Yonge Street Davis Drive To Green Lane
The Future of Yonge Street: 2026
Updated November 28, 2022
York Region cares about our communities, and we are committed to delivering transportation improvements safely, while minimizing disruptions as best as possible. We’re building, reconstructing and repairing Regional roads for all travellers within our communities.
We understand that continued construction and the traffic delays caused by this work is frustrating for residents living in this area. We analyze and review all traveller data for each project, to determine the best possible solutions to ease congestion and traffic delays during construction.
To meet the demands of all travellers in this area, York Region is improving Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane, in the Towns of Newmarket and East Gwillimbury. This multi-year project will support growth along this busy corridor while creating an efficient, safe and attractive roadway for travellers - whether driving, walking, cycling or taking transit.
Work began in January 2021 and will be completed in stages to help alleviate impacts to all travellers and pedestrians. Access to businesses, as well as four lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout this project.
The Yonge Street improvement project has many benefits to help with future growth and development in the Town of Newmarket and Town of East Gwillimbury, including:
- Road widening from four lanes to six lanes, including High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
- Upgrading five traffic-signal controlled intersections for enhanced accessibility, including audible pedestrian signals
- Installing new traffic signals at the plaza entrances to Yonge Street at Canadian Tire and the Yonge-Kingston Centre for improved access into businesses
- Relocating the traffic signals currently located at the intersection outside of Upper Canada Mall for better alignment of the road network for future growth
- Replacing existing sidewalks to wider sidewalks and bicycle paths within the boulevards on each side of Yonge Street
- Installing new street lighting using more sustainable LED fixtures that save energy, create better nighttime visibility and make streets safer for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists
- Creating a centre median along Yonge Street to protect for future rapid transit, when needed and when funding becomes available
- Streetscaping in the boulevards and centre median with trees, shrubs, and upgraded finishes to help achieve the vision of a vibrant, green, and active place in the community
Due to the size and the complexity of this project, road construction has been separated into two phases:
- Phase 1 – Advance work: including construction of temporary traffic signals and illumination, retaining walls, watermain relocations, traffic noise barriers, and hydro utility relocations
- Phase 2 – Road widening work: including the widening of Yonge Street from four to six lanes, construction of new traffic signals, street lighting, a new storm sewer system, sidewalks, boulevard bicycle lanes, and enhanced streetscaping
Construction Update - Fall 2022
Safety is the number one priority on all Regional road construction projects. Signage in construction zones is there for the safety of all pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and to inform people passing through about what is happening. It is extremely important to obey all work zone signs, workers and pavement markings in active work sites. For safety tips and more information about York Region’s Traffic Safety Program visit our traffic safety webpage
Phase 1 of utility relocations will be completed by spring 2023. Enbridge Gas has completed their work within the corridor. Phase 2 of utility relocations will occur concurrently with Phase 1 of road construction (Advance work).
Upcoming work and impacts to travellers
There are no current or upcoming impacts to travellers while utility relocation work takes place.
Phase 1 – Advance work construction is planned to start in spring 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are these improvements taking place?
- To accommodate future growth, the growing population and increase in travellers in the area
- Currently, over 43,000 vehicles per day travel on Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane
- The number of vehicles is expected to increase to more than 65,000 per day when the project is completed in 2025
- Pedestrian travel on Yonge Street north of Davis Drive during peak hours is anticipated to grow by approximately 50% in 2031 and by almost 400% by 2041
- These improvements will alleviate traffic and provide a safe, more reliable roadway that is inclusive for all users
What is the project timeline?
- Work will be completed in stages to help alleviate impacts to travellers and pedestrians
- Phase 1 of utility relocation work began in January 2021 and will continue until spring 2023
- The current project schedule identifies Phase 1 of road construction (Advance work) beginning spring 2023
- Phase 2 of utility relocations are anticipated to be completed spring 2025
- Phase 2 of road construction (Road widening work) is planned to start spring 2025
- Construction is anticipated to be completed spring 2026
- York Region engaged third-party consultant, Colliers Project Leaders, to independently assess opportunities to reduce impacts of construction on the community. They obtained feedback from stakeholders including, Town of Newmarket, Town of East Gwillimbury, utility companies, contractors, businesses, residents and Council members. For more information, read the Colliers Report Executive Summary
- York Region will provide advance notice prior to the start of construction activities
Why will utility relocation take several years?
- Approximately 200 hydro poles, utility pedestals and manholes have to be removed, transferred and installed covering a distance, if laid out end to end, of over 20,000 metres within the project limits. For each of the seven utility companies, this work can take several years to complete, if carried out individually and not working simultaneously
- Due to the amount of utility companies and the work involved, the seven companies cannot safely complete the utility work at the same time
- There are also utilities that are very sensitive and can affect a lot of people, if the work is not executed properly. Many of the utility lines in the area connects York Region to other cities/towns across Ontario
- This work is being completed cautiously to ensure residents and business owners always have power, gas and internet during this work and beyond
Are the ponds near Upper Canada Mall going to be affected?
- Both ponds are not critical for storm water management and are ornamental only
- We are reconstructing and relocating the entrance into Upper Canada Mall which will require filling part of the pond in that area. This decision was determined by York Region and Upper Canada Mall
Is a rapid transit facility being installed as part of this project?
- A rapid transit facility is not being constructed. A centre median is being built along Yonge Street. This will allow for a future rapid transit facility, when the time is right, population demands it, and when the population, traveller and transit ridership is there
Why is a centre median being installed?
- A centre median is being installed as part of this work to eliminate the need to go back and build the necessary infrastructure, if there is demand in the future, for dedicated rapid transit facilities
- A centre median is built to guide traffic and eliminate mid-block left turns, which keeps traffic moving and can be a contributing factor in collisions
- A centre median will also provide more spaces for planting
Why are the bicycle lanes being installed in the boulevard and not on the roadway?
- The original Environmental Assessment design had bicycle lanes on the roadway
- After consulting with York Region’s Sustainable Mobility team and the Town of Newmarket and Town of East Gwillimbury, it was recommended the bicycle lanes be installed within the boulevard for a more functional, inclusive streetscape design
- The design was revised based on the recommendations as this best met the needs of the travelling public
How does this project compare to the work that took place on Davis Drive?
- The differences between the Davis Drive project and the project on Yonge Street include:
- Davis Drive is a much narrower roadway, which increased the construction impact to travellers on the road due to lane closures and lane width reductions during construction
- Part of the project scope on Davis Drive and Yonge Street south, included the installation of a centre median rapid transit facility. The Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane project is not constructing a rapid transit facility
- 30,210 vehicles per day travel on Davis Drive. 43,000 vehicles per day travel on Yonge Street
What are the impacts to traffic based on the current schedule?
- Four lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout the construction period. Lane reductions may be required during the off-peak hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for construction
Will work be happening at night?
- Night work may be considered with lane reductions to expedite the project while minimalizing traveller delays. Advanced notice will be provided if it’s determined to be beneficial to efficiently progress the work
- Night work may be considered throughout construction for asphalt removal, paving and line painting work. This work is better performed at night and will minimize delays to traffic
Will sidewalks be maintained?
- A minimum of one sidewalk will be maintained between signalized intersections throughout construction for pedestrian use
- During utility work, sidewalks may be temporarily relocated or closed to facilitate work. Pedestrians are to follow the directional signs to use an open sidewalk and to not use the roadway
How are you trying to minimize travel impacts?
- York Region reviews the corridor of each project to determine how to manage traffic delays during construction
Will traffic signal timing be adjusted to improve traffic flow?
- York Region actively monitors traffic signal timing through staff on-site during construction and remotely from the Roads and Traffic Operations Centre
- While it is everyone’s desire that they get the maximum green time so that they can proceed through an intersection as soon as possible, adjusting traffic signal timing is a matter of balancing supply (green time on one road) and demand (delay on the crossing road)
- Improving traffic flow on any road by providing more time green time for better progression, means taking away time from the road in the conflicting direction
- The ability to provide more green time is also limited by the need to provide time for pedestrian crossings
Is access to businesses going to be maintained?
- Yes. Access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction
- Business supports will be provided as they become available. If you are a business owner in the area and have questions, please contact @email
How much work goes into preparing road projects for construction?
- It takes eight to ten years to deliver major road projects
- An environmental assessment study, road design, property acquisition, utility relocation and permits must be completed before construction can begin
- Coordinating work with our partners, including ministries, local cities and towns, conservation authorities, utility companies and developers is important to ensure disruption to travellers and the community is minimized
How can a construction project get delayed?
- Weather is a large factor in delaying a construction project
- To conduct paving work, weather conditions must be ideal, the surface must be dry and above a specified temperature
- Unknown factors
- During excavation, contaminated soil could be uncovered and would need to be disposed of at an approved and registered waste disposal site, capable of receiving hazardous and waste material, as authorized under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act
- COVID-19 and Public Health guidelines
What are the safety measures in place and how is safety considered?
- York Region conducts routine inspections of all its structures and determines the need for repair to ensure a reliable and safe travel for all users
- When construction projects are being planned and implemented, residents, businesses, travellers and the environment are all taken into consideration
- During the design phase of a construction project, the Region ensures we are meeting Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirements and the needs of all users within our transportation network
- York Region reviews hundreds of intersections each year and studies are completed to consider traffic and pedestrian volumes, future development, delay and collision history
- A Traffic Safety Report is produced each year to provide an understanding of road safety trends on Regional roads. This report supports the planning and execution of coordinated law enforcement, road safety improvements and public education campaigns for travellers in York Region. Reports can be viewed here
- Signage is installed around a construction area to let travellers know what is going on and how to travel safely through the work zone
Safety tips for motorists travelling through construction zones
- Many construction workers are injured or killed each year when working on roads. When driving through construction zones motorists must:
- Slow down early when approaching construction zones
- Be patient and obey signs and signal persons
- Merge well in advance when lanes are being reduced
- Avoid lane changes, give yourself extra space following and be ready to stop
- Do not speed up quickly when leaving construction zones
- Do not pass construction vehicles when their amber lights are flashing
- Plan ahead and expect delays
- Visit our Traffic Safety Program page for more safety tips
Safety tips for pedestrians and cyclists through construction zones
- It is very important to obey ALL work zone signs, workers and pavement markings
- Watch where you are going. Your primary responsibility is going through the work zone as safely as you can
- Orange Work Zone Signs – these signs communicate to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists what is going on and how to travel safely through the work zone. They can also indicate that a sidewalk is closed and that a detour must be taken
- Pavement Markings –painted or taped lines on the pavement separate car travel lanes and can also indicate pedestrian and cyclist paths
- During construction some sidewalks and crossings at intersections may be closed. Pedestrians may be required to move to the other side of the road or to a temporary pedestrian walkway
- Use designated pedestrian crosswalks and traffic lights to cross the street before reaching a construction zone and DO NOT cross in the middle of the road
- Avoid standing in close proximity to any construction machinery and open excavations while construction activities are taking place
- Please DO NOT walk on the roadway beside the barriers
- Please be alert and aware of your surroundings when travelling near construction areas
- Visit our Traffic Safety Program page for more safety tips
Who can residents contact if they have concerns or inquiries about the project?
- If you have any concerns or questions about this project, please contact: @email
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