If you haven’t taken a stroll down Yonge Street in the last few weeks, we highly recommend that you get over there this week.

Celebrate Yonge“, an unprecedented expansion of public space on Yonge Street, wraps up on September 16th and it’s a must-see for Torontonians and visitors to the city alike.

For the last three weeks, Downtown Yonge B.I.A. has turned the stretch of Yonge Street between Queen and Gerrard into a marvel of public space. The event aims to encourage Torontonians and visitors to the city to stop and enjoy the iconic downtown street.

Lanes moving in both directions have been closed to accommodate extra pedestrian space with meticulously crafted wooden planters demarcating the space that’s temporarily reclaimed from the road.

We received a tour of the Celebrate Yonge space from Evan Weinberg, the planning and development manager at Downtown Yonge. Check out our photos from our tour below…

celebrate yonge

There’s plenty of seating along the Yonge Street strip, between Queen and Gerrard. Public feedback has been very positive to the initiative, says Evan.

Even though our tour was well before noon, people were still taking advantage of the space.

celebrate yonge

It’s not every day you can sit in a gazebo on one of the busiest streets in the city. Evan and the folks at Downtown Yonge are currently in the midst of a transportation study for the event — looking into how traffic flow has worked around the lane closures.

celebrate yonge

“As a business improvement area our goal is to encourage Economic Development in the Downtown Yonge core,” explains Evan. “Our goal for Celebrate Yonge was to create a new experience on Yonge Street that encourages people to not only come to the area but stop and interact with the newly created public spaces and the businesses.”

celebrate yonge

Businesses on Yonge Street contributed their own twists on bike art to line the street.

This one is dedicated to the now-defunct Sam the Record Man flagship location on Yonge.

Celebrate Yonge wraps up on Sunday, September 16th. Check it out before the cars take over again!

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