toronto open streets

Massive open streets festival planned for Toronto

A large stretch of Bloor Street, Yonge Street, and Danforth Avenue could be transformed into a massive 11 km car-free plaza for a series of community events this summer, organizers of a Toronto "Open Streets" event say.

The event, championed by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, regionalArchitects and 8-80 Cities, would (tentatively) see Bloor St. and Danforth Ave. closed from High Park to Greenwood on consecutive Sundays for events based around physical activity and community building. Yonge Street would also be closed south of Bloor to Lake Shore.

In cities such as Ottawa, New York City, and Guadalajara (pictured) that already do a similar thing during the summer, Open Streets festivals - sometimes called ciclovias - have seen cycling, picnics, storytelling, games, yoga and dance classes.

Intersecting streets would remain open and traffic would be allowed to cross Bloor, Yonge, and the Danforth. In September last year, Paul Kulig from regionalArchitects said Bloor-Danforth and Yonge make good candidates because of the subway and their "iconic" status within Toronto.

The group also considered Yonge Street and Lake Shore Blvd.

The organizers received $180,000 of provincial funding in 2013 but are still seeking a big-name sponsor to cover the cost of policing the event. 8-80 Cities and Wong-Tam are also working on approval from city council for a pilot event this summer, possibly over three weekends in late July and early August.

What do you think of a Bloor, Danforth and Yonge open streets fest?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: 8-80 Cities


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Here's what you need to know about the Brampton protests against India's new farm laws

U of T makes top ten world ranking of universities with the most employable graduates

Protesters in cars intentionally block traffic in downtown Toronto at rush hour

Toronto is removing one of its newest bike lanes and people are divided over the move

Police catch Ontario motorist using lawn chair as driver's seat

The TTC is closing parts of Toronto's busiest subway line for 10 days

This might be the most interesting street in Toronto

Officers laid 16 charges against non-essential businesses in Toronto this weekend