Open Streets TO and the Invictus Games National Flag Tour Come Together

Open Streets TO (CNW Group/Open Streets TO)

TORONTOSept. 12, 2017 /CNW/ – Open Streets TO is back this Sunday with some very special guests. Open Streets TO, the largest free recreation program of its kind in Canada, is proud to welcome the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 to the festivities this weekend. Torontonians will get a chance to see the Invictus Games National Flag Tour up close and personal on iconic Yonge and Bloor streets, without car traffic.

The Invictus Games are an international, adaptive sporting event, created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or ill service members and veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing. The inaugural Games took place in London in 2014, followed by Orlando, Florida, in 2016 and Toronto will be hosting this year’s Games, beginning on September 23rd.

“The Invictus Games National Flag Tour is an opportunity to unite the hearts and minds of Canadians and raise awareness for our ill and injured servicemen, women and veterans,” said Michael Burns, CEO, Invictus Games Toronto 2017. “We are thrilled to be a part of Open Streets TO and believe this Sunday’s program will help celebrate the Invictus spirit in downtown Toronto.”

The full Open Streets TO route will run along Bloor Street from Christie to Sherbourne, and along Yonge Street from Bloor to Queen. The program begins at 10:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm.

This Sunday’s instalment of Open Streets TO will feature the most extensive programming to date, including a celebration of Ontario’s 150th birthday through a showcase of many diverse forms of cultural dance represented by Ontarians. The dedicated space, at Yonge and Bloor, will feature dance performances and mini lessons throughout the day from groups representing Peruvian, Latvian, Azerbaijani, Albanian and Chinese communities.

Other ‘Activity Hubs’ will be placed throughout the full length of the route, hosted by local businesses and organizations, and inviting Torontonians to participate. Some organizations involved this Sunday include Live Green Toronto, lululemon athletica, Toronto Animal Services, the Native Youth Resource Centre and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

“Open Streets has seen tremendous support from both the city and the community,” said Alyssa Bird, Co-Chair, Open Streets TO. “Our stellar programming lineup provides a vital step towards our vision of a truly expansive community-oriented recreation program, accessible to everyone who lives in and around Toronto.”

Open Streets TO is inspired by a world-class program proven to positively impact healthy behaviour by repurposing existing public assets – namely our iconic streets – and providing access to free recreation space. Major global cities, including New YorkLos AngelesParis, and Mexico City, have launched open streets programs in recent years. In 2016, more than 75,000 Torontonians attended Open Streets TO over two days.

“Open Streets TO has allowed us to join the ranks of a global active and healthy city movement,” said Kristyn Wong-Tam, Councillor, Ward 27. “Community, connectivity and healthy living are all key components of our Open Streets. I enthusiastically welcome the expansion of this year’s program.”

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