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Toronto’s first-ever “School Streets” pop-up will create a car-free zone that prioritizes pedestrians, especially children walking to school, in the lead-up to Halloween

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: [October 24, 2019]

Media Contact: Amanda O’Rourke
Executive Director – 8 80 Cities
Tel: 416-591-7404 ext. 5
Cell: 647-784-3048
[email protected] 

[Toronto, Ontario]: Not for profit 8 80 Cities announces the launch of 8 80 Streets Mountview Ave, Toronto’s first-ever School Street – a model program that temporarily closes the street in front of schools to car traffic during drop-off and pick-up times to create a safer and more comfortable environment for children and caregivers walking to school.  

From Monday, October 28th to Thursday, October 31st, 8 80 Cities staff and volunteers will place traffic barriers on Mountview Ave in front of Keele Street Public School for one hour at the beginning and end of the school day. 

“Children are disproportionately negatively affected by street design that prioritizes cars, and it isn’t fair. They are not only more vulnerable to road danger because of their size, but they also suffer more from poor air quality and a lack of opportunity for physical activity and independent mobility in public space. We are excited to demonstrate a simple and cost-effective way to give back space for children to walk without fear of car traffic, at the start and end of their school day.”

-Amanda O’Rourke, Executive Director of 8 80 Cities. 

The project comes at a critical time in Toronto streets, as at least 27 pedestrians have been killed so far this year. 8 80 Streets Mountview Ave is part of a larger initiative by the organization to raise awareness on the importance of human-centred road design as the most effective solution to reducing pedestrian fatalities.  

In addition to reducing the risk of pedestrian collisions, School Streets programs:

  • Reduce air pollution around schools 
  • Reduce the growing stress and chaos associated with pick-up and drop-off time 
  • Encourage physical activity for children 
  • Reduce overall car trips 

“I am so excited that my school was chosen to be part of Toronto’s first School Streets program! It’s so nice to know that we can feel safer walking or biking to school. My friends and I don’t have to worry about cars and traffic in front of the school, we can just play and have fun!”
-Kira Wang, Keele Street PS student and Eco Team Member

“I am excited to have 8 80 Streets at our school because it helps people walk to school and creates less pollution. And it helps the street come together and be more of a community and know each other.” 
-Lotus Drayton, Keele Street PS student and Eco Team Member

PRESS CONFERENCE
When:  October 28th, 8:15 am – 8:45 am
Where: Keele Street Public School  (99 Mountview Ave, Toronto, ON M6P 2L5)
Who: 
Amanda O’Rourke, Executive Director of 8 80 Cities
Gord Perks, City Councillor, Ward 4 – Parkdale-High Park
Greg Humeniuk, Keele Street PS parent and School Council Co-Chair
Lotus Drayton, Keele Street PS student and Eco Team member
Kira Wang, Keele Street PS student and Eco Team member

About 8 80 Cities: 8 80 Cities is a non-profit organization based in Toronto, Ontario. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities no matter their age, ability, or socioeconomic status. We bring people together to enhance parks, mobility, and public space so that together we can create more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities. We believe that if everything we do in our public spaces is great for an 8 year old and great for an 80 year old, then it will be great for all people.



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