Jose Bautista scooter-compressed Photo: Twitter

Following his three-run homerun that gave the Blue Jays the win over the Rangers, Jose Bautista became a Toronto baseball hero and possibly the most popular person in the entire country.

But we could also make the case that, beyond saving Toronto’s reputation as a sports city with a swing of his bat, Bautista means something more to Toronto’s urban landscape. Bautista is the unintentional poster child for how walkable Toronto is.

The bat-flipping star outfielder was photographed hours after the game ended heading home from the Rogers Centre on his scooter, clad in a relatively inconspicuous black jacket and white cap.

The photo wound up on Instagram, though the user account of the photographer is set to private. Here’s a look at a tweet with the photo of Bautista casually making his way home after becoming a Toronto sports legend:

TSN’s BarDown even Photoshopped in Bautista’s trusty bat. It’s a nice touch:

Well we admit this isn’t exactly scientific, but we like what Bautista’s choice of ride says about how easy it is to get around Toronto without a car (or a limo, or an Uber).

In the spirit of Bautista’s bat flip and subsequent scooter ride home, we’ve compiled some fast facts on how walkable Toronto is. Check it out:

  • In 2013, Toronto was ranked Canada’s second most walkable city behind Vancouver by WalkScore, a Seattle-based walkability index.
  • According to WalkScore, Toronto’s Bay Street Corridor and Church-Yonge Corridor neighbourhoods are the most walkable, with walkability scores of 99 and 98 out of 100, respectively.
  • Even some of the city’s neighbourhoods that are farther from the core rank high for walkability. Parts of North York are very walkable, with Willowdale East scoring 84 according to WalkScore.
  • Toronto’s Chief City Planner Jennifer Keesmaat is a huge proponent of walkability. Prior to assuming the role in September 2012, she gave this inspiring TED Talk on the importance of walking to school. She also tweeted Jose Bautista’s now famous post-game scooter ride home.
  • Torontonians are all onboard with walkability too. A 2014 study published by RBC and the Pembina Institute found 81 per cent of Toronto homebuyers “would choose less car-dependent neighbourhoods over big lawns and extra bedrooms.

Want to see how walkable your Toronto neighbourhood is? Check out our interactive map here.

And just because we can’t resist…
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