More sections of major Toronto roads are closed for the second weekend in a row, in an effort to create more space for walkers and cyclists during COVID-19.
Parts of Lake Shore Boulevard and Bayview Avenue are closed as part of the city's ActiveTO plan, intended to help people maintain physical distancing while outside. The city expanded the closures to include Lake Shore Boulevard East this weekend after cyclists and pedestrians flocked to the closed streets last week.
Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday and continuing until Sunday at 11 p.m., the following streets are closed to cars:
- Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only), from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road.
- The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West.
- Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only), from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue.
- Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road.
- River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.
Mayor eyes weekday road closures
Mayor John Tory said Saturday he also wants to look at roads that could close during weekdays in order to help people who are commuting.
He called ActiveTO a "living experiment." The city will "definitely" keep doing it, Tory said, while assessing the impact on the rest of the city and "fine-tuning" the project.
"I think the results overall will be positive and we'll end up doing more of this as opposed to less, because it's what we should be doing," said Tory.
The city says it will take the closures one weekend at a time, monitoring whether some places need more space or if certain roads aren't being used.
Toronto's ActiveTO program also includes several "quiet streets" for local traffic only, as well as a plan to expand the city's cycling network.
Many people celebrated the open space last weekend, though the road closures drew some mixed reaction.
The mayor said he saw thousands of people from all backgrounds using the roads during the first weekend of closures.
City confirms 220 new cases Saturday
Meanwhile, Toronto is still seeing more than 200 new COVID-19 cases per day, city health officials say.
Toronto Public Health confirmed 220 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 9,835. Some 7,202 people have recovered.
Here's a look at other key data points from the city:
- Some 391 people remain in hospital with COVID-19.
- Of those, 94 are in intensive care.
- There have been 750 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
The city says some 14 per cent of those who have been infected with the novel coronavirus have needed to be hospitalized.