Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car Free Day in Pictures

To start off the festivities, City Councillor Kyle Rae from Ward 27, Toronto Centre - Rosedale, gave a quick speech about the importance of a healthy environment and healthy residents. (Sorry for the blurry photo, my camera auto-focused on the audience member in the foreground who stepped in front of me just as I took the shot!)

The Sierra Club tent, staffed by Dan at the time I took this picture. The Sierra Club is a non-profit environmental agency working in conservation, policy analysis, community activism, and grassroots education about environmental issues. They organized the whole event! Specifically, Emma did the grunt work to make this day a success.

Giant Scrabble! Notice the environmental words: "green", "train" (as an alternate method of transportation), and "gear" (on a bicycle). Later someone spelled "oar" and claimed that canoeing would be one of the greenest ways to get around. Not very likely in the city, though...

Art Battle! Andres Correa (left) and Alex Jones (right) had 20 minutes to paint something inspired by Car Free Day. There was music playing in the background and lots of curious onlookers, not to mention Iron Chef-style announcements of how much time was remaining - no pressure! Check out Art Battle Toronto for details on this and other events.

The finished works were Correa's city street with lots of cyclists and Jones' super skinny speed bike. The audience voted for their favourite, and Correa took the glory. Sierra Club's own Christina won Correa's painting in the subsequent auction.

This is what southbound Queen's Park Crescent looks like when it's closed to traffic, or "opened to people", as someone aptly pointed out. I can't describe how great it was to hear no noise in the park itself, and leisurely stand in the street to take this picture. Lots of cyclists came just to be able to ride the loop for fun, right down the centre of the lanes.

The rain held off and the event was a success. A sunny day may have brought more people out, but the relatively small size of the crowd in attendance does not accurately portray the number of residents who may have chosen a more sustainable method of transportation to get to work or school today. Every year more and more people make the switch, and that makes me happy.

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