Last updated: May 12, 2021 at 12 p.m.

Major Road Closures are recurring short-term closures (i.e. weekends and holidays) of major streets adjacent highly utilized trails to provide more space for walking and cycling, thus enabling physical distancing. The weekend closures provided pace for thousands of people to be active, respect physical distancing and contributed to the overall wellbeing of residents.

The following closures will be in place beginning Saturday, May 15 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 16 at 9 p.m.:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only), between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue
  • Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, as well as River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street

Roads through High Park remain closed to vehicle traffic each weekend – for people to explore the park while practising physical distancing – from Friday at approximately 11 p.m. until Monday at approximately 7 a.m.

Residents planning to use ActiveTO routes should do so only with members of their own household and access them by bike or as a pedestrian because nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available.

Explore the many paths, ravines, and hydro corridors with trails throughout Toronto that continue to be open and available every day for fresh air and exercise. Maps and details are available for paths and trails across the city, including The Meadoway, which spans 16 kilometres and connects parks and greenspaces in Scarborough.

Find a Bike Share Toronto station on and around ActiveTO routes. Download the PBSC app for a contactless way to get started.

Depending on roadway construction and detours, the following major roads were closed to vehicles on most weekends between May and October 2020:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (6 km) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road (eastbound lanes only). As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) was also closed
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (2 km) from Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue(eastbound lanes only)
  • Bayview Avenue (2 km) from Front Street East to Rosedale Valley Road
  • River Street (350 m) from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue
  • Yonge Street (1.6 km) from Dundas Street to Queens Quay. On two Sundays in September, the City partnered with OpenStreetsTO to close Yonge Street.

Verified data counts from summer weekends in May, June, July and August showed that the most popular location was along Lake Shore Boulevard West where an average of 18,000 cyclists and 4,000 pedestrians used the space each weekend in the summer. Typical closures were on Lake Shore Boulevard West (between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road), Lake Shore Boulevard East (between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue) and Bayview Avenue (between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road and including River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue). The program expanded to include Yonge Street, as part of Open Streets, for two Sundays in September.

Data counts were initially made available in June and released again in September.

The City partnered with Park People and Clean Air Partnership – The Centre for Active Transportation to undertake a public survey of people utilizing the Major Road Closures to better understand participation in this program.

The public intercept surveys helped to further explore the impact of Major Road Closures on physical activity levels, mental health, and cycling adoption. Intercept surveys were conducted in two locations (Lake Shore Boulevard East and Lake Shore Boulevard West) on September 20, 2020, and 359 responses were collected.

Key findings included:

  • The weekend closures helped Torontonians be active and safe during COVID-19. Two thirds (75%) reported being more active, and nearly all agreed that the space felt safe and comfortable and was helping them maintain physical distancing.
  • Most people using the weekend closures came from the immediate neighbourhood. 70% of people using the weekend closure lived 5 km away or less.
  • The weekend closures grew cycling in Toronto. Over a quarter of cyclists (29%) reported to be new to cycling or had cycled in the past and re-started this year, and the weekend road closures helped them start or re-start cycling
  • The weekend closures diversified cycling in Toronto. New cyclists and those returning to cycling included more women and more people identifying as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour compared with long-time cyclists.
  • There is high support (92%) for continuing the closures, both during and after COVID-19.

View the intercept survey evaluation summary and survey evaluation report.