high park toronto

Toronto is allowing cars into High Park again and people are upset

Following more than a month of vehicle-free bliss, it appears High Park is open to cars once more. 

The city's largest park is now allowing cars through Monday to Friday after banning them completely at the height of cherry blossoms season.

While the City of Toronto never made an official announcement about it, people managed to put two and two together following the City's most recent ActiveTO update, which listed High Park Avenue as a "quiet street", but not the roads stretching through the park. 

People found that odd, given that it West Road and Colbourne Lodge Drive, which run through High Park, have already been pretty quiet (read: car-free) for over a month. 

When asked, the City of Toronto and various councillors confirmed that, yes, High Park is once again open to vehicles, except on weekends. 

Confusion and disappointment are now setting in for people, who only just celebrated High Park's reopening a little over a week ago, in all its pedestrian-only glory.  

"High Park will remain closed to vehicular traffic for the rest of the emergency so people have more space to enjoy the park and keep their distance from others," said Mayor John Tory, just a little over a week ago — so what gives? 

For walkers, joggers, and cyclists, there's no question that exploring High Park is a much better experience without the presence of cars, though those with accessibility needs were never really addressed during that brief closure. 

People are wondering why the city is launching programs like ActiveTO, where street closures are meant to help pedestrians and cyclists get outside more safely during the pandemic, while simulateneously taking public spaces away and giving them to cars.

According to ActiveTO, High Park is now a quiet street between Bloor St. West and Annette Street, but that won't extend south to West Road or Colbourne Lodge Drive.

Lead photo by

George Hornaday


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