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Toronto installs 57 kilometres of ‘Quiet Streets’ and closes some major roads Victoria Day weekend


TORONTO, ON., May 14, 2020 — Today, Mayor John Tory announced the ActiveTO program developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services will start to be rolled out across the city to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the City’s restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19. 

Mayor Tory said Toronto, taking its cue from cities like Oakland and San Francisco is installing 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets across Toronto. These are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, will be put in place at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that also welcomes people who walk, run and bike. Parking and drop off areas will not be impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, will continue as normal. 

The first Quiet Streets locations being installed today include: 

Kensington Market (area that borders Nassau Avenue, Spadina Avenue, Augusta Avenue and Dundas Street West) 
Shaughnessy Boulevard between Van Horne Avenue and Havenbrook Boulevard 
Havenbrook Boulevard between Shaughnessy Boulevard and Manorpark Court 

The list of current and planned Quiet Streets is available at toronto.ca/activeTOand will be updated when locations are added. 

Road Closures

Transportation Services staff and Toronto Public Health have also recommended closing some major roads adjacent to trails to make space for people, alleviate weekend and holiday crowding, and ensure there is room to be physically active and support physical distancing. This will happen on a trial basis and staff will be monitoring nearby routes with real-time data and adjust as necessary. 

Sections along major roads in Toronto will be fully closed this Victoria Day long weekend from Saturday, May 16 at 6 a.m. until Monday, May 18 at 11 p.m. including: 
• All eastbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road 
• Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road 
• River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue 

Future weekend closures, that are not on a long weekend, will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturdays until 11 p.m. on Sundays. Locations will be announced as they are finalized. 

As warmer weather approaches, it’s expected that residents will want to be outside more often. The important advice of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, over the past several weeks has helped slow the spread of COVID-19 within the community. It has protected the health of Toronto residents and saved lives. 

Making additional space, as direction continues to evolve from “stay home” to “practise physical distancing when outside for essentials or exercise,” is a consistent and timely approach that will help keep Toronto residents healthier. 

Right now, vehicle and pedestrian traffic are at an all-time low, and bike traffic has declined only slightly in certain downtown locations. During the City Council meeting on April 30, in anticipation of changes in traffic patterns in the coming weeks and months, the Mayor and Council requested that City staff look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the restart and recovery. 

While the City of Toronto remains focused on fighting COVID-19 and continuing to provide the essential and critical services that residents and businesses rely on, the City is also looking ahead to the restart and recovery period. Like other municipalities, the City of Toronto is working to protect livelihoods while also protecting lives in a post-COVID world. 

Work and planning continue on cycling network expansion and Council-approved cycling project acceleration. Details on this as part of ActiveTO will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Learn more about ActiveTO at toronto.ca/activeTO

SOURCE City of Toronto

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