implementation steps that can be used to attain the ultimate goal of the Yonge + St. Clair Streetscape Master plan. The six guiding principles are identified as:
1. Better pedestrian infrastructure
2. Arts and cultural programming
3. More seating
4. Street section upgrades
5. Connection to local open space/ amenities
6. Enhanced planting programming
The vision for Yonge + St. Clair is to develop “a high-quality public realm supporting innovative programming and creative installations shaping a sophisticated, year-round destination accessible to all”. For Yonge + St. Clair, this plan envisions a resilient infrastructure that provides beautiful, accessible, high-quality public realm amenities while serving as the framework to host artwork and installations that activate the BIA and encourage users to stay longer and visit more often. The permanent public realm interventions are to be high quality and subtle to harmonize with the understated sophistication of the area and its users.