City staff looking to make Queen Street a 'transit priority" zone

City staff want to turn 14km into a

The mighty streetcar may be taking over Queen Street West.

A proposal is going to Mayor John Tory's executive committee next week that, if approved by council, could see a 14km stretch from Roncesvalles to Victoria Park be turned into a "transit priority" zone similar to King Street.

It notes the city's primary goal is to move the most people possible during busy periods and because transit vehicles carry more people than cars, they should reign supreme.

Robert Sysak is the executive director of the West Queen West BIA.

He's not against the idea, at all. In fact, in light of the pandemic, he welcomes it. "There's 300,000 people who live within a 15-minute walking radius of West Queen West and that's the crowd that we need for them to feel safe and for them to be able to get through the local neighbourhoods easily. If a streetcar can travel faster and there are more of them, people will go on them. If they're crowded people would be hesitant."

He says the pandemic has changed the landscape and there are fewer peeople visiting from outside the neighbourhood.

A detailed design for the streetcar proposal is expected in 2027 and, if approved, could be in place the following year.