City of Toronto releases ActiveTO weekend schedule for July

·4 min read
The city says ActiveTO road closures will include parts of Lake Shore Boulevard East, Lake Shore Boulevard West, as well as roads within High Park and Exhibition Place, throughout July.  (Robert Krbavac/CBC - image credit)
The city says ActiveTO road closures will include parts of Lake Shore Boulevard East, Lake Shore Boulevard West, as well as roads within High Park and Exhibition Place, throughout July. (Robert Krbavac/CBC - image credit)

Toronto has released its weekend ActiveTO schedule for July, announcing changes to its Lake Shore Boulevard West closures and adding new locations across the city.

This comes in light of new data that shows while the closures increased cycling three-fold in some cases, closing the local roads also increased traffic significantly along nearby highways.

A minimum of four ActiveTO locations are expected to be available each weekend during the month, allowing people to cycle, run and walk along major roads that have been closed off to travel.

Notably, the eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard West will be open to pedestrians, with the exception of the weekend of July 10. However, the length of the closure will vary. While the road will be closed on some weekends between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road, the closure will be shortened on others to instead begin at Jameson Avenue.

The city says this was done so that it can still be offered on weekends, while working to "reduce impacts on the local community as well as transit service," according to a news release issued Wednesday.

The July schedule also includes new locations, such as roads within Exhibition Place, a portion of Black Creek Drive — between Trethewey Drive and Lawrence Avenue — and the introduction of The Meadoway in Scarborough as an ActiveTO route.

The city says this was made possible by planning for additional signage at each pedestrian and cyclist crosswalk that intersects the corridor between Brimley Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road.

Take a look at the full July schedule:

Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes), between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road.

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue.

  • The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road).

  • Roads within High Park.

Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11Gardiner Expressway maintenance weekend

  • Roads within Exhibition Place.

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue.

  • Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street, between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street.

  • The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road).

  • Roads within High Park.

Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18

  • Black Creek Drive (northbound lanes), Trethewey Drive to Lawrence Avenue (Saturday, July 17 only).

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes), between Jameson Avenue and Stadium Road.

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue.

  • Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street, between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street.

  • The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road).

  • Roads within High Park.

Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue.

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes), between Jameson Avenue and Stadium Road.

  • Bayview Avenue, between Front Street East and Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street, between Bayview Avenue and Spruce Street.

  • The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road).

  • Roads within High Park.

Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes), between Windermere Avenue and Stadium Road.

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes), between Leslie Street to Woodbine Avenue.

  • The Meadoway in Scarborough (Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road).

  • Roads within High Park.

Lake Shore West cycling 3 times higher during ActiveTO

The city says new data supports that while the routes have been popular, taking a "careful approach" to closure locations and timing has been crucial.

That data comes from city transportation professionals, who analyzed spring closures, including pedestrian and cycling counts as well as traffic impacts and patterns.

Robert Krbavac/CBC
Robert Krbavac/CBC

Counts taken on Lake Shore Boulevard West shows that cycling has increased three-fold during ActiveTO.

Between 16,700 and 34,000 cyclists took advantage of ActiveTO at that location during the weekends of May 15 and May 22, compared to the 4,600 to 10,800 cyclists who used the route on weekends without the closure.

Travel times up to 3 times longer on nearby highways

The data also showed, however, that there are significant traffic impacts on the surrounding community when the closure is installed, the city says.

When the Lake Shore Boulevard West ActiveTO closure was in place, traffic data on the Gardiner Expressway and The Queensway showed travel times up to three times longer when measured against conditions with no ActiveTO closure.

"The data shows that staff have delivered ActiveTO weekends in a responsible way that considers the need for people to have safe outdoor space to exercise," Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement.

"It also reinforces that we must carefully listen to and respond to the impacts to the local communities when closures are in place."

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