activeto road closures

Toronto finally agrees to open Lake Shore West to cyclists and pedestrians next weekend

After a successful first weekend of ActiveTO road closures helping Toronto's pedestrians and cyclists get fresh air and exercise, the city has announced that last year's most popular closure — on Lake Shore Boulevard West — will officially be returning next weekend.

Mayor John Tory made the announcement at the city's COVID-19 press briefing Wednesday afternoon, and it comes as welcome news for all those who've advocated for the route's return in 2021.

"City staff are currently making plans to close Lake Shore Boulevard West on the Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16 weekend," reads a city news release about the upcoming closure. 

"Details, including timing and boundaries, will be provided as soon as plans are finalized. Staff have been working to anticipate potential traffic and safety impacts related to planned and important nearby construction along King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles (KQQR) and The Queensway, from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue."

The city intially said this closure, which attracted an average of 18,000 cyclists and 4,000 pedestrians daily time around, would be excluded from the program altogether this year as a result of construction and congestion in the area.

But the decision was eventually reversed after thousands of residents signed a Cycle Toronto petition to bring the route back, and Tory said last week that staff were working on finding sensible and practical ways to eventually include the much-loved closure in this year's ActiveTO program.

In the meantime, the same three major road closures as last weekend will be in place beginning Saturday, May 8 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.:

  • Bayview Avenue between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road
  • River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue

Roads through High Park will also be closed to vehicle traffic each weekend from Friday at approximately 11 p.m. until Monday at approximately 7 a.m.

All ActiveTO routes will be closed to vehicles and open to people on bikes, rollerblades, skateboards and on foot.

Anyone planning to use ActiveTO routes or visit High Park should do so only with members of their own household, says the city, and residents are also asked to access them by bike or on foot because nearby parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available.

"We know that ActiveTO weekend road closures are well-liked and last weekend's kickoff reminded us all just how popular they have been for residents," Tory said.

"We remain committed to giving people and families more places to be outside for exercise and I continue to encourage people to safely enjoy these routes."

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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