Toronto and Montreal and a host of other Canadian and world cities participated yesterday in the annual Car-Free Day.

The idea began in Europe in 1999 as a way to reduce pollution and has since grown to include some 1,500 cities around the world.

Toronto became the first city in North America to take part when it joined the parade in 2001.

Mayor David Miller was on hand yesterday for a series of events to be staged at the downtown Dundas Square aimed at promoting car-free transportation.

The Montreal edition, called “In town without my car,” included the closure of some downtown streets.

Via Rail also got in on the act by offering a 40 per cent discount on its economy class trains until Dec. 14.