Today, Toronto City Council approved the return of a more flexible and expanded ActiveTO program in 2021.
Major Weekend Road Closures will return and include opportunities to expand or adapt locations and dates to support communities as well as planned construction. The cycling network will also be expanded through a new complete street pilot project along midtown Yonge Street.
City Council approved a motion from Mayor John Tory to give City staff the flexibility to allow for the popular Lake Shore Boulevard West closure to return on select weekends while safely accommodating the important and coordinated construction work taking place at the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles intersection and The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue.
ActiveTO was introduced last summer 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.
This year along with Lake Shore Boulevard West, the ActiveTO program will see Major Weekend Road Closures return to Lake Shore Boulevard East, between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue, and to Bayview Avenue, between Rosedale Valley Road and Front Street East, which will be expanded south to Mill Street. River Street, between Gerrard Street East and Bayview Avenue will also return on weekends.
Mayor Tory also led Council in directing staff to consider other potential opportunities for weekend closures, in consultation with local councillors as well as the community, including along Black Creek Drive, Allen Road and roads within Exhibition Place. Major Weekend Road Closures will return this spring and staff will determine the first weekend as well as the locations based on weather forecasts, construction schedules and other maintenance activities.
A complete street pilot project along midtown Yonge Street, between Bloor Street and Davisville Avenue, has been approved to support the local economy and CaféTO with an expansion of the temporary ActiveTO cycling network. The ActiveTO cycling network contributed to the city’s largest on-street cycling network expansion in one year, and this new temporary route will be added to the network.
City staff will continue to work with the TTC on all potential impact to transit customers, seek local input through consultation with stakeholders along the route and plan a complete streets approach including room for ActiveTO bike lanes, CaféTO locations, loading and parking options, road safety improvements and public realm enhancements.
City Council has also approved a temporary Lower Don Trail Construction Closure Detour on Bayview Avenue, in which Bayview Avenue from River Street to Mill Street would be southbound for motor vehicle traffic only in order to provide a multi-use trail for pedestrians and cyclists.
The full ActiveTO report is available online.
Learn more about ActiveTO on the City’s website.
“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. Weekend road closures benefitted thousands of people and families last summer and I look forward to their return this year. I am confident we can replicate the success of Destination Danforth along midtown Yonge Street this summer while also connecting our growing cycling network and supporting businesses through CaféTO.”
– Mayor John Tory
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