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Portions of Yonge, Bloor going car-free 2 Sundays in August

A five-kilometre stretch of Toronto’s downtown core will be closed to traffic on two Sundays in August to accommodate the Open Streets pilot program that aims to transform a bustling metropolis into a pedestrian-friendly oasis void of vehicles.

Bloor Street between Spadina and Parliament, and Yonge Street between Bloor and Queen will be no-car zones between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on August 17 and on August 31.

Major intersections will have crossing points where cars can pass through.

Open Streets said in a release that the pilot program promotes physical activity, social connectivity and accessibility.

“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,” Open Streets said in a release.

The initiative has been successful in other major cities such as San Francisco, Portland and New York City.

“I am proud that Toronto will stand amongst these great cities by creating our own distinct program by highlighting the city’s most dynamic neighbourhoods,” said Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam.

A similar initiative takes place over the summer in Kensington Market where streets are shut down to vehicle traffic from noon to 7 p.m. for Pedestrian Sundays, which happens on the last Sunday of every month between May and October.