On May 28, 2020, City Council approved ActiveTO, a suite of programs deployed to promote the health and wellbeing of Toronto residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs transformed city streets by closing major road corridors to vehicle traffic, expanding Toronto’s cycling network, calming local street traffic in areas across the city, and redesigning streetside infrastructure in several locations.
This evaluation of ActiveTO programs was conducted by The Center for Active Transportation (TCAT) during the summer of 2022, using survey data collected from ActiveTO installations across Toronto. The projects of interest in this report include:
- Major Road Closures – Weekend closures of major roads (such as Lake Shore Boulevard East and West) to vehicle traffic, allowing pedestrians and cyclists more space to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Quiet Streets – Traffic calming measures and signage installed in 31 locations across Toronto, designed to reduce non-local traffic and provide spaces for socially distanced outdoor travel and recreation
- Complete Streets Pilot Projects – Major street infrastructure changes to stretches of Yonge Street and Danforth Avenue including protected bike lanes, artistic curb extensions, planters, and extended outdoor patios for restaurants
Initial evaluation of these programs were conducted by TCAT, Park People, and 8 80 Cities, in collaboration with the City of Toronto. This report was designed to understand the user experience of ActiveTO programs holistically, highlighting key distinctions between projects and program-wide successes, and identifying the communities served by Toronto’s transportation infrastructure. With this understanding, the City of Toronto can continue to advance transportation initiatives that benefit Torontonians of all ages, races, incomes, and places of residence.