PSA blitz hitting Toronto today

Downtown Partners and OMD are going all out to draw attention to Car-Free Day.

Today is annual Car-Free Day in more than 30 countries around the world. Toronto’s Yonge Street will remain car-free until 3 pm, and host a variety of activities and entertainers.

On behalf of the Sierra Club, Downtown Partners and OMD Canada (both Toronto-based) have created and placed a series of unconventional TV, online, outdoor and ambient PSAs throughout Toronto to urge drivers to use alternate commuting options.

The message in every execution of the one-day initiative is: ‘Don’t Drive. Leave your car at home on September 20th. The less we drive, the better we breathe.’ Six striking posters, using the universal ‘no’ symbol on various parts of a car, are being hung and handed out in numerous public areas including garages and office towers in downtown Toronto.

Meanwhile, a 15-second television spot called ‘Tire’ opens on a close-up of a car tire as a hand unscrews the air cap. As the tire deflates, we hear the sound of someone exhaling with what sounds like a sigh of relief as the tagline appears. ‘The spot airs on CBC, Omni Television and SunTV, on TTC platform screens and on broadcast monitors in downtown Dundas Square.

Also in Dundas Square, where a Car-Free Day event will take place at noon, a giant wall of keys is on display. Comprising approximately 500 keys, it symbolizes all the cars that are being left at home today.

Print ads in Now magazine, plus additional posters, were designed with a forest of air fresheners and the tagline ‘Think about the environment outside of your car.’ Website banner ads and streaming video of the ‘Tire’ spot are appearing online at, and

All creative development, including a video documenting the making of Car-Free Day, was created and donated by Downtown Partners. Media placement was donated with help from OMD Media.