Toronto's first Open Streets program has two confirmed dates to close out the summer in the city. Sunday August 17 and Sunday August 31 from 8am - 12noon, Canada's most iconic intersection will be closed to vehicular traffic.
Open Streets programs, also known as Ciclovias, open streets to people and close them to cars encouraging participation in physical activity and healthy recreation. They are free, regularly occurring programs, and offer communities the opportunity to experience their city streets in a whole new way. At Open Streets there are no finish lines, parades, or sidewalk sales which set Open Streets apart from other events like marathons or street festivals. Open Streets can provide stimulus to local businesses, offer a setting for greater civic participation and integration, and build support for the provision of broader transportation choices.
Medellin, Colombia is the birth place of Ciclovia, but since its inception many international cities have since adopted and adapted the tradition as their own, such as New York and Ottawa. Toronto now joins with Open Streets TO 2014, which will be the city’s largest free recreation program, an initiative that opens the streets to people and closes them to vehicles. The streets become “paved parks” where residents can mix and mingle to enjoy the streets without fear of vehicle interruption.
On Sunday Aug. 17th and Sunday Aug. 31st, 2014, a 5 km route that takes in parts of Bloor Street and Yonge Street will be open for people to run, walk, bike, and play. A series of Activity Hubs will encourage interaction by way of pop-up stations with participatory programming generated by local community groups, businesses, institutes and organizations. Be sure to support local businesses within this area to show them sales are not affected by not having vehicle traffic.
Volunteers are needed to help make this happen. Click here for more information.