Phase 1 Consultations took place, between April and June 2015.

thank you for Over 10,500 Completed Surveys

Thank you to the over 10,500 individuals across Toronto who completed our Phase 1 online survey.  Your input has been very important for informing and confirming the values and priorities that were applied in the crafting of the draft Cycling Network Plan.


What We Heard:

Connect and Grow the Network to Make it Safer for Commuting by Bike

From the survey results we heard the following as top recommendations:

  • Connect and grow the network first, upgrading existing facilities is secondary
  • Focus on commuter routes (rather than recreational)
  • Improving cyclist safety should the number one objective
  • Cycle tracks (protected bike lanes) are the preferred network route type, followed by painted bike lanes
  • Primarily build cycling network routes where there is existing demand, although don't forget to also build for encouraging future cycling growth outside of the downtown

Beyond these headlines, there is an incredible depth of insights that can be pulled from analysis of the survey.   You can view, filter and sort an interactive and graphic report of the results from all survey questions here Detailed Phase 1 Survey Results


Key Phase 1 Survey highlights from the survey results:

  • 90% of the 10,500+ respondents identified themselves as someone who cycles.
  • "Connect - close gaps in the existing network" and "Grow - expand to serve more neighborhoods and destinations" both evenly split as the top priority for most respondents, with " Renew - upgrade existing routes" coming in third among 70% of respondents.[Q2]
  • 61% of respondents said they would consider cycling to my TTC/GO station. 11% do already. [Q9]
  • 31% of respondents agreed the City should "Avoid putting bikeways where they are likely to increase traffic congestion"
  • Less than 15% of respondents agreed that the City should "Avoid putting bikeways where they will reduce on-street parking and loading" or  "Only build bikeways where the local community supports them" [Q10]

Balancing Priorities Questions:

How should the City balance competing needs with limited resources?  Across multiple questions of balancing priorities, almost a third of respondents were generally middle ground.  That said, of those with a recommended priority there were clear tendencies:

  •  "Meet Current Demand" prioritized more than twice as much over "Encourage Future Growth" – although this trend reverses modestly to small majority preference of "Encourage Future Growth" among those who only cycle outside the downtown. [Q11]
  • "Create New Routes" prioritized more than twice as much over "Improve Existing Routes" [Q12]
  •  "Connect Existing Routes prioritized more than twice as much over "Connect to Destinations" [Q13]
  • "Commuter Focus" prioritized seven times over "Recreational Focus". [Q14]

budget question:

  • 88% of respondents thought the budget for cycling should be increased to "expand and upgrade the network more quickly" [Q15]


route types question:

The Cycling Network is made of Cycle Tracks, Painted Bike Lanes, Off Street Multi-Use Trails, and Shared Roadways on Quite residential streets.  Of the four main types of cycling network routes Cycle tracks (protected bike lanes) were consistently the clear priority.  Below is the average spread of how much respondents recommend the City focus on each bikway type. [Q16]

  • Cycle Tracks (protected bike lanes) 40%
  • Painted Bike Lanes 30%
  • Off street Multi-Use Trails 20%
  • Shared Roadway Roues on Quiet Residential Streets 17%


ranking analysis criteria

Of the 8 Criteria the City is using to analyze the City of Toronto, respondents most consistently prioritized "Safety" over all others, followed closely by "Connectivity" as their priority. See summary of total responses below. [Q17]

  • 1. Safety: Prioritize reducing potential risks on streets that currently have a high number of bicycle-motor vehicle collisions.  7362
  • 2. Connectivity: Prioritize closing gaps between existing cycling network routes and increase routing possibilities. 6596
  • 3. Coverage: Prioritize adding new cycling routes to parts of the city that currently lack them. 4654
  • 4. Current Demand: Prioritize routes which pass through areas with existing high rates of bicycle use.  4062
  • 5. Density: Prioritize routes which pass through areas near a high number of residents and jobs. 2486
  • 6. Barrier crossingCreates or improves connections across existing barriers (e.g. bridges over railways, highway underpasses) 2304
  • Potential DemandPasses through areas where people are making a lot of short trips (under 5 km) by car or transit 2119
  • Trip GeneratorsConnects to popular destinations such as transit stations (TTC/GO), schools, malls, office towers, etc. 1715


Who Responded

  • 90% of the survey responses were from people who ride a bicycle, along with 7% who would "like to start cycling" and 3% who don't intend to bike but are still interested. [Q1]
  • 65% cycle 5 to 7 days per week, and 30% 1 to 4 days per week. [Q4]
  • 70% of respondents have been cycling for 6 years or more [Q7]
  • We heard from all ages from under 15 to 85+, with the high majority (65%) between 25-44. [Q19]
  • The gender split was 56% male, 43% female and 1% other. [Q19]
  • All income levels were represented, although there was a skew towards higher income households by about 10%.  [Q21]

When asked "Where do you regularly bike?" respondents selected the following: [Q6]

  • Downtown (south of Eglinton) 91.9%
  • North York (north of Eglinton) 14.3% 
  • Etobicoke 13.0%
  • Scarborough 8.3%
  • Outside of Toronto 13.1%

Geographically, respondents lived mostly in the downtown area [Q3]

A majority of cyclists (60%) said they were "ok cycling in traffic sometimes, but much prefer bike lanes and cycle tracks", while 34% said they were comfortable "cycling in traffic on almost any road", and 6% were "only comfortable cycling on quiet streets or on trails, away from traffic".  To note, those who were comfortable on any road, were 70% male. [Q8]

About 2,200 (21%) of respondents were either a member of bicycle club or a cycling advocacy group. [Q23]

next steps

The City received over 700 pages (over 345,000 words) of open ended comments that staff will be digging into over the coming months to inform overall strategy for improving cycling in Toronto. [Q18]


learn more

Beyond these summary points, there is an incredible depth of insights that can be pulled from analysis of the survey.   You can view, filter and sort an interactive and graphic report of the results from all survey questions here:

Online Survey Results


Cycling App Data was also analyzed to inform the draft map.  Thank you to the over 3,600 Toronto cyclists who installed and used the Toronto Cycling App on their smart phone. 

The data you recorded about your travel habits helped the project team optimize recommended routes which should be added to our Cycling Network and will continue to inform our network planning recommendations. 


Thank you again to everyone who participated.  Subscribe to our email list for further opportunities to participate in cycling public consultations.