By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The City of Toronto wants residents to enjoy the weekend sunshine and weather.
As part of the city’s ActiveTO program, the eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East from Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue will be closed to vehicles – but open and inviting for pedestrians and cyclists this weekend (Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9).
The program closes particular roads during the spring and summer weekends to allow residents to get outdoors and exercise, while being able to maintain physical distance as warranted by public health restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I encourage everyone in the community to enjoy ActiveTO and support local businesses in the Beach this weekend,” Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford said.
“As the pandemic drags on, we’re all looking for ways to break the monotony and change our routine. Initiatives like this help us do that safely and in a way that’s good for our mental and physical health,” he added.
In addition to Lake Shore Boulevard East, Bayview Avenue will be closed between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road. River Street between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street will also be closed.
High Park will also be open for residents this weekend.
ActiveTO was well-received when it was first introduced last year resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents planning on using ActiveTO are only permitted to do so with members of their household. Parking is limited and there is no onsite parking available so residents are encouraged to access routes by walking or cycling.
The city has also implemented new signal timing measures at Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard East to reduce traffic congestion. Those changes are expected to be in effect this weekend.
“I’ve been working with (Toronto-Danforth) Councillor (Paula) Fletcher and city staff to make improvements to the signal timings to help ease some of the traffic concerns,” Bradford said. “We’ll be keeping an eye on things over the course of the summer.”