Toronto Railways and Highways

Railways and highways have shaped Toronto into what it is today. They were pivotal in the city’s history, defining the industries and work that located here, and the struggle of how we plan infrastructure and communities.

Toronto continues to struggle with the legacy of its railway and highways. Railways have become constrained in space when expansion is sorely needed, and efforts to tear down or improve highways comes with stiff opposition.

But a common issue between them that often gets overlooked is how they are long, restricted corridors that cut off access across, over or under them for large distances, creating increased travel times for pedestrians and cyclists. Improved access across these corridors, especially in Canada’s largest city, is low hanging fruit to improving a city’s broader active transportation network.

Check out some stats and an interactive map below. Links to explore Toronto’s railways and highways more in-depth are at the bottom.


Length194 km130 km
Area587 ha1,582 ha
Average Width30 m122 m

Toronto Railway / Highway Walks

2017/04/09 – Greenwood / Kingston Sub
2017/04/15 – Beltline and Eg
2018/02/18 – 401 I / Allen
2018/02/24 – 401 II
2019/02/23 – CP Midtown
2019/06/02 – Beltline
2019/07/12 – Kingston Sub