Toronto

Toronto warns commuters about Pan Am Games road closures

The opening ceremony Friday will present a fun time for some but drivers and residents will have to maneuver through increased traffic and longer commutes.

Temporary street shutdowns, increased traffic means longer travel times with opening ceremony Friday

Drivers heading to Toronto for the Pan Am Games opening ceremony Friday will have to deal with downtown road closures on top of HOV highway restrictions. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Toronto is advising drivers, commuters and residents to plan ahead as temporary road closures go into effect in the downtown core in time for Friday's opening ceremony for the Pan Am Games.

A joint statement issued by officials from the city, Toronto police and Games organizers advises to prepare for added travel time and altered routes as the Pan Am torch travels from Pearson airport to downtown Toronto.

"Drivers and cyclists are reminded to slow down, be prepared for new traffic measures and drive with caution given the changes to the road network and the increase in pedestrian traffic," the statement warns.

Several downtown roads including Front Street, Wellington Street and Rees Street will be closed in preparation for Friday's opening ceremony.

The torch relay will start Friday at 9:10 a.m. at Pearson in Mississauga, travelling south and east towards Canada Square where it will arrive at Toronto's waterfront at 2:30 p.m.

Despite the traffic issues, officials are encouraging people to attend the opening ceremony, which they say will involve more than 6,000 athletes from 41 countries and territories, 625 performers, 600 volunteers and 40,000 spectators, and be watched by up to 380 million households in the Americas.

The following are the temporary traffic changes:

  • Bremner Boulevard, from Navy Wharf Court to Simcoe Street, closed to vehicle traffic on July 9, 10 and 26, from 3 p.m. to midnight. Bremner Boulevard from Navy Wharf Court and Van de Water Crescent will remain open to local traffic.
  • The eastbound lanes of Front Street West from John Street to Simcoe Street, closed from noon on July 10 until 1:00 a.m. on July 11.  The two westbound lanes will remain open and convert to temporarily accommodate two-way traffic.
  • Wellington Street, from Church Street to John Street, closed to vehicle traffic on July 10 and 26, from 5:45 p.m. to midnight.
  • Rees Street closed to vehicle traffic on July 10 and 26, from 3 p.m. to midnight.
  • Front Street sidewalk (south side) from Simcoe to John Street, closed on July 10 and 26 from 1 p.m. to midnight.
  • Rogers Centre stairs (east of Gate 2) will be barricaded at the top and bottom on July 9, 10 and 26, from 3 p.m. to midnight.
  • Closure of Rogers Centre underground parking (south side of Bremner Boulevard) to the public on July 10 and 26.
  • Closure of John Street Bridge on July 9, 10 and 26 from noon to midnight

For more GTA traffic information, see CBC Toronto's Pan Am/Parapan traffic page.

Toronto drivers look for creative ways to cut through traffic during the Pan Am Games 2:19

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