TORONTO, ON., May 17, 2020 — Toronto residents are thrilled by the exhilaration of exercising on some of the car-free roads opened up around the city as part of the ActiveTO program. The City promised to open up 57 kilometres of roads for residents to practice safe physical distancing while exercising and residents are already singing the praises of this new initiative announced on May 14th.
To start, the City of Toronto has listed all the roads that will be open for residents to roam this weekend until Monday May 18 at 11 pm. These include Lakeshore Boulevard between Windermere and Stadium Road, Bayview Avenue from Mill St. to Rosedale Valley Boulevard and the Eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lakeshore.
ActiveTO is about allowing Toronto residents to feel safer physically distanced while exercising or getting around town. Popular recreational trails like the Martin Goodman Trail and the Lower Don Trail have been observed to be overcrowded, especially on warmer weekends. The City will implement recurring short-term closures (i.e. weekends and holidays) of major streets adjacent to these trails to provide more space for walking and cycling, thus enabling practising physical distancing.
Normal weekend closures (except long weekends) will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturdays until 11 p.m. on Sundays.
Toronto will also be expanding its cycling network to help people on bikes move around Toronto safely and away from vehicular traffic. Key parts of the Cycling Network Plan will be expanded, and accelerated, so that bikeways are even more connected to the places people need to go, and even mirror major TTC routes.
This plan will see the cycling network expanded rapidly through temporary installations by re-purposing curb lanes along key corridors. These will be deployed through a network approach as much as possible. Locations are being identified and installation details are currently being confirmed. Delivery of other Council- approved 2020 Cycling Network implementation projects will continue as scheduled.
Public parking lots, such as those with access to parks and beaches, will not be accessible if they fall within the major road closure area.
Victoria Day Weekend road closures for ActiveTO
beginning Saturday May 16, 2020 at 6 a.m. and ending Monday May 18, 2020 at 11 p.m.
- Lake Shore Boulevard West, between Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road (Eastbound lanes only)
- Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, as well as the portion of River Street from north of Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue (Full closure)
- Eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Blvd W (Exit #146)
- Public parking lots, such as those with access to parks and beaches, will not be accessible if they fall within the major road closure area.
In addition to weekend road closures and expanded bikeways, ActiveTO has been creating what they call ‘Quiet Streets.’
Quiet Streets are shared space to allow local residents to maintain physical distancing within their communities through the installation of signage and temporary barricades to encourage slow, local vehicle access only. They do not invite people to congregate or host social gatherings on the street.
Toronto residents will notice signs and temporary barricades placed on neighbourhood streets to allow local car traffic only and open up space for people who walk, run, use wheelchairs and bike. Over 50 km of streets have been planned for the initial roll-out of the program across the City.
The Quiet Streets program begins the week of May 11 and continues until indicated by the City.
Quiet Street Access for local vehicles only
- Quiet Streets are for local vehicles only. All others should avoid using the street and plan a different route.
- Drive slowly – Drivers should be aware and expect to see pedestrians and cyclists on Quiet Streets.
- Parking – People who normally park their car on the street will still be able to park and travel as they normally would.
- Emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times
- Nearby TTC routes should not be impacted by Quiet Streets
- Routine city services, such as garbage and recycling pickup, will continue on Quiet Streets as they normally would.
Initially, Quiet Street locations will be identified using several factors including, but not limited to, population density, equity and access, access to greenspace, nearby parks, beaches, and other attractions, traffic volumes and other information.
Confirmed Quiet Street locations as of May 14th
- Kensington Market (area that borders Nassau Ave., Spadina Ave, Augusta Ave. and Dundas St. W.)
- Shaughnessy Blvd. between Van Horne Ave. and Havenbrook Blvd.
- Havenbrook Blvd. between Shaughnessy and Manorpark Ct.
Lakeshore Dr./Lake Promenade (First Ave. to Forty Second St.)
- High Park Ave. (Bloor St. W. to Annette St.)
- Brock/Emerson/Cowan Ave. (Dupont St. to King St. W.)
- Winona Dr. (Eglinton Ave. to Davenport Rd.)
- The Esplanade (boundaries TBC)
- Crawford St./Montrose Ave. (Bloor St. W. to Queen St. W.)
- Howard and Earl Streets (Sherbourne St. to Parliament St.)
- Sackville/Sumach Streets (Shuter St. to Gerrard St. E.)
- Monarch Park Ave. (Felstead Ave. to Sammon Ave.)
- Fulton/Sammon Avenues (Broadview Ave. to Monarch Park Ave.)
- Woodfield Rd. (Knox Ave. to Walpole Ave.)
- Lee Ave. (Kingston Rd. to Alfresco Lawn)
- Secord Ave./Eastdale Ave./Lumsden Ave./Main St./Hamstead Ave./West Lake Ave. (Dawes Rd. to Oak Park Ave.)
- Military Trail/Highcastle Rd. (Sealstone Terrace to Bonspiel Dr.)
- Kew Beach Ave. (Waverly Rd to Lake Shore Blvd. E.)
- Westview Blvd. (St Clair Ave. E. to Holland Ave.)
- Dundalk Dr. (Ellesmere Rd. to Antrim Cr.)
- Trudelle St./Cedar Brae Blvd. (Danforth Rd. to Bellamy Rd.)
by Terry Lankstead
with notes from City of Toronto