Mayor Rob Ford says drivers will just have to have “some patience” as they navigate the city amid a slew of road closures for the Honda Indy Toronto and several other major events this weekend.

The western portion of Lake Shore Boulevard has been closed since Wednesday night for the Indy and festivals like Salsa on St. Clair, Big on Bloor, Live Green Toronto and the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade are resulting in a number of other closures elsewhere in the downtown.

As a result, many residents have grumbled about the city’s decision to allow so many events with road closures to occur at the same time, but on Saturday afternoon Ford told CP24 that the events are important to the city and drivers should just accept the minor inconveniences they cause.

For a full list of road closures follow this link.

“It does cause congestion but you know what people are made aware of it and they just need to have more patience,” Ford said after taking a ride in a pace car at the Indy. “People like the festivals, we only have five months of the year to have these festivals and there is just no magic solution.”

Ford has been critical of road closures for street festivals in the past and last weekend his campaign manager and brother Coun. Doug Ford told the Toronto Sun that the city should move major cycling or running events off of roadways and onto the sidewalks.

Ford, however, avoided levelling similar criticism while speaking with CP24.

“You know what we are a big city, we are a booming city and people are just going to have to have some patience and go out and enjoy the festivals and we will take it from there,” he said.

Fellow mayoral candidate Olivia Chow was also asked about all the road closures as she attended the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Junior Parade earlier on Saturday and told CP24 that residents need to “chill.”

“Just imagine the smiles on kids faces and the joy these events bring to families and just chill,” Chow said.

Chow went on to say that the city could do a better job of communicating information about road closures to residents.

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