Next to the St. Lawrence Market (here in Toronto) is an appropriately named street called Market Street. It is a lovely street — perhaps one of the nicest in the city. It’s old and historic and it was completely redone several years ago (evidence here) with nice unit pavers, bollards, a curbless design, and seasonal restaurant patios.
In the winter months, the restaurant patios are packed up and additional parking is added to that side of the street. It was designed to be adaptable and in my experience it seems to be working quite well.
Right now the local Business Improvement Area is running a pilot project to see what this street might be like if it were to be pedestrianized. It was closed to vehicles this past weekend and the same will happen this upcoming weekend. Here’s a photo of what that looked like on Saturday:
It’s not perfect. A number of people commented on Twitter that the seating needs some shade. But hey, it’s a pilot project. It is about giving people a taste of what the future could be.
I am a fan of pedestrianized streets in the right locations and when executed well. And I think this stretch of Market Street is a perfect candidate. It’s already pedestrian-only to the north of Front Street and it has the right kind of “edges” to ensure that it can be properly animated.
If you feel the same way, I would encourage you to fill out this short survey that the St. Lawrence BIA has put out. I would also be curious to hear your thoughts on pedestrianized streets in general. Leave a comment below.