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Scene: Open Streets TO

Hundreds of people took to the car-free streets this weekend to cycle, amble, and explore.


WHERE: Bloor Street West and Yonge Street

WHEN: Sunday, August 17; 8 a.m.–noon

WHAT: A pilot program promoting physical activity and community exploration. Open Streets TO blocked off about five kilometres of downtown roadway (on Bloor from Spadina to Parliament and on Yonge from Queen to Bloor) to vehicular traffic Sunday morning and gave it over to pedestrians, cyclists, and local businesses. There was lots to do and see—one of the highlights was a performance by some very young violinists from the Royal Conservatory of Music. And although certain City politicians were predictably averse to the idea, others, including mayoral candidates David Soknacki and Olivia Chow, took the opportunity to do some campaigning. Open Streets has already caught on in cities such as Paris, New York, and Los Angeles; in Toronto, it will return this August 31, covering the same routes at the same time.