NOW What episode 17: How COVID-19 could usher in a new era for cycling in Toronto

Former chief planner and mayoral candidate Jennifer Keesmaat discusses how Toronto might use this crisis to pivot us towards a greener, friendlier future for our roads

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted reality as we know it, with entire nations going into isolation in an attempt to flatten the curve of infection and reduce the impact on our health-care systems. It’s the right thing to do, but we’re all feeling a little cut off at from one another at the moment.

Here at NOW, we’re in the same situation – scattered around the city, working from home and still trying our best to make some connections with each other and our readers. And that’s where our new podcast comes in: NOW What, hosted by senior film writer Norm Wilner, is here to explore the ways in which Torontonians are coping with life in the time of coronavirus. 

One obvious effect of sheltering in place and working from home is that Toronto’s streets are seeing a lot less traffic, making it a lot safer for pedestrians and cyclists who venture outside. What if we could keep it that way? What if we could use the very real concerns about social distancing and public health that are in place right now to pivot toward a greener, friendlier future?

In this episode, Jennifer Keesmaat – former chief planner for the city, and a 2018 mayoral candidate – joins Norm for a conversation about how Toronto could put itself on the right track to roads that actually encourage cyclists, rather than endanger them.

New episodes of NOW What will be released every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, listen on Spotify or just play it below. And remember, we’re all in this together.


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