Canada's largest free recreation program will connect Toronto's communities via the iconic Bloor Street Viaduct
TORONTO, July 22, 2016 /CNW/ - Open Streets Toronto today announced its most expansive route to date, solidifying its position as the largest free recreation program in Canada. Program routes for 2016 are as follows:
- August 21, 2016 (10:00 am to 2:00 pm): Bloor Street (East/West from Dufferin Street to Parliament Street); Yonge Street (North/South from Bloor Street to Queen Street).
- September 18, 2016 (10:00 am to 2:00 pm): Bloor Street (East/West from Dufferin Street to Hampton Avenue); Yonge Street (North/South from Bloor Street to Queen Street).
On both dates, people traffic will replace car traffic, as the streets become "paved parks" where people of all ages, abilities, and social, economic and ethnic backgrounds can get active and connect with their community and each other.
This year's second date will mark the first time the program will cross the Don River via the Bloor Street Viaduct, the city's most iconic bridge, and a connective symbol between east and west. This will be the first time, outside of events related to the Pan Am Games, that the viaduct will be closed to car traffic, and opened up to people.
"Open Streets is about getting out, being active, and connecting people in the city without the barriers and stresses created by vehicle traffic," said Emily Munroe, Co-Chair, Open Streets Toronto. "By crossing the Bloor Street Viaduct, the people of Toronto will be able to experience our most beloved bridge in a way they never could before. And by including the Danforth, we are bringing one of the city's most storied neighbourhoods into the fold."
The route extension follows the interest of attendees in 2015, 97 per cent of whom said in a survey that they supported the expansion of the Open Streets concept. In addition, 85 per cent of those surveyed agreed that Open Streets strengthens the community, and 75 per cent said that it improved their perception of Toronto – both core objectives of the program. In terms of physical activity, 62 per cent of respondents said they would not have been engaged in active recreation had it not been for Open Streets Toronto.
"We've seen tremendous support for Open Streets Toronto in our community – from residents, businesses, and visitors," said Mark Garner, Executive Director, Downtown Yonge BIA. "We are highly committed to creating engaging, community-oriented experiences in public spaces, and Open Streets Toronto has been doing exactly that."
As in previous years, Activity Hubs will be set up by local businesses and community organizations along the route, showcasing the character of each neighbourhood in authentic ways. No outside vendors are permitted, underpinning the neighbourhood feel of the program. Some exciting additions to this year's Activity Hubs will include the Bata Shoe Museum, National Ballet School, Native Youth Resource Centre and the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association, among others.
In addition, Toronto Environmental Alliance's INHALE Project will be measuring air pollution on Open Streets TO program dates. This will mark the first time that air pollution will be measured simultaneously at main city intersections along Yonge and Bloor Streets.
A full description of the event hubs can be seen here: http://www.openstreetsto.org/#!activity-hubs/c1r3k
For more information about the event, visit: www.openstreetsto.org
SOURCE Open Streets TO