2015 program dates will build on a successful 2014 pilot program, using
existing public assets - Toronto's iconic streets - to promote the
importance of physical activity, social connectivity and accessibility
TORONTO, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Open Streets TO is proud to announce that
the 2015 Open Streets platform, a world-class recreation program unlike
any other in Canada, will take place between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on
Sunday, August 16 and Sunday, September 6, 2015. The 5.0 kilometre
route will comprise Bloor Street (between Spadina and Parliament) and
Yonge Street (between Bloor and Queen), connecting some of Toronto's
most diverse neighbourhoods. Crossing points will be included at
numerous major intersections, where cars will be permitted to pass
through as normal.
"We are excited to bring back the Open Streets program to Canada's
largest city," said Emily Munroe, Board Member, Open Streets Toronto
and Executive Director, 8-80 Cities, a catalyst for the international
Open Streets movement. "We would like to thank the numerous City of
Toronto stakeholders for their support in making this a reality and we
would like to invite every citizen in Toronto to participate in this
free recreational program."
Open Streets are programs that open a city's streets to people and close
them to cars. People traffic replaces car traffic, and the streets
become "paved parks" where people of all ages, abilities, and social,
economic, and ethnic backgrounds can come out and improve their health.
In 2014, Open Streets drew more than 20,000 participants per program
date, including runners, cyclists, skateboarders, roller bladers and
walkers, among many others, who interacted with their city and other
people in unique ways never before experienced in Toronto.
"Iconic cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Mexico City all
promote a variety of the Open Streets concept," said Toronto City
Councillor, Kristyn Wong-Tam. "I am proud that Toronto put itself on
this map of great cities in 2014 by creating our own distinct program
and am looking forward to this summer's exciting program."
In addition to these open streets, parks and public spaces along the
route, or "hubs", will be programmed with activities organized by
members of the community, providing a window into what each
neighbourhood has to offer. Community organizations, businesses, and
individuals from across the city are encouraged to pitch an activity
idea (or ideas) for the 2015 program. Activity leader applications are
now being accepted - more info can be found at www.openstreetsto.org.
Local businesses are also encouraged to get involved and to take
advantage of this unique opportunity. Open Streets TO is designed to
showcase the local community and businesses along the route − no
outside vendors are permitted. Merchants in other Open Streets cities,
such as Los Angeles, have not only seen an increase in business during
and after their program days, but have also had the opportunity to
reach out to new customers from other parts of their city.
"Open Streets is in keeping with the work that we are doing on an
ongoing basis to create vibrant and unique experiences in Downtown
Yonge," said Mark Garner, Executive Director, Downtown Yonge BIA. "We
are especially committed to bringing together both the wider community
and the public realm in new and creative ways - and Open Streets does
Ryerson University will once again be partnering with Open Streets to
provide program evaluation support research, designed to learn from,
and improve upon, the overall platform offering. Topics such as "Social
Inclusion and Diversity", "Youth Engagement" and the "Importance of
Physical Activity" will be studied to ensure that Open Streets program
development can be tailored to address Toronto's pressing needs.
Open Streets is proud to announce that current sponsors include City,
Downtown Yonge BIA, 8 80 Cities, Tricon Capital Group, Toronto Parking
Authority, Bike Share Toronto, Ryerson University, The 519 and Bennett
The Open Streets TO program cannot happen without the generous support
of volunteers. In 2014, the pilot program was supported by more than
300 community members. Volunteer opportunities for the 2015 program are
now open, and the application process is available on the Open Streets
For more information about Open Streets TO, visit: openstreetsto.org, follow us on Twitter (@OpenStreetsTO or like us on Facebook Open Streets TO).
SOURCE Open Streets TO
Video with caption: "Video: Downtown Yonge BIA". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20150624_C9874_VIDEO_EN_43795.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20150624_C9874_PHOTO_EN_43795.jpg&clientName=Open%20Streets%20TO&caption=Video%3A%20Downtown%20Yonge%20BIA&title=OPEN%20STREETS%20TO%20%2D%20Open%20Streets%20Toronto%20to%20Bring%20Back%20City%27s%20Largest%20Free%20Recreation%20Program&headline=Open%20Streets%20Toronto%20to%20Bring%20Back%20City%27s%20Largest%20Free%20Recreation%20Program
Image with caption: "Child playing with hulla hoop at Downtown Yonge BIA Hub at Open Streets TO in 2014. Photo Credit: Downtown Yonge BIA (CNW Group/Open Streets TO)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150624_C9874_PHOTO_EN_43793.jpg
Image with caption: "Happy Torontonian cycling at Open Streets TO in 2014. Photo Credit: Wanda Wang (CNW Group/Open Streets TO)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150624_C9874_PHOTO_EN_43794.jpg
PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/06/24/20150624_C9874_DOC_EN_43796.pdf
For further information:
Emily Munroe, 416.829.4069, email@example.com
Alyssa Bird, 416.220.0158, firstname.lastname@example.org