Runners, cyclists and walkers abound: Three major road closures for ActiveTO this weekend

People exercise in the warm weather in Toronto, on Sunday May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A number of major arteries are closed to vehicles for the second weekend in a row as the city continues its efforts to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The road closures, which are part of the city’s ActiveTO strategy, went into effect at 6 a.m. on Saturday and will remain in place until 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Toronto Mayor John Tory has said that the initiative, which also involves restricting a number of neighbourhood roads to local traffic only, could serve as a “living experiment” of sorts as the city looks for more permanent ways to create additional space for physically distancing.

“These times are tough for everyone. Mental health is tough. So anytime we can get outside in a safe way to run, to walk, to bike, to just be with family I think it is a really smart idea,” one woman, who was out for a run on Lakeshore Boulevard West on Saturday morning, told CP24. “I come early in the morning but I have heard from others who come later and say it is really challenging (to maintain physical distancing). I actually had someone get really upset with me because he thought I was getting too close. So any opportunities to create distance and allow us to still be healthy and physical is so appreciated.”

" I absolutely love it. It gives you more space to move around and you don’t have to stop constantly waiting for people, which is nice especially when I have my dog with me beacsuse he doesn’t social distance very well at all," another woman out for a morning stroll told CP24.

The road closures in effect this weekend are as follows:

  • All eastbound lanes of Lakeshore Boulevard West, between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road
  • The eastbound ramp off of the Gardiner Expressway (#146) to Lakeshore Boulevard
  • All eastbound lanes of Lakeshore Boulevard East between Coxwell Avenue and Kew Beach Avenue
  • The Bayview Extension (Avenue) between Mill Street and Rosedale Valley Road
  • River Street between Gerrard Street and the Bayview Extension