They're FAST (faster than car traffic at certain times of the day), COMFORTABLE (even more than I suspected), and part of a larger VISION (across Hwy 7 from Markham to Vaughan, and Yonge Street from Richmond Hill to Newmarket). The Hwy 7 rapidway from Chalmers to East Beaver Creek opened last summer. It has been transformed from a car-oriented highway to a complete street: designed for all ages, abilities, and modes of travel. We'll see the bike lanes extended from Hwy 404 easterly in Markham soon, as they are currently under construction.
"If you want to see the future, go to Richmond Hill and check out Highway 7" ~Honorable Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation, speaking at the Ontario Bike Summit on April 15, 2014.
Here's some video of Hwy 7 from a cyclist's perspective. At 6:15 and 7:45 of the video, check out an example of the new curb inset left turn queue boxes that were just installed this month. So new, they don't have bike markings on them yet. I believe these could be the first of their kind in North America!