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Council approves expanded ActiveTO program, Yonge Street pilot project

Last Updated Apr 8, 2021 at 6:53 am EDT

Cyclists along Lake Shore Boulevard near the CNE grounds on June 12, 2020. As part of ActiveTO, the closed lanes provide space for runners and cyclists to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic. GETTY IMAGES/Rene Johnston
Summary

ActiveTO will be expanded through a pilot project along Yonge Street


It was introduced last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to allow for physical distancing


The first weekend of ActiveTO, which comes with road closures, has yet to be determined by City staff


Toronto City Council has approved an expanded ActiveTO program for 2021.

The weekend road closures will be back and the network will be expanded through a pilot project along Yonge Street.

Council approved the motion for a more flexible and adaptable plan and it will allow the Lake Shore Boulevard West stretch to return on select weekends.

In addition to Lake Shore West the following closures will be back each weekend this year:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East between Leslie and Woodbine avenues
  • Bayview Avenue between Rosedale Valley Road and Mill Street
  • River Street between Gerrard and Bayview avenues

 

There was some hesitancy to include the popular Lake Shore West closure due to roadwork that will be taking place on The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue.

The city will also be in consultation with local councillors to consider other potential closures along Black Creek Drive, Allen Road, and on some roads within Exhibition Place.


RELATED: Toronto City Council gives thumbs up to ‘improved’ CaféTO ahead of summer 2021


The ActiveTO initiative was introduced last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to allow for physical distancing by giving cyclists and pedestrians more space on roadways.

“ActiveTO has been a successful and popular program that will continue to help us through the pandemic as well as contribute to the future livability of our city,” Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

The first weekend of ActiveTO has yet to be determined and the City said staff will make that decision based on the weather and roadwork.

A Yonge Street pilot project in midtown has also been approved to help support both the ActiveTO and the CafeTO initatives.

A stretch of Yonge between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue will see the road reduced to two lanes, bike lanes added, and on street patios installed.

It is a similar to the ‘Destination Danforth’ plan last year that created more room for physical distancing along Danforth Avenue.