Open Streets Thunder Bay attracts hundreds Car-free Algoma Street makes room for pedestrians, cyclists

Thunder Bay’s first Open Streets event on Sunday created a chance to “expand the knowledge of what we have in the city,” according to one business owner who took part.

The event, organized by Eco Superior and Thunder Bay’s Clean, Green and Beautiful Committee, saw much of Algoma Street closed to cars for five hours.

Dave Wensley and business partner Scot Dawson took to the open road at the corner of River and Algoma streets to demonstrate CrossFit, a strengthening and conditioning fitness program. “Open Streets is a fantastic idea, especially for our city,” Wensley said. “I think this is going to bring our city a lot closer together, and in our case to help people be more active.”

A Brazilian exchange student who volunteered at the event said he could feel the “human heat” being generated from all the people exercising and interacting with each other. “No cars on this street today is a great opportunity for me, and for others, to enjoy each other and perhaps to know more people and to know that it’s possible to have a more healthy life,”

Luis Eduardo Oliveira Nunes said. Several sports groups took part in Open Streets including a group from the Lappe Nordic Ski Club, who cycled and rollerskied the route from Boulevard Lake to John Street.

“I think it’s really good because usually everyone only has a tight space and now we have the whole road,” said 11-year-old Simone Poulin.

By Jody Porter, CBC News July 13, 2014

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