Service Changes for October through December, 2011 (Update 2)

This article consolidates service change information for the three schedule board periods beginning October 9, November 20 and December 18, 2011.

Service improvements continue to appear on a few routes in response to growth in riding.  Whether these will survive into 2012 with the budget and service standards cuts remains to be seen.

Updated November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am:  Effective November 20, the Kingston Road 12A service to Variety Village will be split on weekends so that half of the buses travel via the original route 12B on Kingston Road east of Birchmount, and half via route 12A.  This restores service to Kingston Road between Birchmount and Danforth Ave.

Updated September 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm:  The Spadina rebuilding south from King Street has been postponed until 2012.  The Long Branch Loop project will not complete until the end of October.

Construction Projects

510 Spadina (Postponed to 2012)

Spadina south of King will be rebuilt starting in the October period.  This project was originally planned to run down to Queen’s Quay, but the scope has been cut back to the section north of Front.

Spadina service will divert via King, Bathurst and Queen’s Quay, with cars added to the route to provide sufficient running time.  A shuttle bus will operate from King to Queen’s Quay looping via Adelaide, Peter and Richmond.  This diversion is expected to last until the December 18 schedules, although this may be based on the original, longer project to reconstruct track all the way south to Queen’s Quay.

Four projects requiring diversions and/or cutbacks of streetcar service will complete before the October period, and normal service will resume:

  • Long Branch Loop (301/501 Queen service) (Revised end date:  October 28)
  • Shaw Street (63 Ossington service)
  • Gerrard Bridge (306/506 Carlton service)
  • Dundas west of Lansdowne (505 Dundas & 306/506 Carlton services)

301/501 Queen

Starting with the November 20 schedules, Metrolinx will conduct bridge replacement work at Queen and Dufferin.  During this period, the Queen services will divert via Shaw and King to The Queensway.  Overhead on Dufferin and on Queen will be rebuilt during the same shutdown period.

This work is expected to complete by the December 18 schedule period.

Seasonal Changes

72 Pape

Service on the 72B to Cherry Beach will end on Saturday, October 8.

Service on the 72A to Union Station on Sunday/Holiday evenings after 7:00pm will end on Sunday, October 2.  It will resume in May 2012.

86 Scarborough and 85 Sheppard East

Zoo closing times will be earlier starting on Tuesday, October 11.  Schedules for services to the Zoo will be adjusted to match.

165 Weston Road North

Weekend service to Canada’s Wonderland will end with the November 20 schedules.

Holiday Schedules for the Christmas and New Year’s Season

The December schedule period will run for three weeks beginning on Sunday, December 18 and ending on Saturday, January 7, 2012.  Regular weekday operations will use the summer 2011 schedules to provide a lower than normal service except on the Yonge subway where the winter schedules will remain in effect.  The late night shutdown of the Yonge line north of Eglinton will occur on some, but not all of the dates when this would usually be expected.

2011 Christmas and New Year Schedules

Service Changes

Starting Saturday, October 15, service on the 320 Yonge Night Bus will be improved with the addition of five trips northbound during the first two hours of service.  This will reduce average loads on the buses from 65 to 38.

This is an example of a night service that operates well within the performance standards of regular daytime and evening routes, but some of its traffic depends on connections to other less well-used feeders.

Bloor-Danforth night service is also due for an increase due to crowding, but the TTC cannot afford to operate the service on this and many other routes with heavy demand.

Other changes, including some requested by York Region Transit, are detailed on the spreadsheets linked below.

2011.10.09 Service Changes and Deferred Improvements

2011.11.20 Service Changes

15 thoughts on “Service Changes for October through December, 2011 (Update 2)

  1. Any word on when the Yonge subway tunnel repair project is going to be complete? Wasn’t it supposed to be complete in 2010 originally?

    Steve: The work is taking longer than expected, and the TTC now says it will be done in late 2012.

    Also, a couple weeks back, Glen Murray told me that he and Pam McConnell are working on establishing a streetcar service from Castle Frank along Parliament and Queen’s Quay E to Union. Is there any actual budget/plan for this? Would it be possible to build the connection at Castle Frank?

    Steve: Castle Frank Station is not set up to handle streetcars and would have structural problems to do so. Also, Parliament is a notoriously slow street because the traffic signals are set up to maximize east-west flow, not north-south. If there is a link to Castle Frank, it will most likely be a bus service, although the connection at Union will be challenging because of congestion in that area.

    Meanwhile, Council just approved the reconstruction of Cherry Street including a transit lane that would link King Street to the east end of the proposed Queen’s Quay line. There is no budget for any of the transit construction beyond a basic right-of-way that could be used initially for a bus service.


  2. I am confused about the bridge replacement work at Queen/Dufferin. Considering that just last year, the underpass for Dufferin N-S traffic was built, why wasn’t the bridge replaced then? Is this a separate bridge?

    Steve: The previous work was the relocation of existing spans while this job involves two new spans. GO doesn’t have a specific date for this work listed on their site, but I have sent a note asking for details to them.


  3. Nice to see some improvements with the night buses service on Yonge and on Bloor/Danforth, even as their fate is still under discussion.

    As for streetcar track replacement, I’ve been watching almost daily the progress along the Gerrard Street bridge during my bike commutes and it looks at if it will be complete by the end of the month. Nice to see the badly needed repairs getting done but I still wonder about the future of the streetcar lines given the current crew in City Hall. Are we getting new cars to replace the current ones?


    Steve: I am still waiting to hear when the mock-up half-car will arrive. The main order has been mentioned in the budget debates a few times, but no specific action has been taken. I suspect it will all depend on the provincial election. Tories = no streetcars.


  4. Thanks as always for this, Steve.

    The spreadsheet has an unfortunate typo in the entry for the 510 shuttle. (I am assuming that the buses will run along the ROW. If not, maybe the typo is a little more fitting…)

    I would assume that the Christmas break service will use the winter schedule on routes where there is a service increase in the summer (e.g., Woodbine South).

    Steve: Thanks for pointing out the (blush) typo. I have replaced the pdf.

    Yes, I expect that the “summer” schedules will not include the service increases like Woodbine, although the detailed memo from Service Planning only explicitly mentions the Davisville Brick Works branch.


  5. Steve, do you know if the track construction at Roncesvalles carhouse will be done before the winter season starts? A month ago, one of the operators on the 509 Harbourfront route (he transferred to Russell back in May from Roncy to do the 509) told me that work started this past July and won’t be done until early next year (around February). Also, there are rumors that the 510 Spadina route may temporarily move to Roncy next year because of planned track construction at Russell.

    Steve: According to the most recent memo from Service Planning, the work at Ronces is supposed to be finished (at least to the point where the routes return to normal) by the end of the December period (early January), but it wouldn’t surprise me if this dragged on. A lot depends on the weather at this time of year.

    As for a reverse swap of routes, yes, something will be needed for planned work at Russell in 2012 presuming that funding for this survives the City’s budget review process. I don’t know the details yet, and arrangements at Russell will be complicated by plans to replace the track on Connaught (including removal of the “crossover” track), and reconstruction of the ladder tracks on Eastern Avenue in preparation for the new cars.


  6. I thought Queens Quay was supposed to start in the fall 2011. Or is that in the spring of 2012?

    Steve: According to Waterfront Toronto, the fall will be used for utility work, while the main project will launch after the winter. I will check with them to see if there is any change. As you can imagine, relations with the City have been a bit strained recently.


  7. Just a note on the 2011.10.09 Service Changes and Deferred Improvements that 510 Spadina Shuttle has been misspelled into a rather odd term.

    Steve: Ooops. Yes. Fixed!


  8. “Meanwhile, Council just approved the reconstruction of Cherry Street including a transit lane that would link King Street to the east end of the proposed Queen’s Quay line.”

    Did they approve the configuration that was planned for the Cherry Street Streetcar, including the side-of-the-road ROW (minus the streetcar tracks this time around)?

    Steve: The drawings and report are available on the city’s website.


  9. So, Long Branch loop construction will be complete by October 9? If so, then only the west end of the loop is being rebuilt, from west of the layover track rejoining the main track, counterclockwise around the loop, and back as far as the end of the shelter waiting ariea.

    I can’t see them doing anything to the east end of the loop in less than two weeks. The east end tracks, including the layover track, have not yet been touched apart from construction supplies being dumped on top of them. It seem like a half-rebuild.

    Steve: The TTC advises that the work will be completed by late October.

    Work at loop is moving forward and still on target for completion in late October (October 28).

    They lost one day (past Friday) due to rainfall.

    They are currently in the process of welding rail (day and night shifts). Minimum staff is required to weld – 4 people. Welding work must be completed before next stage starts. Note: welding is the slow part of this project. In this instance; at curves, the new rail must be welded individually in 10 metre lengths of pre-bent rail allowing for radius of curve, and not as pre-welded strings of 100 metre rail lengths as normally done for straight track installation.

    The rail welding work is nearing completion and surveyors will be out there tomorrow to line and grade the new rail. Rubber encapsulation around the new rail will then be done (similar to what was done at Bingham Loop last year – this will system allows for quick replacement of rail within TTC property, i.e. loops, in the future). It is estimated that this rubber encapsulation should take no more that 5 days to complete. Concrete placement will follow.

    After concrete work is done, track crews will focus on forming and placing concrete for the bus dynamics in the loop.

    Grading will follow to complete the project.

    Diego Sinagoga


  10. The linked drawings in the comment above refer to Cherry Street all the way to King. North of Eastern on Google Maps this street is “Sumach”. Thing is – if you go to StreetView of the junction of Eastern and Cherry the street sign heading north says Sumach but the next parallel street east is also Sumach! No wonder Google is confused. Did City Council change the street name and Roads was too lazy to change the signs?

    Steve: Looking south from King, Sumach divides into two streets. The one that veers to the right is Cherry, the one going straight ahead past the substation and to the general direction of the cubes used to be Sumach, but I am not sure what the leftover chunk of Sumach is called now. As you note, the street signs at the point where the southern chunk of this road meets Eastern also say “Sumach”. One of them is comparatively new with the “Corktown” banner on it.

    At the Eastern intersection, the street sign on the south side says “Cherry” while on the north side it says “Sumach”, and both of these are recent signs.

    A teensy bit of confusion no doubt.


  11. The Spadina project has been completely postponed now until next year. So streetcars won’t divert and who knows what will happen to shuttle buses.

    Steve: I am not surprised. The idea of doing this in two separate contracts did not make sense anyhow. Waterfront Toronto does not plan to start major construction until next spring, and it would be better all around to have one big shutdown of the line.


  12. It appears certain that only half of Long Branch loop is being rebuilt. The east end of the loop, including the layover second track, all remain as before. They have bolted up the new rail in the west half to the existing rail in the east half.

    Wish I had looked at the rails a bit closer before the rebuild started — maybe the curve at the west end was much worse than the tangent track in the east?

    The board schedule may not have counted on the project running to the 28th (as the TTC now says). After seeing nothing but Queensway buses on the shuttle, this morning there was a hybrid from some other garage at Long Branch.

    Steve: Schedule provisions for the bus shuttle ended with the start of the October schedules on Thanksgiving weekend. I suspect this is a case where the delays by the track crew pushed things to the point where the remaining work has been shifted to 2012. We will see when the detailed construction list for next year comes out.


  13. Riders of the Ossignton and Rogers Road buses (and probably other routes), despair!

    Work at [Long Branch] loop is moving forward and still on target for completion in late October (October 28).

    I passed by the area on Saturday and they were not done, and no work was going on. It looks like a cleanup is required. I’m not sure what else needs to be done.

    Since the ongoing bus replacement was not in the board period, shuttle buses are being pulled from elsewhere. I have taken the shuttle a couple of times (having to change at Kipling is a pain) and I have collected both Rogers Rd. and Ossington transfers. It’s almost like “kids, collect the entire set!”


  14. Finally headed to the Queen & Dufferin intersection for the first time in a month – which is bizarre – since I’m a Parkdalian….

    Noticed the new overhead on Queen under the overpass – which is nicely built inside a yellow track…but the work on Dufferin seems to have been forgotten.

    any word?

    Steve: Nope. I don’t know if it’s just delay, or a left hand, right hand thing. The TTC has been without the Shaw/Dufferin short turn for so long, it’s entirely possible they forgot the importance of reinstalling it.

    Correction added at 3:30 pm Dec 16: I have visited the intersection and, although there is no overhead for the curves onto Dufferin or on Dufferin south of Queen, the hangars for the curved portions of the trough under the bridge are in place. This suggests that getting the Queen car back on its normal route took precedence over finishing the intersection, something that has been left for another day.


  15. Hi Steve, do you know what the plans are for Kingston Rd between Queen and Bingham? i had read somewhere that watermains were being replaced in 2012, but is track replacement and road reconstruction in the cards also for 2012?

    Steve: I am not certain yet of the plans for trackwork in 2012 because some projects were deferred from 2011.


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