Mayor John Tory said the city is considering expanding Toronto’s ActiveTO program to other neighbourhoods this spring.
The goal of the program is to provide more outdoor space for residents to safely distance while remaining active outside.
The initiative was launched in May 2020, closing major roads in the city for cyclists and pedestrians which included Lake Shore Boulevard (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 also expanded to include Yonge Street for two Sundays in September.
During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Tory said he hopes the program can be expanded as the weather warms up.
“I think if anything my objective would be to scale it up. By saying that, I’m talking about what I’ve asked of the staff, which is that they look at opportunities to have an ActiveTO corridor, if I can call it that, in other parts of the city,” Tory said.
“We had it downtown last year. It was a huge success and it drew people from all over the city, and so there’s no reason why we can’t at least look at a place we can do it in East York, North York, and Scarborough if the local people want it,” he added.
According to City data, the program was extremely popular with an average of 18,000 cyclists and over 4,000 pedestrians on Lake Shore Boulevard West, 6,300 cyclists and 5,700 pedestrians on Lake Shore Boulevard East, and 2,000 cyclists and 300 pedestrians on Bayview Avenue.
City staff are expected to release more information in the coming weeks.