Mayor John Tory has announced a new plan that aims to close curb lanes and widen sidewalks at 100 different hotspots across the city.
The new plan, called CurbTO, seeks to identify retail main streets that continue to see a lot of foot traffic despite the citywide lockdown due to COVID-19. CurbTO will install curb lane installations and pedestrian safety zones wherever potential crowding is possible. The hope is that wider sidewalks will provide pedestrians with room to access and lineup for essential services at a safe distance from other people.
The announcement on April 27 came after residents across Toronto voiced concerns over a lack of social distancing on city streets.
One Toronto resident even went so far as to create a homemade “social distancing machine” to draw people’s attention to how difficult it is to find space on Toronto’s narrow sidewalks.
CurbTO will also create 10-minute parking pick-up zones that will allow drivers to carry out quick food or medicine pick-ups nearby.
“CurbTO is a common sense initiative which starts with 10 sites right now and will expand to more than 100 locations across the city,” said Tory. “This is one more way the city government is working to protect public health and stop the spread of COVID-19. Transportation and mobility in all forms will be key parts of the city’s recovery and restart process. I have made it clear to Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services that we want those options fully examined and included where appropriate, as we implement the plan to reopen our city once we have reached the appropriate thresholds with respect to the virus itself.”
Here are the locations that have already been affected:
1. Carlton Street and Church Street – pedestrian zone
2. Danforth Avenue and Broadview Avenue – pedestrian and parking zones
3. Dupont Street and Lansdowne Avenue – pedestrian zone
4. Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue – parking zone
5. Front Street East and Berkeley Street – pedestrian and parking zones
6. Gerrard Street East and Parliament Street – pedestrian zone
7. Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue – pedestrian and parking zones
8. King Street West and Spadina Avenue – parking zone
9. Bloor Street West and Bathurst Street – pedestrian and parking zones
10. Queen Street East and Carlaw Avenue – pedestrian zone
Businesses can apply and learn more about eligibility criteria and program guidelines at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO.