Saturday, August 15, 2015

Open Streets TO: another great Toronto carless event!

Open Streets TO 2015: Sunday August 16 and Sunday September 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last year was a pilot. This year, Open Streets TO is taking place on two separate dates along Bloor (between Parliament and Bathurst) and Yonge (between Bloor and Queen). Next year, I think we'll officially have a new Toronto tradition!

Last year, I started to walk on Parliament. The wide street was empty of people, and carless. The good citizen that I am had to train herself to actually walk on the street. By default, I kept walking on the sidewalk!

Closer to Yonge, the crowd started to show up. It took me a while to figure out what was different about this event. Then I clued in! No vendors!!! It makes a big difference. The event did not rent street space to street vendors. Instead, they've welcomed any organisations who want to offer some form of physical activity.

I've seen moms who simply couldn't resist the invitation to jump in dancing ropes. Poeple had drawn labyrinth on the asphalt. Many wrote fun messages. Some were involved in the creation of an installation called Disposable Project. This year, I expect even more action!

Of course, the stores open and some offer sidewalk discounts, but many also play along with the spirit of the event and give samples or pay entertainement. During my visit, Holt Renfrew offered free coffee and a cool band.

All in all, a refreshing event for the whole family, dog included!

Crema Coffee at 53 Bloor East

La Société at 131 Bloor West

L'Espresso Bar Mercurio at 321 Bloor West

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