The Bayview Leaside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is embarking on an ambitious streetscape masterplan to unify the east and west businesses of Bayview Avenue.
Established in 2015, the Bayview Leaside BIA is a collection of businesses on Bayview Ave. from Davisville Ave. to Soudan Avenue, including some of Toronto’s best restaurants, clothing stores, salons, and specialty shops in Leaside. This newly formed BIA has retained The Planning Partnership and Steer Davies Gleave to develop a streetscape vision for Bayview Ave. The goal of the streetscape masterplan is to provide long-term design solutions to improve walkability, strengthen community ties, increase environmental solutions, and unify the sidewalk space on the east and west side of Bayview Avenue. The goal is to develop the masterplan by spring 2017.
A streetscape masterplan is a document that provides guidance for redesigning the street right-of-way. Bayview Leaside BIA’s masterplan will pay attention to parking strategies, traffic flow, and pedestrian realm improvements. The Planning Partnership and Steer Davies Gleave boast extensive experience developing and implementing streetscape masterplans in the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada. They have worked with Bloor-Yorkville BIA, Liberty Village BIA, Entertainment District BIA, and the Distillery District.
Once farmland, Bayview Ave. has seen its share of change and growth. The street is split between two wards and two councillors, and a divided design. The streetscape on the east side of Bayview Avenue differs from the west side in its raised cement planter boxes, as well as the placement of street furniture. The result is a lack of cohesion and unification on the Bayview strip. The masterplan will improve this major street’s functionality by making it more pedestrian friendly and enhancing its beauty while also respecting its deep history.
So far, The Planning Partnership and Steer Davies Gleave have finished an inventory and analysis of existing conditions along the street. To help develop a draft vision, they have also completed several one-on-one stakeholder interviews with members of the Bayview Leaside Business Improvement Area, including a Bayview Pixie, members of the Leaside Garden Society, a representative of the Leaside Property Owners Association, and a local realtor.
This spring, the BIA will host an open house for the public to provide feedback on the masterplan draft. Check for the date of the open house on the BIA’s website (bayviewleasidebia.com) as well as in Leaside Life. The BIA encourages everyone to provide insights, to create a beautiful and bustling streetscape that reflects the wonderful people who live, work, shop, and play in Bayview Leaside.
To stay in touch with Bayview happenings, visit: bayviewleasidebia.com
This article was written by guest contributor Cecilia Pye.