For a North European, closing the road for people to cycle feels a bit odd; people simply cycle every day everywhere over there. As long as you have to close roads, you obviously have a (perceived) safety issue among the population. However, North Americans consider cycling still mostly a sport (although it is changing), which you do in an enclosed environment, like on track, in a hall, or in this case a closed circuit. Canada’s National Capital Commission has been closing a number of parkways (kind of beautified roads, with lots of landscaping to impress locals and foreign dignitaries alike) since 1960, with the purpose of getting recreational cyclists out on nice smooth roads (for a change).
In other cities in Canada and in other countries too, these events occur only once a year (often called Cyclovia) if you are lucky, no matter if it is Halifax or Chicago. The NCC closes the parkways throughout the summer on Sundays. With some sponsorship and the help of volunteers, the Bike Sundays are still very popular. Here are ten pictures of happy people cycling. These pictures were taken along the canal on Colonel By Drive, between Carleton U and the Corkstown Bridge.