Broadview & Queen Reconstruction (Updated July 17, 2014)

On Monday, June 30, the TTC began the reconstruction of track at Broadview & Queen. This project is expected to last one month, although efforts will be made to reopen for Queen streetcar traffic by July 19.

As of July 4, the excavation work for the Queen Street legs of the intersection was complete and preparations for the foundation concrete layer were in progress. Excavation of the Broadview leg began this morning. Track panels and new tangent rail for the approaches are sit ready for installation just beyond the excavation area on all three legs.

July 17, 2014

The TTC has announced that streetcar service will resume through the intersection at about 3:00 pm on Saturday, July 19. 501 Queen and 504 King services will operate on their normal routes from that hour onward.

On Sunday, July 20, a separate set of diversions begins and the King car will only operate southbound on Broadview from Dundas to Queen. Service to Broadview Station will be provided by a shuttle bus.

On Monday, July 21, streetcar service returns to Kingston Road with the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road Tripper lines resuming operation over their full routes.

July 13, 2014

The north leg of the intersection is almost complete with only the top layer of concrete and final attachment of the new track to the existing tangent rails remaining. The Queen Street legs are now being excavated for new curb lane pavement.

For those who are wondering about the overhead: there are two sets of contact wire in place because the conversion to pan-friendly overhead is in progress.

Looking south on Broadview to Queen


Looking across the intersection from the northwest corner.


July 7, 2014

The track panels holding the special work for the intersection were installed over the past weekend as well as the tangent rails for the Queen Street legs.

Looking south on Broadview to Queen


Looking west on Queen across Broadview


Looking east on Queen across Broadview


June 29, 2014

The Broadview Hotel is the most prominent building in Riverside, and for years it has been a low-end rooming house and home to a strip bar, Jilly’s, which is closing in a few weeks. The building has been bought by Streetcar Developments who plan a restoration, but have not yet decided exactly what will replace the current uses.

King car turns north on Broadview from Queen.


Looking north on Broadview.


July 3, 2014

Across the street from the hotel is Dangerous Dan’s, home of outrageously large burgers and everything that goes with them.


Looking east on Queen toward Broadview.


Again, looking east on Queen.


18 thoughts on “Broadview & Queen Reconstruction (Updated July 17, 2014)

  1. Is there any update to the status of the proposed loop at Broadview? Obviously it won’t be constructed during this round of intersection work, but is there any talk of moving ahead with it?

    Steve: No. It is not even in the five year track plan. The TTC did a property swap with the City and the Toronto Parking Authority, and then seems to have lost interest. I suspect part of the problem is that this is not as pressing an issue as other capital plans. Even so, it should at least appear “below the line” in the pending funding list if the TTC actually thinks such a loop was worth getting property for in the first place.

    Mind you, it would not surprise me at all if there are people in the TTC who have no knowledge of this scheme.


  2. The TTC did Queen & Victoria concurrent with Queen & Leslie causing 2 concurrent diversions of the Queen car (via King and Gerrard respectively). And now there is another diversion along Gerrard for the Queen & Broadview reconstruction.

    Couldn’t the TTC have reduced the number of diversions by doing Leslie and Broadview concurrently (diversion via Gerrard) and then Queen & Victoria separately?

    In a TTC video, Andy Byford said he wanted to minimize disruption from the 3 construction sites, but did he miss an opportunity to do better?

    Steve: The timings of the construction projects were set up in conjunction with other work. Victoria needed to be done as soon as possible, and so it went first. Leslie was not just a track installation, but also a major water main upgrade which had to start before the track could even be done. It was the water main work that took the majority of the time. For that job and for Broadview, they were aiming at Pride Week to have Queen fully open for access to businesses.


  3. The south to west curve is notoriously close to the sidewalk. Is there any space/allowance to alter this, or is the geometry of the intersection fixed?

    Steve: No room to change this, and the Broadview Hotel isn’t going away any time soon.


  4. Yes, the work could be done quicker and cheaper, but it would not last as long. Noticed, on the internet, some work being done laying streetcar tracks in the States on a foundation of sand and gravel, then pour concrete for the tracks. We do the foundation on concrete and we wait for it to cure throughout. Only then do we pour concrete separately for the tracks. And again we wait for the curing.


  5. So, what party pooper made the decision either to close Jilly’s or whatever decision that led to it closing? Just kiddding. lol


  6. Steve, I’m just checking with you on regards to the new loop into the now TTC owned Green P lot on east side of Broadview-this construction does not include this if I’m correct. Do you know if any extra switches to the future loop will be added at this time, or will it be another shut down in 2016?

    Poles, overhead, feeders, etc. can be added at any time without disruption, but this seems a perfect opportunity to add the switches and underground wiring (assuming they’ll be electric NA switches).

    Steve: See my previous reply to a similar query. I suspect that this project has fallen off of the TTC’s radar thanks to a combination of capital funding constraints and a loss of institutional memory about the property deal.

    For the benefit of readers: The TTC wanted to reactivate the loop at King and Parliament as a short turn for the King car (this was well before the Cherry Street scheme came along). The City wanted some land nearby to mark the site of the first provincial legislature. The car dealership on that land moved to what was Parliament Loop, the city got the old car lot, the TTC bought vacant property on the west side of Broadview north of Queen for a new TPA lot, and in return got title to the existing lot on the east side for a future loop. Whether we will ever see this loop is a mystery, and, yes, it would have made so much sense to build it at the same time as the intersection reconstruction considering that this project actually extends far enough north to be in territory that will include special work for the loop.


  7. The Broadview parking lot site looks like it might be big enough to house an extra storage track or two. An idea like that however is probably too radical for TTC planners to wrap their heads around.


  8. There’s been a slow order on the Queen bridge over the Don for months. Any idea if they are going to deal with that at the same time, now that there are no streetcars running?

    Steve: The slow order relates to foundation issues under the bridge. Work on this cannot complete until the nearby Toronto Water project is finished.


  9. I was pleased to see today that the TTC are taking advantage of the closing of Queen to install new overhead on the Don Bridge and do some track repair at Munro Street.

    Steve: There are also survey marks for stop rail replacements at River. The section east of Broadview, including the overhead under the CN/GO bridge at DeGrassi Street, was done while the Leslie intersection was closed.


  10. Steve:

    The slow order relates to foundation issues under the bridge. Work on this cannot complete until the nearby Toronto Water project is finished.

    Oh! The slow order didn’t appear until mid-late winter, the same time as many other slow orders. I assumed it was just winter damage, given the bridge had already been closed at King for months at that point.

    I wonder when the other shoe will drop on this, and suddenly we have to replace the entire bridge foundations, with another very long closure.

    Off-topic then … but any ideas about the similar 506 slow order on the Main Street bridge, that appeared about the same time as the one on Queen?

    Steve: No idea at all.


  11. Biking along Queen E today I saw work progressing on the stop rails just east of River; indeed the track lanes have been blocked off for almost a week. Today I saw the first layer of concrete has been removed, replacement rails just east at the crest of the bridge, and workers going about their business.


  12. Clarification please! When folks refer to “stop rails”, is that some special type of rail or just the rails near a streetcar stop. Thanks!

    Steve: Typically, the rail at and just before car stops, especially well used ones, wears out faster than other track because of the braking and acceleration loads. The TTC takes out a few hundred feet of track (excavating only the top layer of concrete down to the steel ties to which the track is attached with Pandrol clips), replaces the track (including welding it to the existing nearby rails), and then puts back the top concrete layer. This sort of thing is often done when there is another shutdown that keeps streetcars off of the track for a week or so (e.g. Queen east from Broadview during the Leslie intersection shutdown). The same thing happens in the subway, but as there is no concrete to remove, the only hint that something is going on is the period when both the new and old sets of rail are in place at the same time.


  13. @David Aldinger: As much as I hate to admit it, Jilly’s time was up as a strip club (the Brass Rail, Zanzibar and another place which escapes me have stolen its thunder) and the place is going because of that.


  14. Thankfully the Queen Car will have no more diversions for rest of the summer. Although it has been necessary to completed these jobs, it really has made it difficult to have a reliable line.Dundas and Parliament was getting pretty bad.

    Steve, correct me if I’m wrong, but the main remaining intersections to be completed are:

    Coxwell / Queen – 2015?
    Dundas / Broadview – 2015?
    Spadina / College – 2016?

    Not sure about the other lines. I know 2015 will be slow TTC construction in the summer for the Pan Am Games, but I’m assuming the Coxwell/Queen intersection will be pretty urgent b/c it looks pretty bad already and there’s already a restricted speed zone in place. That could be finished in May 2015 way before games start?

    Steve: A summary of the track plan for 2014-18 is included in my article about streetcar infrastructure and the capital budget. In that version (which dates from fall 2013), there are:

    King/Queen/Roncesvalles plus carhouse access tracks: 2016
    Queen/Coxwell: 2017
    Queen/Kingston Road: 2018

    Maybe the intersection at Coxwell will be advanced, but the TTC has seemed content to let slow orders stand for ages before fixing track — just look at Broadview/Queen. Also, advancing a job is not easy because there is lead time of over one year for special work. If it hasn’t been ordered yet, it won’t be installed for at least two years.

    Dundas/Broadview isn’t even in the list although it is in bad shape, while Spadina/College is listed for 2018. Sometimes the schedule is dictated by concurrent road or utility work, but this can leave is with second-rate infrastructure. It will be interesting to see what the updated list looks like when the budget comes out later this year.


  15. Thank you for the article reference above.

    My biggest concern now is after 8-10 years of playing catch up, were going to have all of our construction infrastructure project upgrades at same cycle. This is unfortunate in the future b/c the next time these intersections go through upgrades will be quite expensive and huge inconvenience. If only there was effective planning few years ago and made these projects spaced out over the replacement cycle would be much more efficient rather than always playing catch up.

    Next up! Now were going to wait for this painful rollout of the new streetcars.

    Steve: A few points here. First, although there has been a compressed program running back well over a decade to catch up on capital repairs, different parts of the system will wear out at different rates and I suspect we will see a more stretched out cycle the next time out. More importantly, the way track is built now means that the next time around the TTC will not have do dig down to build new foundations, but will be able to install new track on some of the existing infrastructure. This is a deliberate design decision to reduce the amount of work needed “the next time” and we already see the effect at locations of high wear — car stops — where new track can be attached to the existing tie and foundation structure.


  16. Word is Streetcar Development has taken over the Toyota and Richardson lots and has eyes on building three high-rise towers on the site.

    This section of Queen (and Eastern for that matter) is already a wreck during rush hours without the addition of these potential units.

    Steve: A report on this development is on the Toronto and East York Council agenda.


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