City closes part of Allen Road as part of ActiveTO on Saturday
Closure marks 50th anniversary of cancellation of Spadina Expressway, city says
The city has closed the northbound lanes of Allen Road between Eglinton Avenue West and Lawrence Avenue West on Saturday as part of ActiveTO.
In a news release, the city says the closure is significant because it marks the 50th anniversary of the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway. It is also the first time that Allen Road has been closed as part of the ActiveTO program.
Due to work on the Eglinton Crosstown, however, the only way for pedestrians and cyclists to access the Allen Road closure is through the northbound off-ramp from Allen Road to Lawrence Avenue. The closure is in place until 9 p.m.
According to the city, the Spadina Expressway was a road planned and partially built as a throughway to allow traffic to move faster from the north part of Toronto to downtown. The partially built portion is now known as Allen Road.
Mayor John Tory said in the release that he encourages Toronto residents to make use of Allen Road on Saturday.
"Opening the northbound lanes on Allen Road for physical activity is an opportunity to bring the successful program to residents in a different part of our city and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cancelling of the Spadina Expressway," Tory said in the release.
"I encourage people to use this new ActiveTO space to get outside and be active."
Part of Lakeshore Boulevard East and roads in High Park are closed to vehicles this weekend as part of ActiveTO as well.
- The eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East are closed between Leslie Street and Woodbine Avenue until Sunday at 9 p.m.
- Vehicle access on roads in High Park is restricted until Monday at 7 a.m.
The Bayview multi-use trail, between Mill Street and Rosedale Valley Road, is separated from vehicles and available for pedestrians and cyclists, the city added.
City to monitor traffic congestion near closures
The city said its staff will monitor traffic congestion around Allen Road and Lake Shore Boulevard East and adjust signal timing as required.
It reminded drivers to plan their trips in advance to avoid the closures and to consider using a wayfinding app to get information on detours and travel times.
City staff are continuing to plan ActiveTO weekend closures along Black Creek Drive and roads within the Exhibition Place. Details will be announced as soon as they are available, the city said.
ActiveTO, which is open to cyclists and pedestrians, was designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to create more space for Toronto residents to get outside, exercise and practise physical distancing.
The city has said these safe temporary bike routes, which mirror major transit lines, are an effort to support the wellbeing of residents and expand Toronto's cycling network.
Toronto residents are taking to Twitter to express their joy at biking on Allen Road.
We're walking on the Allen Road! This isn't where we're supposed to be at all!<br><br>... For the 50th anniversary of the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway--Toronto's freeway rebellion--it's open to people instead of cars! <a href="https://t.co/awaGTIfNER">pic.twitter.com/awaGTIfNER</a>—@criacow
Biking on the Allen Road today with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ActiveTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ActiveTO</a> <a href="https://t.co/3bkDCkJ4HP">pic.twitter.com/3bkDCkJ4HP</a>—@mmmandel
🚨 Get on down to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ActiveTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ActiveTO</a> on the Allen Road, it's incredible! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BikeTO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WalkTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WalkTO</a> <a href="https://t.co/IpjxmcdWN4">pic.twitter.com/IpjxmcdWN4</a>—@RupasingheKevin