The City of Toronto says it has approved the return of the ActiveTO program for pedestrian and bicycle-friendly activities and it will include the popular Lake Shore Boulevard West stretch on select weekends.
The route was up for debate due to construction taking place at the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles intersection and The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue, directly north of Lake Shore Boulevard West.
However, officials approved the motion on Wednesday to coordinate efforts for that stretch and the construction projects to allow for major road closures along Lake Shore Boulevard West on specific weekends.
ActiveTO was first introduced in May in response to COVID-19 and the push to create more opportunities for people to get exercise while increasing the amount of space for physical distancing.
In 2020, there were 25 consecutive weekend closures between May and October that mostly occurred on portions of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue.
More ActiveTO routes
Along with Lake Shore Boulevard West, the program will see road closures return to the east side on Lake Shore Boulevard East between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue.
There will also be road closures along 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 be closed on weekends.
The exact dates for when all of these road closures will take place are still being decided.
“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,” city officials said.
Also being considered for weekend closures are routes along Black Creek Drive, Allen Road and roads within Exhibition Place.
Officials also said a 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.”
“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.
“Weekend road closures benefitted thousands of people and families last summer and I look forward to their return this year.”
— with files from Nick Westoll