Last year, the TTC built new track on Cherry from Eastern Avenue south to the rail corridor that, eventually, will host a new streetcar service in spring 2016. Why so long you ask? The south end of the line sits in the Pan Am Games’ Athletes’ Village and won’t be ready for service for two years even though most of the track will already be in place. The opening will co-incide with the period when purchasers of condos (originally used as athletes’ quarters) will start moving into the neighbourhood.
New photos will be added to the end of this article as the project progresses.
April 25, 2014:
A reader asked whether someone would be brave enough to take a photo from one of the overpasses. Here is one provided by John F. Bromley from September 19, 1964, taken when the then Duke Street (now Richmond) ramp was under construction.
April 17, 2014
Looking west on King across Sumach. The base that will lie under the foundation slab is being prepared in this view with work only about half-way across the intersection.
Looking north from Eastern toward King showing what will become the streetcar right-of-way. As on Cherry further south, the streetcars are on the east side of the street echoing the design on Queens Quay (to which this line may eventually connect) where the tracks are south of the road lanes.
April 23, 2014
Looking west on King at Sumach. The first two pieces of the northeast quadrant are in place on the concrete foundation. A third track panel sits on a trailer ready to be lifted off by the walking cranes that are used to position pre-assembled segments of the intersection. This will be an unusual junction because the streets do not cross at right angles, and the curves for the western quadrant will be more than 90 degrees
Two panels that will form the western quadrant sit on trailers further west on King.
Looking south on Sumach toward Eastern, the reverse angle to the second view of April 17 above. Some preliminary grading has been done in the interval between the two photos.
April 24, 2014
Both quadrants of the intersection have now been installed on King Street.
May 1, 2014
Most of the south quadrant is now in place. However, a chunk of the east to south curve is missing because of utilities (including TTC feeders) that have not yet been relocated.
Looking southeast across the King & Sumach intersection. The TTC pole carrying feeders is located on a small island that was to be removed as part of this project (see plan below). The same feeders are also visible on this island in the 1964 photo above.
Another view looking south on Sumach across King. The small red brick building in the background is a TTC substation from which the feeders running up that pole likely originate.
Here is the design for the intersection as originally published in the Cherry Street project’s plans. It clearly shows that the east-to-south curve would pass through the island that has not yet been removed from the street.
May 9, 2014
Recently, I asked Waterfront Toronto when the section of Cherry south of Eastern would re-open for traffic. Here is their reply:
Dundee Kilmer (DK) is in the process of finalizing items related to Cherry Street and hope to have it reopened by the end of the month. This may need to take place in stages.
The section from Mill to Lake Shore is expected to open imminently. As you mention, Metrolinx is undertaking bridge repair work. Until there is a continuous pedestrian route on the west side of Cherry St, the street needs to remain closed. We expect that this should be resolved very soon and the section from Lake Shore to Mill opened.
The remainder – from Mill Street north to Old Eastern Avenue – is contingent on DK finalizing the remaining items with the City. We expect that this portion will also open shortly, but we don’t have a firm date yet.
With luck, once Cherry re-opens south from Mill, the 172 Cherry bus will be routed through the Distillery District again rather than around it.
May 11, 2014
Excavation continues for the new track on Sumach linking south from King to Cherry, and the feeder cable which rose on a pole that conflicts with the new east-to-south curve has been moved to a new location.
Looking south to Eastern Avenue on Sumach.
Connecting in the new feeder on the northwest corner of King & Sumach Streets.
May 16, 2014
The remaining piece of the east to south curve has now been installed, and work continues elsewhere in the intersection to finish off the sidewalks.
May 29, 2014
Final paving of the curb lanes at King & Sumach was underway today when I visited the site. This will allow King Street to reopen for normal traffic quite soon. (Streetcars continue to divert because of work on the Don Bridge a few blocks to the east.)
On Sumach Street, preparations for the foundation slab are underway.
Looking north on Sumach toward King Street.
June 2, 2014
Looking south on Sumach from King Street as the foundation for the track linking King south to Cherry is poured. [Photo by Harold McMann]
June 25, 2014
The last section of tangent rail is now being installed between King and Front Streets.
Looking north from Front toward King.
Looking south from King toward Front.
Also, despite contrary plans announced earlier in the project that the loop at the rail corridor would not be completed until after the Pan Am Games, the TTC seems to be preparing to install the rest of the loop track now.
Looking south on Cherry across the future loop with the Cherry Street Tower (originally the site of signal and switch controls for the eastern part of the Union Station rail corridor) in the background.
Looking across the bottom of Cherry Street Loop showing the excavation for the foundation under the loop track.
Looking north on Cherry from the loop.
Although the original word on Cherry Street Loop was that it would be left incomplete until after the Pan Am Games, that plan is obviously changed. The remaining half of the loop was installed last week and (thanks for the info to David Crawford) the final concrete pour was done on September 20.
The photos below were taken on September 17, 2014.
The land east of the loop will be used for bus storage during the Games. It is intended, eventually, to be the site of a new school.
For those unfamiliar with the area, the embankment in the background is the GO corridor and Don Yard east of Union Station. Cherry Street Tower is immediately south of the loop.
The water tower in the distance in the middle photo is at the Unilever site east of the Don River.