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Council approves expanded ActiveTO program, Yonge Street pilot project

Last Updated Apr 8, 2021 at 6:41 am EDT

Cyclists along Lake Shore Boulevard near the CNE grounds on June 12, 2020. As part of ActiveTO, the closed lanes provide space for runners and cyclists to get outside during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rene Johnston/Getty Images)

Toronto City Council has approved an expanded ActiveTO program for 2021.

The weekend road closures will be back this spring and the network will be expanded through a pilot project along Yonge Street.

Council approved the motion for a more flexible and adaptable plan and it will allow the Lake Shore Boulevard West stretch to return on select weekend.

In addition to Lakeshore West the following closures will be back each weekend this year:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East between Leslie and Woodbine
  • Bayview Avenue between Rosedale Valley Road and Mill Street
  • River Street between Gerrard and Bayview


There was some hesitancy to include the popular Lakeshore West closure due to roadwork that will be taking place on The Queensway from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles Avenue.

The city will also be in consultation with local councillors to consider other potential closures along Black Creek Drive, Allen Road and on some roads within Exhibition Place.

The ActiveTO initiative was introduced last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to allow for physical distancing by giving cyclists and pedestrians more space on roadways.

“ActiveTO has been a successful and popular program that will continue to help us through the pandemic as well as contribute to the future livability of our city,” says Mayor John Tory in a statement.

“Weekend road closures benefitted thousands of people and families last summer and I look forward to their return this year. I am confident we can replicate the success of Destination Danforth along midtown Yonge Street this summer while also connecting our growing cycling network and supporting businesses through CaféTO.”

The first weekend of ActiveTO has yet to be determined and the city says staff will make that decision based on the weather and roadwork.

RELATED: Restaurants, bars can start applying for patios through CafeTO program

A Yonge Street pilot project in Midtown has also been approved to help support both the ActiveTO and the CafeTO initatives.

A stretch of Yonge between Bloor and Davisville Avenue will see the road reduced to two lanes, bike lanes added, and on street patios installed.

It is similar to the ‘Destination Danforth’ plan last year that created more room for physical distancing along Danforth Avenue between Broadview and Victoria Park.

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