Toronto’s Blythwood Avenue bike lane reopens

Written by By Cynthia Jasinski, CNN

It was a dreary day in Canada, where things don’t really change much. We’re a geographically isolated nation, so any news about our neighbors to the north barely breaks our collective hearts.

However, just outside Toronto, a major roadway was restored after being closed for more than a month. And that bad taste from a dozen years ago — the collapse of a large section of brickwork on Blythwood Avenue — has been mended.

Rob Dixon/Toronto Star/NurPhoto/NGS

Before this happened, the otherwise serene roadway was often considered one of the best bike lanes in the city. Now, it’s the city’s most dangerous.

The highway opened in 1969, but most of its retaining walls — and bricks — disintegrated just seven years ago. The city was left without a street, forcing residents and cyclists to use one of the city’s inner lanes or an off-road throughway.

Residents complained the lack of a designated bike lane meant motorists could cut through the neighborhood, speeding through residential streets. Motorists found themselves impeded by collapsing brickwork on top of the street, making for some very interesting detours.

Denise Brousseau/Toronto Star/NurPhoto/NGS

To get a view from the ground, Toronto Star reporter Denise Brousseau snapped pictures of the results.

Rob Dixon/Toronto Star/NurPhoto/NGS

Just two days after the story broke, a construction crew came out and removed the bricks, and the street was cleared. Mayor John Tory kept the media at bay, instead preferring to highlight the difference between physical and emotional healing.

“We’ll never be completely healed, but we’re going to get there,” Tory said.

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