Pedestrians in Toronto have the right to cross the street wherever they want (with a few restrictions).
We tend to think of crossing the street mid-block as “jaywalking,” and assume there’s something wrong with it. After all, when we were kids our parents told us to cross at the corner (well, at least mine did).
But in fact, it’s perfectly legal to cross the street wherever you want. There are only two legal restrictions: 1) you have to yield to motorized traffic, and 2) if you’re near a marked traffic control (lights, crosswalk, stop sign), you have to use it.
If you follow these rules, crossing in the middle of the street is also pretty safe — City of Toronto stats show that far more people are hit crossing at intersections than mid-block. Plus, it’s good for the city — seeing pedestrians crossing anywhere on the road pushes drivers to drive more slowly and be more constantly aware.
I’ve written more details about this issue in an article in NOW magazine today.