Today, Toronto City Council accepted City of Toronto staff recommendations to treat ActiveTO major road closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West as limited special events that are to be planned and advertised in advance, rather than operated as regular recurring weekend events.
As the City staff report noted, in identifying dates for any future ActiveTO closures on Lake Shore Boulevard West, officials will take into consideration the number and location of planned street events on that weekend, construction impacts on parallel corridors, access to adjacent venues and impacts to traffic. Staff will also consider coordinating with other event organizers, such as was done this year with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Additionally, Transportation Services is continuing ActiveTO programming on Bayview Avenue and The Meadoway throughout the summer of 2022.
ActiveTO was introduced in May 2020 as a quick-start COVID-19 response program. It was designed to provide more space for people to practise physical distancing while outside, support the overall well-being of residents and to quickly connect and expand Toronto’s cycling network by installing safe, separated temporary bike routes that mirror major transit lines.
Toronto businesses, workplaces and major street events have now reopened and residents are returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic activities and travel patterns. Two Lake Shore Boulevard West ActiveTO events have taken place this year and staff have assessed the traffic impacts of closures without public health restrictions. The delays to nearby traffic experienced in 2022 were measured to be greater than those in 2020 and 2021 due to the return of pre-pandemic motor vehicle volumes and patterns.
Findings from staff analysis:
In the summer of 2022, Lake Shore Boulevard West will resume its place as a host venue and key access route for large-scale events. The total number of permitted street events in this area in 2020 was zero, with only one event in 2021, and ten events so far for 2022. In addition, there are 250 major events planned in the vicinity until the end of
the year, many of which will take place on summer weekends. These events include the following: concerts and events at Ontario Place venues, major sporting events, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the Honda Indy, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).
Council also directed the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Transportation Services to consider quick start actions which improve pedestrian and cycling amenities as part of the 2023 Western Waterfront Master Plan update.
“We have made huge progress reopening Toronto and that progress is going to continue. City staff are working to accommodate and balance, as much as possible, all the major events across the city that are now back. ActiveTO was a great pandemic program and City staff will work to make sure the program continues where and when it is possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“As Toronto businesses, workplaces and major street events have now reopened and many activities have resumed, it’s important to re-evaluate ActiveTO and other programs that were initiated during COVID-19 and adjust them to the changing needs of residents, businesses and visitors to Toronto.”
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.