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Parts of Yonge, Bloor closed to traffic Sunday for Open Streets

Toronto is following the lead of cities from Bogota to New York in closing parts of two major downtown streets to traffic on Sunday.

Open Streets TO has transformed the often gridlocked Yonge and Bloor streets into pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly oases devoid of vehicles.

Bloor Street between Spadina and Parliament, and Yonge between Bloor and Queen will be car-free zones between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Major intersections have crossing points where cars, buses and streetcars can pass.

The pilot program, which will also close the streets on Aug. 31, is meant to promote 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.

A similar initiative takes place 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.