Beginning on May 1 for Ontario Line construction, all vehicle traffic will be diverted from the busy downtown street

Manjit Sing

A busy portion of Queen Street will soon be closed to all vehicle traffic for nearly five years as construction of the Ontario Line subway extension continues downtown.

As work on the Ontario Line subway extension continues downtown, a busy section of Queen Street will soon be closed to all vehicle traffic for nearly five years.

From Bay Street to Yonge Street, near the south end of the Toronto Eaton Centre, and from Yonge Street to Victoria Street, just west of St. Michael’s Hospital, traffic will be diverted off Queen Street beginning on May 1.

Between Queen and Albert streets, James Street, which runs north-south between Old City Hall and the Eaton Centre, will also be closed.

Metrolinx claims that the closure will remain in place for an estimated four and a half years.

“With vigorously developed framework both above and underground nearby – especially the TTC’s Line 1 and its current Sovereign tram station – development requirements to occur in the street to securely and productively fabricate the genuinely necessary Ontario Line tram project,” Metrolinx said in an official statement today.

When compared to an approach that involves multiple partial closures, “closing this section of street to vehicle traffic will expedite construction for the project by approximately one year.”

With modified streetcar service on the 501 Queen Street route, the transit agency claims that despite the closure, there will continue to be “consistent access” into the downtown core for transit users.

According to Metrolinx’s statement, “The TTC will continue to provide continuous east-west streetcar service on the 501 streetcar using an alternate route.”

“Trolleys will reroute onto Dundas Road at McCaul Road in the west and Broadview Road in the east.”

A modified version of the 501 that will run more permanently between Adelaide and Richmond streets is also in the works, but it won’t be finished for another ten months.

Until the work is finished, which is expected to be in March of next year, additional shuttle buses will operate in this area of downtown.

Metrolinx expresses that regardless of the conclusion, the Sovereign Road walkways will stay open to people on foot.

“Protected, compelling diversions and wayfinding will guarantee that individuals living in, working in or visiting the region can in any case get to all their #1 shops, eateries and bistros during the conclusion,” it said.

This encourages some downtown business owners, but they worry that the years-long construction might hurt their bottom line.

John Kiru, the Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), stated to earlier this year, “The reality is, if the [Eglinton] Crosstown is any indication, these kinds of projects have an impact on the local community.”

“We understand that the long-term impact will be beneficial to businesses as well as the community’s economic and social well-being, but the question is whether those businesses will survive long enough to actually benefit from that?”

Kiru additionally expressed that regardless of Metrolinx’s confirmations that all organizations will stay available to walkers during development, there are different elements to remember.

What procedures will be followed for delivery? Even though the sidewalks are open, what are the plans if a truck is unable to make deliveries there? Kiru inquired.

“Ideally we’ll have individuals in the city, walking the manner in which they truly do at this moment, yet there will be finished off regions; how would we guarantee that it’s kept clean, or that the litter receptacles are gotten?”

According to Kiru, business owners in the city are also concerned that the Ontario Line project might continue to be postponed, just like the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been.

Nevertheless, according to Kiru, the majority of Toronto business owners are aware that the city requires new transportation infrastructure and support the construction of a new subway line.

Metrolinx says that once the Ontario Line is finished, it will “oblige almost 400,000 day to day trips and decrease swarming on the TTC’s bustling Line 1 by up to 15 percent.”

However, the agency claims to be aware of the difficulties associated with building new transit projects in urban areas with a high population density.

“Metrolinx is cooperating with the City, TTC, service organizations and others to guarantee an organized way to deal with overseeing traffic influences, laying out substitute travel courses, and giving individuals greater consistency with trip arranging,” it said in the delivery.

“Metrolinx will also be establishing a community liaison committee for this area,” according to the company’s website. “This committee will serve as a collaborative forum to come up with creative solutions and mitigation efforts to minimize the impacts on businesses and communities.”

The 15-stop, 15.6-kilometer Ontario Line will run from Show Spot through the midtown center along Sovereign Road prior to traveling north to the Ontario Science Center. Currently, completion is anticipated for 2031.

Related Articles

Back to top button