At the June 18 TTC meeting, a report on the Supplementary Agenda recommends that the Commission approve the concept for the portion of the Waterfront West LRT between Union Station and Exhibition Place. The linked document is the full report including illustrations.
The preferred route from Union Station (which itself must be expanded to accommodate increased streetcar traffic from the eastern and western waterfront lines) runs:
- south in the existing tunnel to the end of the railway viaduct,
- west through a new tunnel under the Air Canada Centre Galleria, under an office building now under construction at York and Bremner, and under Bremner itself to emerge in a portal near Simcoe Street,
- via Bremner to Bathurst where the street name changes to Fort York Boulevard,
- via Fort York Blvd. to its crossing under the Gardiner Expressway,
- via the land under the Gardiner and a former railway underpass under Strachan Avenue to merge with the existing Exhibition Loop trackage.
An alternative route via Fort York Blvd. all the way to Fleet and the existing Bathurst/Harbourfront route tracks is the less-desired alternative.
The report discusses the capacity problems at Bathurst/Fleet/Lake Shore where the long cycle times limit the number of transit movements per hour. This has been a long-standing problem at a supposedly transit-priority location.
Changing the route as described above is expected to shave considerable travel time off of the run from southern Etobicoke into Union Station. At this point, the WWLRT route west of Dufferin is still under study (as part of a south Parkdale overall review), but the TTC is looking at routing some service from 501 Queen and 504 King into Union via Dufferin Street and the new WWLRT.
The TTC will send this proposal to Metrolinx for inclusion in its grab-bag of regional transit schemes.