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Dear Open Streets Volunteers
Alyssa Bird

I know your role isn’t always easy.  But I want to let you know how much we appreciate the gift you give to Open Streets every summer.


Volunteers like you make the Open Streets machine run. It’s funny to use a fossil fuel metaphor when talking about a program that is completely human-centered and encouraging of active transportation but alas, the image is powerful.

Closing some of Toronto’s most iconic streets to cars so people can roam freely within them is not a small feat. And to be very honest, our small but mighty team would be completed screwed if we didn’t have the help of volunteers like you.



I know some of you only come help us because you can’t graduate high school without volunteer hours. That’s okay. We still appreciate your help. It’s been a delight to have met some of you who already demonstrate great ambition and leadership.

To those volunteers who have day jobs but believe in Open Streets enough to volunteer on your (summer!) weekend - thank you.  I feel privileged to be able to connect with the professionals who are part of this great city.

To the volunteers who are aspiring city builders, thank you for the willingness to get your hands dirty. To come out into the streets and to be a part of placemaking, social connection and health promotion programming in action.  Being a part of a project like this teaches you things that you can’t learn from a writing a paper.


I know the conditions for volunteering at Open Streets are not always fantastic. It can be stinking hot and you’re in the middle of our concrete jungle when you’d probably rather be in the Beaches. But you need to know that we couldn’t do this without you.


Toronto is a better place because of the time and effort you give to Open Streets.


Forever grateful,


Alyssa & the Open Streets TO team.

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