As the Waterfront West LRT project inches its way through various studies and construction projects, it’s worthwhile to look back at how the area around Fort York, the oldest and most historical part of the route, evolved to its present condition.
Originally, the fort stood at the lakefront, but as with so much of Toronto’s waterfront, landfill has moved the lake quite a way south leaving both the fort and the nearby lighthouse somewhat inland.
For many years, streetcar service to the fort and the nearby CNE grounds has operated via Bathurst and Fleet Streets, and reconstruction of this approach is now underway to provide a dedicated right-of-way over much of its length. Less well known is a scheme to install part of the WWLRT on Fort York Boulevard, a new road skirting the southern edge of the fort’s grounds and connecting into Bremner Boulevard at Bathurst Street.
Some bright spark, I am sure, knows why Fort York Boulevard wasn’t built with the streetcar right-of-way in it from day one, but such is the nature of project planning in this town. The Friends of Fort York are, I know, concerned that widening this brand new road may encroach on the fort’s lands.
The Fife and Drum is the newsletter of the Friends of Fort York abd Garrison Common, and its October issue contains an article on the early history of streetcar service to the CNE.