vision zero toronto

This Toronto street is banning cars for kids' safety

Toronto is trying to fix its pedestrian and cyclist safety problem. From reducing speed limits on select streets to implementing an entire five-year "Vision Zero" plan to cut traffic-related fatalities, the city is taking steps to make roads safer for residents, especially in school zones.

This week, it's testing a pilot project that could lead to road closures outside of Toronto schools to make it safer for students during peak drop-off and pick-up times.

A part of Mountview Avenue in front of Keele Street Public School is closed to cars 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 4 p.m. from October 28 to 31 to see how well a car-free zone works for the neighbourhood.

The pilot — called School Streets — is courtesy of non-profit group 8 80 Cities, which works to "enhance" public spaces for safer communities, with the cooperation of Eco Kids Canada and the Toronto District School Board Eco Schools.

It is modelled after the successful European program with the same name that has banned cars from school areas in cities like London, Milan and Edinburgh.

8 80 Cities has previously rolled out two similar road safety endeavours in the city, including converting a portion of Danforth Avenue into a more pedestrian-friendly zone.

Two days into the Toronto School Streets initiative, it seems feedback has been positive so far — from parents and city councillors alike — with kids excited to have space to play before and after school without traffic safety risks. 

Torontonians can count on other similar street safety measures to be enacted, whether temporarily or long-term, in line with Vision Zero's objectives.

Lead photo by

Janet Joy Wilson


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