Toronto City Council Is Ending ActiveTO & Here's What That Means For Lakeshore Traffic

The city is slowly getting back to normal.

Toronto Staff Writer
Pedestrians travelling on Lake Shore West.

Pedestrians travelling on Lake Shore West.

ActiveTO, a COVID-19 program that has continuously caused widespread road closures along Toronto's lakeshore during the pandemic, is coming to an end.

Members of the City Council accepted staff recommendations to operate the initiative through "limited special events," which will be planned and advertised in advance instead of recurring weekend events.

The city introduced the program in 2020 to provide more space for people to practice physical distancing, support residents' overall well-being and expand Toronto's cycling network.

However, the quick-start plan began to cause problems in 2022 due to the comeback of street events and residents returning to more standard travel patterns.

"The delays to nearby traffic experienced in 2022 were measured to be greater than those in 2020 and 2021 due to the return of pre-pandemic motor vehicle volumes and patterns," the news release states.

There have been two ActiveTO events this year, both of which caused significant traffic delays.

For example, the city reported that travel times increased by 18 minutes on Monday, May 23. However, it peaked at 70 minutes on May 29 due to a car crash on the Gardiner Expressway, which officials argued demonstrated the network's impact on travel times.

"We have made huge progress reopening Toronto, and that progress is going to continue," Mayor John Tory said. "City staff are working to accommodate and balance, as much as possible, all the major events across the city that are now back."

Tory praised ActiveTO as a "great pandemic program" while stating that the city will continue to implement it where and when possible.

Patrick John Gilson
Toronto Staff Writer
Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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