Between 2006 and 2016, there have been 26 Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) incidents inside or on the periphery of U of T’s St. George campus, according to Toronto Police Service data. Of the injuries sustained in these incidents, one was a fatality, two were minimal injuries, and the rest were major injuries. The one fatality occurred at Harbord Street and Spadina Avenue when a bus struck a pedestrian on November 7, 2013.
The most recent incident in the police dataset occurred in October 2016, when a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on St. George Street.
While four of the incidents involved someone who had been drinking, a plurality of the incidents involved an inattentive individual, often because a pedestrian or driver failed to yield the right of way. A TTC bus was involved in one incident in 2008 when it struck a pedestrian who was crossing without the right of way.
In the age breakdown of those who were injured, 15 of the 28 people who sustained injuries were between the ages of 15 and 29. Seven people were aged 30–49, and six were 50 or older.
Pedestrians were involved in 12 of the incidents, and cyclists were involved in nine others. Of the 26 KSI incidents, two took place on St. George and four took place around the Queen’s Park area.
U of T road safety plans for the future
According to Christine Burke, Director of Campus & Facilities Planning at U of T, the university understands students are concerned about road safety around Queen’s Park and St. George, and it is trying to improve road safety in both of these areas.
“We’ve brought that to the city’s attention and hopefully we can see what kind of recommendations come up to try to improve safety,” said Burke.
Anne Boucher, Vice-President External at the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) said that “road safety is definitely on the radar” of the UTSU.
“I’ve voiced concerns about a lack of pedestrian crossways and will continue to do so,” said Boucher. “They’ve been quite open to feedback, so I’m confident they’d be open to making some changes if it involves the safety of students.”
U of T is working with the city to implement safety changes in the proposed UTSG Secondary Plan. The proposals in the plan include improving crossings at Queen’s Park as well as making “the whole area between Harbord, St. George, Spadina, and College… much more pedestrian focused and more bike friendly,” according to Burke.
The university also hopes to increase road safety through the Landmark Project, which would pedestrianize the entirety of King’s College Circle.