Goodbye Argyle Crosswalk – Hello Big-City Streetlights

About 16 months ago we heard that there was discussion about stoplights going in at Argyle St, breaking up Ossington between Dundas and Queen Street. Over the last few weeks the construction has finally taken place and the new lights are up, but still not operational.

According to municipal documents, Joe Pantalone requested an investigation into the intersection in 2009 and said investigation took place (which is probably quite out-of-date considering the pace of change on the street) in that same year. There was a public meeting about the stoplight, which for some reason was held in East York, so it was unlikely to attract the attendance of neighbourhood residents, the very people most impacted by this decision.

According to the municipal documents, the lights cost the city $130,000. One assumes that there was some safety concerns about the intersection that led to the initial discussion, which is hard for city Councillors to turn down. Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The report pointed out that

for the three-year period ending July 31, 2009 …six collisions had occurred at the intersection of Ossington Avenue and Argyle Street. Of the six collisions, none involved a pedestrian, and one was considered potentially preventable by the installation  of traffic control signals.

But the report issued by the city raises some valid concerns about the lights at the intersection including:

  • Possible Increased congestion and delay to traffic on Ossington Avenue is possible;
  • Increased traffic volume on Argyle Street;
  • Parking must be prohibited at all times within 30.5 metres of the intersection resulting in a loss of about six parking spaces on Ossington Avenue and three parking spaces on Argyle Street;
  • Increased wait times for pedestrians crossing Ossington Avenue.

This all seems, to us, like a lot of negatives for not a whole lot of positives. There was a crossing guard at the intersection during school hours, who seems to have been removed, or at least have shorter hours these days. Only one accident (out of only 6) could have been prevented by this light which will cause more pedestrian wait times and more traffic. All this to address a 3 year old request from a now obsolete politician.

Dani Elwell, of Jaiden’s Petals, likes the new stoplight. Her daughter is often crossing Argyle and Ossington and she has always been nervous about cars that don’t pay attention to the cross-walk. The new light, she says, will help to create a bit of humanity at the intersection.

According to current councillor Mike Layton, the lights will remain green for those on Ossington until requested or actuated by a car or pedestrian request on Argyle.

What do you think about the new lights? Good? Bad?


  1. I’m for it, traffic is quite often moving well over 40km/hr early morning when I’m walking dog to Trinity-Bellwoods…

  2. Yes, particularly when the “no trucks” signs are not observed or enforced at all.  18 wheelers down Dovercourt are not that unusual.

  3. Given how many cyclists ride along Argyle Street the City should install roadside crosswalk buttons for cyclists.

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