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East York people, places, events & insights

Cosburn-Cedarvale stoplight deferred by Council despite overwhelming local support

\ By Gary Webb-Proctor \

Despite hundreds of signatures on a petition asking for a traffic light to be installed at the corner of Cedarvale Avenue and Cosburn Avenue in the wake of a pedestrian fatality there last year, Toronto City Council at its July meeting deferred the matter until the fall.

The deferment came in part because of the death of longtime Ward 28 councillor Pam McConnell the morning of Friday, July 7, the fourth and final day of the packed-agenda July meeting, which prompted the council to adjourn earlier than expected.  But the proposal, initiated by Ward 31 councillor Janet Davis and earlier approved over staff objections by Toronto and East York Community Council in June, had only been left till late in the meeting due to opposition from some council members who regard the idea as being “anti-car.”

Phil Pothen with his son Felix at Canada Day festival. -GARY W-P

Phil Pothen with his son Felix at Canada Day festival. -GARY W-P

Councillor Davis said, in an emailed statement sent while vacationing after the meeting, that “”it is unfortunate that the item was held for debate and deferred.

“The safety of pedestrians and cyclists has to be paramount when we consider traffic control measures.  This is the site of so many community facilities and activities —and near-misses. We must do more to make this intersection safe.”

[See also “Making our streets safe for all of us” -East York Moments column.]

City staff had opposed the measure because the light was regarded as being too close to another at Cosburn and Woodbine Avenue according to how the city determines where to install the mechanisms.

But Ms. Davis, who convinced the TEYCC to support over-riding that consideration, in December had also convinced council to ask its traffic staff to reconsider its overall criteria for installing traffic control measures in order “to enhance safety for all road users, in particular vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.”

Over 300 signatures supporting the stoplight were collected by Davis and community activist Phil Pothen at the July 1 Canada Day festivities at Stan Wadlow Park and dozens more have signed an online version located at


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