Updated May 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm:
TTC CEO Andy Byford spoke at a meeting of the York Quay Neighbourhood Association yesterday evening and the status of transit service to Queens Quay was a major topic. There appears to be some confusion among and within agencies about the date when service will return to Queens Quay on the 510 as a through route and as a streetcar.
The TTC Service Planning memo for the schedule period beginning June 23 says that the current operation is expected to last until the end of that period (late July). However, Waterfront Toronto and Andy Byford himself speak of November or even December dates. The TTC website has given June 2013 as a date for service resumption for quite some time, although this is to be corrected, presuming someone knows what the information should be.
Part of the confusion may arise from the fact that streetcar service will be suspended for reconstruction of the intersections at King and at Dundas and this will require bus replacement on the route. Those buses will be able to run through to Queen’s Quay replacing the shuttle and so there will be “through” service, just not with streetcars.
I have asked the TTC for definitive information on the date for resumption of streetcar service to Queens Quay.
The Service Planning memo also notes that a planned shutdown for reconstruction of the platform at Spadina Station Loop has been deferred to 2014. One can only hope that this will include changes to allow two LFLRVs to serve the platform simultaneously for unloading and loading.
Updated May 8, 2013 at 11:45 pm:
Service on 510 Spadina streetcars will not return to Queens Quay until late fall, likely with the late November schedule changes.
Two intersection rebuilds (at King and at Dundas) are planned for this summer, and buses will once again replace streetcars while these are in progress.
Demolition on Queens Quay had reached the west side of Spadina today, but had not yet moved into Queens Quay loop as originally planned.
Updated May 7, 2013 at 8:30 am
Demolition of the Queens Quay Loop is planned to begin today. The Spadina shuttle bus will be rerouted to loop via west on Queens Quay from Spadina to Dan Leckie, north to Lake Shore, east to Rees, north to Bremner and west to Spadina.
Southbound buses will stop at Spadina and Queens Quay on the northwest corner. Northbound buses will stop at Lake Shore and Spadina on the southwest corner at the same location as the eastbound 509 Harbourfront service.
Tentatively, TTC plans to resume streetcar service south of King to a rebuilt Queens Quay loop in July, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Updated April 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm
Waterfront Toronto’s construction notice for the week of April 8 includes the following change in the overall construction staging plan:
TTC Demolition West of Peter Slip: Crews are expected to begin work on the demolition of the TTC corridor west of the Peter Slip Bridge – including the Spadina Loop (located around 410 Queens Quay). The demolition and rebuild of the Spadina Loop, which begins later this month, will enable the 510 Spadina streetcar to resume service to Queens Quay in late fall 2013.
Given the delay in getting the track over the railway corridor back in service thanks to non-TTC problems in that area, it makes sense to finish the entire Spadina route rather than restoring service for a brief period and then removing it again.
I wrote to Waterfront Toronto and to the TTC to clarify two issues:
- What is meant by “late fall”?
- Will the TTC install temporary track on Queens Quay to allow restoration of 509 Harbourfront service in July as planned, or is this too delayed until the fall?
Here is Waterfront Toronto’s reply:
At our Queens Quay CLC yesterday, we provided stakeholders with information about our summer construction plans. At that meeting, we let stakeholders know that our streetcar corridor rebuild is delayed due to some issues with hydro work and our own storm and sanitary construction. This means that we won’t be able to resume streetcar service for July and August as we had planned to do. Instead, we are going to work on the rebuild through the summer and advance work on the demo/rebuild of the Spadina Loop. (As you may recall, our initial construction staging was to run the 509 for July and August and then take it down again to rebuild the Spadina loop from September to early 2013). Advancing the Spadina loop means that we’ll have all of our rebuild work complete by November 2013 instead. TTC is currently working on its service plan for when our rebuild is complete.
We’re going to have a public meeting on May 8 to discuss our summer schedule and how it relates to TTC service.
In the text above, “early 2013” should obviously read “early 2014”.
This begs an obvious question: Why will the reconstruction of the loop and nearby streets take so long?
Updated March 24, 2013 at 11:30 am
The intersection of King and Spadina is scheduled for reconstruction during the month of August 2013. A preliminary notice has been posted by the City of Toronto.
Updated March 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm
The track work planned for February was delayed by extremely bad weather, but was completed on the weekend of March 2/3. New track is now installed to the north side of the eastbound lanes on Lake Shore Blvd. Crossing further south involved the exit switch from Queen’s Quay Loop, and this portion will be done when the loop is rebuilt.
Recently, I received an email passing on a rumour about a “stop work” order on the Spadina bridge and a delay of the planned resumption of streetcar service south of King to Queen’s Quay. I checked with the City of Toronto, and here is their reply:
The current Spadina project has not been put on hold. The Contractor is continuing to proceed with work in a progressive manner. We experienced a few issues that have led to extra work being required in order to complete the contract. The extra work related to conditions that were unknown at the time of design and related mainly to the need to relocate the existing track drains, removal of styrofoam insulation and reinforced concrete encountered in the subgrade and the reconstruction of the south approach slab. Some of which required additional designs to be prepared and approved prior to material being ordered and work completed. This extra work has unfortunately delayed the completion of this component in the planned work.
The original scope did not account for any extensive winter work; however, with the unanticipated extra work being added to the project, it has forced a significant portion of the bridge work to be completed under cold weather conditions. Cold weather conditions also lead to delays, as we expect approximately 30-40% reduction in performance depending on the severity of the weather. We have also experienced higher than normal levels of precipitation for the first months of 2013.
We had anticipated resuming streetcar service for the May 12th board period; however, the delays due to the extra work and the weather have extended the expected completion date to the first or second week of June. Transit resumption will be determined after the completion of the project.
The Contractor is continuing to work on the project and has added additional crews to mitigate any delays. The work in the next two months will be mainly confined to the bridge and the mezzanine work.
Stephen Adams, PMP, P.Eng.
Updated February 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Planned road, water and track work at Lake Shore and Spadina beginning Thursday, February 7, 2013 will close parts of the intersection over the coming weekend. This work will complete the new track south from the railway overpass to the north side of Queens Quay Loop which will be rebuilt later in 2013.
There is still no track from Front Street south to just north of Bremner Blvd., but work in the area appears to focus on putting things back together rather than finding yet more holes to dig.
The TTC is currently planning to resume streetcar service south of King in May 2013.
Updated November 29, 2012 at 12:00 nn
The date for restoration of streetcar service south of King has been pushed back to March 30, 2013 because construction south to Lakeshore may not be completed before winter weather sets in.
New track has been laid between Bremner and Lakeshore although as of November 28 it was not yet set in concrete. The section north from Bremner across the bridge to Front has not yet reached the point of tracklaying because other work on the bridge is still underway.
The scheduled service for the holiday period presumed that streetcars would run south to Queen’s Quay, and these will now short-turn at King. With all of the extra running time this will provide, it will be interesting to see how the layovers (already difficult due to bunching and physical limits on capacity at each terminal) will be handled. There may be a lot of very slow operation on this “rapid transit” line.
For January and February 2013 the schedules now in effect will be used.
Updated November 18, 2012 at 9:30 am
Service resumed on the 510 Spadina car from Bloor to King this morning.
Car 4121 made a test run in the early hours. (Photo courtesy of Will Oxford)
Southbound approaching Spadina Circle
Northbound at Spadina Circle
Northbound at Adelaide
Note that the new concrete on Spadina has not been stamped to give the impression of cobblestones, but simply brushed as any other concrete such as sidewalks would be. This leaves two generations of finishes on the route.
Updated November 15, 2012 at 7:20 am
As of the afternoon of November 14:
At the south end of Spadina, placement of the foundation slab for the track on the south approach to the bridge over the rail corridor (Lakeshore to Bremner) is in progress. Various construction activities are in progress from Bremner to Front. New track is in place across the Bremner/Spadina intersection, and from the south side of Front north to King.
North from King, cleanup crews are touching up paint on the shelters at stops. Between College and Bloor, the last of concrete work mainly for stop rail replacements is in progress. New overhead contact wire has been hung, but is not yet attached to supports. Installation of the new standard trough overhead (already in use at the Atlantic Avenue underpass on King and the Dufferin underpass on Queen) is underway at Spadina Station Loop.
Streetcar service returns to the 510 Spadina route on Sunday, November 18.
Updated October 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm
Demolition of the trackbed over the bridge south of Front has begun and the section between the bridge and Lakeshore is now being graded to prepare for the new foundation slab. The intersection at Bremner will be closed over the weekend of November 2 to 5.
The section south of Lake Shore including Queen’s Quay Loop will not be rebuilt until 2013.
Updated October 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm
Work has begun on the portal at Spadina Station with the demolition of the southbound track between the tunnel entrance and Sussex Ave. Construction equipment is poised to attack the northbound track, and a weekend closure is planned for replacement of the track across the Sussex intersection.
South of King, new track has been placed to just north of Front, and the intersection itself is being rebuilt from October 20-23.
From Bremner south to Lake Shore, the trackbed excavation is complete. Visible in the debris are the remnants of styrofoam bats that had been placed as an anti-vibration measure when this track was built over two decades ago. This may have isolated the track from the bridge deck, but it did nothing to isolate the rails from the track slab and the resulting roar from track corrugation.
Updated October 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm
Concrete work is almost completed for the section of track around Spadina Circle and the nearby stop at Willcocks northbound. No work has begun yet at Spadina Station Loop or its approach ramp.
South of King, the new foundation is in place to just north of Front. A short distance on either side of Front has been excavated in anticipation of rebuilding the intersection itself.
Excavation of the old track and roadbed is underway from Bremner south to Lake Shore. No work has taken place yet on the bridge over the rail corridor.
Updated September 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm
Work began on the section south from King to Lake Shore in the week of September 24.
Looking south on Spadina from King.
Looking north on Spadina from Clarence Square.
Reconstruction of the track around Spadina Circle began in mid September. Unlike intersections and tangent (straight) sections, the rails on the curves are welded on site (the process is the same as shown for McCaul Street near McCaul Loop in another article).
Work on the east side is now completed to the point that only the top layer of concrete remains to be placed. On the west side, the track is in place in the excavated right-of-way and welding is progressing around the curve from south to north.
The following photos were taken on September 19. Here, the track on the east side of Spadina at the north end of the circle is being assembled.
The east side of Spadina Circle looking north.
Looking south on Spadina toward College Street.
The west side of Spadina Circle looking south.
No work has been done yet at the north end of the line from Sussex into the tunnel portal at Spadina Station.
Updated August 22, 2012 at 9:20 am
Reconstruction of the intersection at Adelaide & Spadina is almost completed with curb lane and sidewalk work remaining.
The City of Toronto has announced the next major stage in trackwork from King south to Lake Shore including reconstruction of the streetcar track as well as the platforms at Front and at Bremner. Watermain work at Lake Shore and structural repairs on the bridge over the rail corridor will be co-ordinated with this project.
Work at the portal north of Sussex and around Spadina circle is already scheduled for the period from September through early November.
Streetcar service will return as far south as King (via Charlotte Loop) on November 18, 2012, and to Queen’s Quay Loop on December 23, 2012.
View looking west on Adelaide across Spadina. The church spire in the background is at Bathurst.
Updated July 18, 2012 at 11:00pm
Most of the concrete has been placed for the main part of the intersection at Queen & Spadina, and work is in progress to complete the four approaches and stops. This view is taken from the southeast corner.
In this view, new track is being installed for the south approach and the southbound stop. Note the area where the stop has been excavated only down one level leaving the attachment points for the metal ties that were part of the original installation. This is an example of how the new style of track construction will avoid the need to completely rebuild track when it comes up for replacement.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away on McCaul Street, Toronto Water is working underneath the streetcar lanes. The track, including the McCaul Loop which is inside the building on the east side (left), will be replaced once Toronto Water is out of the way. This isn’t part of the Spadina project itself, but having McCaul closed at the same time adds to the fun of navigating downtown as a transit user or motorist. 501 McCaul cars are currently running to York and Richmond, and they will resume running to Wolseley Loop at Bathurst Street next week when Queen reopens for streetcar traffic.
Updated July 14, 2012 at 7:00pm
The full intersection was almost complete when I visited this afternoon with only one small piece missing from the south-to-east curve. Here is the view from the SW corner which you can compare with the July 13 shot to see the day’s progress. Less obvious is welding that was taking place and the connection of grounding cables to the track.
Looking south on Spadina across the north quadrant, the last to be installed.
Looking west to the intersection showing the area where the new westbound stop and enlarged island will be built.
Updated July 13, 2012 at 10:30pm
The Globe and Mail has an article about road construction projects by Carys Mills including a photo taken from the northwest corner of the intersection around 1pm judging by the shadows. The curve segments linking up the four corners are starting to go in, and they were not there when I took the photos below at about 9am. This job is moving very quickly.
Updated July 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Morning of Friday, July 13
The west quadrant’s installation is well advanced.
For the moment, the TTC’s tent is perched centre stage on the diamond.
Demolition of the east approach and safety island are complete.
Thursday, July 12
The first piece of the south quadrant goes into place. [H. McMann photo]
Later in the day, looking east along Queen. The eastern quadrant is in place while excavation of the approach are continues. The concrete pour for the north quadrant’s base is in progress.
Looking southwest to work still in progress on the south quadrant.
Wednesday, July 11
The concrete foundation has been poured for the central part of the intersection while excavation continues around the margins. [Photo by Harold McMann, with thanks]
Lifting the pre-assembled central diamond off of a trailer. [H. McMann photo]
The diamond placed in the centre of the intersection. [H. McMann photo]
Monday, July 9
Demolition begins on the south side of the intersection. All of the concrete, old rails and ties must be broken up and removed before the new foundation can be poured. This work continued through the week with the last of the old intersection coming out on July 12.
Updated July 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Construction work to modify platforms at various stops along Spadina is now underway. The affected stops are fenced off as current or future worksites.
Broken concrete around special work on Spadina at College has been repaired.
Although not included in the original list of track replacement projects, the section from King south to Lake Shore will be done in this construction season. The TTC has confirmed that this part will begin in September. The work will be co-ordinated with bridge repairs by the City of Toronto.
The intersection at King will be rebuilt in 2013.
The Spadina and Queen routes will divert around their intersection starting on July 9 for replacement of the track, one of our three “grand unions” where it is possible to make turns in all eight possible ways.
- Southbound to Queen’s Quay: via Dundas, Bathurst and Adelaide to Spadina
- Northbound from Queen’s Quay: via Adelaide, Peter, Queen, Beverley and Dundas to Spadina
- Queen short-turn service (replaces 510 to King service): same diversion as above without operating south of Adelaide
- Humber and Long Branch services including 301 night car: both ways via Shaw, King and Church
- Bathurst short turn service: loops downtown via Church, Richmond and York to Queen (these are, effectively, 502 Downtowner cars in disguise as 501s).
- 301 night buses will use the same loop via Richmond and York as the 501s. This will mean that some of the night service will be provided on Queen and some on King, and that some stops will only have service from the night bus.
- No replacement service on Queen from Shaw to Church except for the infrequent, and weekday daytime only “501 York” cars. No replacement service on Queen from Church to York evenings and weekends.
Shuffle Demons Return to Spadina Bus
Today, the TTC brought GMC fishbowl 2252 out of retirement as an extra on 510 Spadina. The occasion was an onboard performance by The Shuffle Demons who were promoting the launch of a new CD with music including their 1986 tune Spadina Bus.
This will probably be the last time (for now at least) we see a New Look bus in revenue, albeit supplementary, service. Many of the buildings in these photos did not exist when fishbowls plied Spadina. The bus itself is about 30 years old.
Southbound at Bloor Street.
Between Queen and Richmond.
Southbound crossing Adelaide with a 510-King short turn bus waiting to turn east.
Northbound approaching Front with the usual parade.
Northbound at Clarence Square, the former southern terminus for most runs on the 77 Spadina bus.
Northbound at King.
For views inside the bus, see The Torontoist’s article.
For a video, see The Grid.
Original June 21 post:
The TTC has various pages with info on this project:
According to the track reconstruction page, the dates of the intersection projects originally listed in the recent CEO’s report have been changed.
Queen & Spadina will be completely closed for two weeks starting Monday, July 9. It will re-open partly on Monday, July 23, and the project will be completed by Friday, August 3. Queen cars will divert around the site until the east-west track is available for service. The diversion routing has not been announced, but given available trackage will likely be between Church and Shaw. As for the Spadina bus, I can only imagine how little time it will actually spend on Spadina below Dundas.
Adelaide & Spadina will be closed northbound from Monday, August 14 to Friday, August 24, and some restrictions will remain in place to Sunday, August 26.
Track reconstruction north from College to Sussex (in two separate sections) will begin after Labour Day.
Bus service is expected to continue on Spadina until Sunday, November 18.