Toronto installing 57 km of "quiet streets" to help physical distancing

May 14 2020, 1:20 pm

Mayor John Tory announced that 57 kilometres of quiet street space for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders is rolling out across the city, and sections on three major roads will be closed during the Victoria Day long weekend.

The ActiveTO program, developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services, will provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as sectors of the economy reopen.

The first Quiet Streets locations installed on Thursday include:

  • Kensington Market (area that borders Nassau Avenue, Spadina Avenue, Augusta Avenue and Dundas Street West)
  • Shaughnessy Boulevard between Van Horne Avenue and Havenbrook Boulevard
  • Havenbrook Boulevard between Shaughnessy Boulevard and Manorpark Court

According to the City, these are neighbourhood streets where traffic calming measures, such as signage and temporary barricades, will be put in place at intersections to encourage slow, local vehicle access only so that the roadway can be a shared space that allows people who walk, run and bike.

As per the City, the other confirmed Quiet Street locations as of May 14 include:

  • Kensington Market (area that borders Nassau Ave., Spadina Ave, Augusta Ave. and Dundas St. W.)
  • Shaughnessy Blvd. between Van Horne Ave. and Havenbrook Blvd.
  • Havenbrook Blvd. between Shaughnessy and Manorpark Ct.
    Lakeshore Dr./Lake Promenade (First Ave. to Forty Second St.)
  • High Park  Ave. (Bloor St. W. to Annette St.)
  • Brock/Emerson/Cowan Ave. (Dupont St. to King St. W.)
  • Winona Dr. (Eglinton Ave. to Davenport Rd.)
  • The Esplanade (boundaries TBC)
  • Crawford St./Montrose Ave. (Bloor St. W. to Queen St. W.)
  • Howard and Earl Streets (Sherbourne St. to Parliament St.)
  • Sackville/Sumach Streets (Shuter St. to Gerrard St. E.)
  • Monarch Park Ave. (Felstead Ave. to Sammon Ave.)
  • Fulton/Sammon Avenues (Broadview Ave. to Monarch Park Ave.)
  • Woodfield Rd. (Knox Ave. to Walpole Ave.)
  • Lee Ave. (Kingston Rd. to Alfresco Lawn)
  • Secord Ave./Eastdale Ave./Lumsden Ave./Main St./Hamstead Ave./West Lake Ave. (Dawes Rd. to Oak Park Ave.)
  • Military Trail/Highcastle Rd. (Sealstone Terrace to Bonspiel Dr.)
  • Kew Beach Ave. (Waverly Rd to Lake Shore Blvd. E.)
  • Westview Blvd. (St Clair Ave. E. to Holland Ave.)
  • Dundalk Dr. (Ellesmere Rd. to Antrim Cr.)
  • Trudelle St./Cedar Brae Blvd. (Danforth Rd. to Bellamy Rd.)

Parking and drop off areas will not be impacted, and City services, such as waste collection and emergency access, will continue as normal.

There will also be more public space for people to alleviate weekend and holiday crowding.

Sections of these three major streets will be closed from from Saturday, May 16 at 6 am until Monday, May 18 at 11 pm:

• All eastbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard West between Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road
• Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road
• River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

The city also noted that future weekend closures, that are not on a long weekend, will begin at 6 am on Saturdays until 11 pm on Sundays — locations will be announced as they are finalized.

“ActiveTO is about making sure people have space to get outside during this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, have space to get around while respecting physical distancing, and – when it comes to the larger bike lane projects – that we have a safety valve when it comes to the TTC,” Tory said.

“Today, we are moving ahead with creating more than 50 kilometres of Quiet Streets across the city and starting this weekend we will be closing some major roads near popular recreation trails and areas. All of this represents both a quick start and a common sense approach to respond to areas where there is bike and pedestrian congestion right now.”

Tory also emphasized that making additional space means that direction continues to evolve from “stay home” to “practise physical distancing when outside for essentials or exercise.”

Currently vehicle and pedestrian traffic are at an all-time low, and bike traffic has declined only slightly in certain downtown locations, the city says.

During the City Council meeting on April 30, in anticipation of changes in traffic patterns in the coming weeks and months, the Mayor and Council requested that City staff look at more active transportation as a crucial part of the restart and recovery.

Toronto’s CurbTO program continues to be rolled out to address places where there is sidewalk crowding and temporary parking concerns around essential businesses.

So far, 30 pedestrian zones and 17 temporary parking pickup zones have been installed around Toronto, with additional zones to be installed this week.

The goal is to have 100 zones in place.

To date, there are 8,097 total coronavirus cases in Toronto with 5,851 recovered and 648 reported deaths.