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Car Free Day 2003

Today is Car Free Day

Not much is happening here in Toronto, but Montreal is going all out. Montréal is closing Ste.Catherine Street from McGill College Ave. to Guy St. on Monday September 22nd from 10 am to 3 pm. Sounds like fun.

Two years ago, I went to the first annual Toronto Car Free Day forum, and heard an inspiring speech by the former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa. He gave a very inspiring talk about how his entire city of 7 million people shut down for Car Free Day and had such a great time they voted to do it every year.

I also went to this year's Toronto Car Free Day forum, this past Thursday. It wasn't quite the same event as '01, but there were a few talks and short films. One of the speakers was an advocate fighting for making Kensington Market a car-free zone. I think he must be the same guy I wrote about last December. His idea makes a lot of sense.

The goal of the Car Free Day organizers is not to create a world without cars. Like Katie Alvord, an author and speaker at this year's forum said, the goal is to show you how you can use your car less. You don't need to drive the one kilometre to the store to buy a bag of milk. Obviously, there are already a lot of people in downtown Toronto who live this way, but a good Car Free Day here wouldn't hurt.



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