Toronto City Council approved plans for long-term, temporary traffic changes that will enable the construction of the section of the province’s new Ontario Line from Exhibition Station to the future Corktown Station between 2022 and 2029.
The preliminary plans outline the impact that traffic changes could have on the community and road users, including drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders. These plans will be refined, and traffic impacts reduced as construction contracts are awarded.
Building rapid transit through downtown Toronto will be challenging, but the City of Toronto, Metrolinx and TTC, along with utility providers and other builders, are working together to reduce its impact on traffic by coordinating several years of construction and maintenance work in advance.
“I’ve worked to ensure that all levels of government get on with getting more transit built in Toronto as quickly as possible,” said Mayor John Tory. “You can’t advocate for major transit investments and expansion without acknowledging that it will lead to major transit construction. I am committed to working with Metrolinx and the province to make sure we work through these issues. I want people to know that we are getting on with building transit and addressing traffic congestion concerns – we can and must do both.”
A number of traffic mitigation and safety strategies will be implemented, including:
- the establishment of a Construction Hub in the area, which will provide high-level oversight, ensure coordination in logistical planning, and provide a single point of contact for all parties
- truck haul route plans that adhere to Vision Zero road safety measures
- safe, accessible pedestrian routes
- maintained and protected bicycle lanes
- traffic signal timing modifications
- advanced advisory signage, including portable changeable message signs
- extensive communication and outreach
The plans include strategic infrastructure improvements that will allow for flexible commutes both during and after the station construction, including new streetcar tracks to accommodate a TTC Queen 501 streetcar detour during the Queen Street closure.
A full list of road closures and lane restrictions for the construction of the six stations is available here.
The Ontario Line will bring 15.6 kilometres of much-needed rapid transit to Toronto to make moving around the city faster and easier than it is today. Stretching from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre, the new subway line will reduce crowding on other transit routes and decrease car emissions as public transit becomes a more convenient choice.
“The TTC is committed to continuing our collaborative relationship with Metrolinx and the City of Toronto as this project moves forward,” added Rick Leary, CEO, TTC. “Our teams will work together to both minimize service disruptions for the 15,000 customers who travel this section of Queen Street daily, and help facilitate the timely construction of the Ontario Line and its seamless integration into the existing TTC network.”
Featured image: (Metrolinx photo)