The day is finally here, nearly. The Toronto Climate Strike is happening on Friday, September 27, and thousands of people are expected to attend the environmental rally. This, of course, is bound to affect downtown transit and travel, but how?
According to CBC, 85 cities across Canada are set to hold climate strikes. Here's what you can expect in Toronto, where the strike will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Toronto's Fridays for Future, which advocates for youth to combat climate change in solidarity with Greta Thunberg, is hosting the event. It begins at 11 a.m. with a rally. The event page on Facebook for the Queen's Park rally currently lists in excess of 9,900 people as attending, with another 13,000 interested.*
The idea of 23,000 people bearing down on a localized area of the city is inspiring in the context of pushing for global change, but pretty scary when you're thinking about getting around downtown.
Schools and universities all over Toronto have made the proper accommodations for students to take part in such a historic event. So, even if classes aren't cancelled, expect a large number of students to join and swell the crowd even further.
At around noon, the strike is expected to set eastwards on Wellesley Street, then march down south on Bay Street, west on Queen Street, and back up University Avenue to Queen's Park.
You should basically expect that entire area and surrounding streets near U of T St. George campus and Ryerson University's campus to be packed full of people and a nightmare for drivers and commuters.
If you're wondering how you'd get there, the TTC's media relations specialist Stuart Green emphasized that the TTC is an environmentally friendly way to get to the strike.
He confirmed that extra subway service is being readied and buses will be on standby, although there were no further details. Green also stressed that people should expect transit services along the march route to be affected, telling Narcity: "Surface impacts will depend on crowd size and duration of the march. However, we expect a significant show of support for the event."
"Attending #ClimateStrike in Toronto tomorrow?" he tweeted. "The #TTC is the environmentally friendly way to get there. Extra subway service being readied. Buses on standby for additional support. Expect surface routes on Bay, College, Dundas and Queen to be impacted during the noon-hour march."
The unofficial site Toronto Road Closures suggests Queen's Park will be closed from Bloor West to Queen's Park Crescent East and from College Street to Queen's Park Crescent East. It also says Queen West will close from Bay to University, and University itself will shut from Queen West to College during the hours of the march on Friday.
Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police tweeted that drivers "should expect delays and increased pedestrian traffic."
The site also lists TTC's 5 Avenue Road, 94 Wellesley, and 501 Queen streetcars as services that will be detouring during those same hours.
If you're coming in from outside of the city, you can take a ride on GO Transit. Although they won't have special or additional times in place, they do have frequent service for transit goers.
"We have lots of lots of service coming into the city in the morning," Anne Marie Aikins, Manager of Strategic Communications of Metrolinx, told Narcity. Aikins also noted Metrolinx has seven different lines coming into the city if you are planning on taking the GO train, so you should be pretty well covered in that regard.
It promises to be a historic day across the country and in the city. So, make up those unique signs and get yourself ready!
*This article has been updated.