Making Toronto a walkable, welcoming and understandable place
The Toronto 360 Wayfinding project is a central component of the City’s goal to make Toronto a more walkable, welcoming an understandable place for residents and visitors. TO360 is expected to help people identify and connect places, encourage people to walk, encourage exploration, build confidence and trust to walk, and stimulate economic growth.
T-Kartor developed the TO360 wayfinding system together with partners Steer, who carried out a business case and implementation strategy. Steer calculated a cost-benefit ratio of 3.7:1 based on system life-cycle costs and benefits. This means that for every dollar invested $3.7 is returned through transportation benefits such as pedestrian and auto journey time savings. Other benefits not captured in this ratio are additional tax revenues from increased footfall and visitor expenditure.
As a first step, T-Kartor built a primer database to cover the entire 700 km2 city area. This provided a useful, generalised topography of the city verified exclusively through desktop research and analysis.
Then, detailed mapping was built-up in specific areas to coincide with TO360 sign roll-out (currently at 156 km2). The methodology employed at this stage used a mix of stakeholder workshops and field surveys. This has resulted in a mapping system that is not only accurate but also reflects the image Torontonians hold of their own city.
In order to connect places and enable people to move seamlessly from one transportation mode, wayfinding system or area to another, TO360 is coordinated with wayfinding systems from partner divisions and agencies supported by common base mapping and consistent graphic content. This includes parks and trails wayfinding, PATH (underground indoor routes between destinations and neighbourhoods), Metrolinx regional transit wayfinding, the Toronto visitor map and Bikeshare cycle docking station wayfinding.
The pilot launched initially with 16 signs, 5 fingerposts and 38 transit shelter wayfinding maps. The current five-year implementation plan (until 2022) expands this to 400 on-street signs, 75 subway station maps, 1,000 transit shelter maps, and 600 bike share maps.