CurbTO Program Launches to Increase Space on Sidewalk Hotspots

In each stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, our response has been guided by the best advice of our public health experts.

As announced this afternoon, Toronto Public Health is recommending that the City begin using curb lanes to support physical distancing, in locations where businesses need additional sidewalk space for safe line-ups.

Toronto Public Health, Transportation Services, and Toronto Police have collaborated to identify sidewalk areas where there are lineups or congested pedestrian traffic. Beginning today, the City will be implementing Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones in select locations, making more space for physical distancing on the sidewalks by expanding into curb lane areas. In addition to areas around grocery stores and pharmacies, spaces near community services like food banks will be prioritized. 

While Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health has confirmed that full road closures are not being considered at this time due to public health concerns, this initiative signals the start of rethinking of how we use and share public space. As we move forward into our recovery phase, I will continue to advocate for the needs of all road users, and for redesigns that make our streets safe and accessible for everyone. 

The City is also creating Temporary Parking Pick-up Zones, where drivers and delivery couriers can temporarily park for up to 10 minutes in special spots close to essential businesses, to expedite food and medicine pickups. As residents are following public health guidelines and staying home as much as possible, deliveries and pickups of essential goods have increased in demand  and are especially critical for people who are in self-isolation. 

Ten locations have been selected for the first implementation round of Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones and Temporary Parking Pick-up Zones. In the coming weeks, the CurbTO program will be expanded to 100 hotspot areas across the City. More information will be available on a program webpage, along with an online map to show where CurbTO Pedestrian Zones and Parking Pick-up Zones are located.