After many delays, the Queens Quay reconstruction project will be completed to the point that streetcars can return on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, October 12, 2014.
Years of utility construction, rebuilt sidewalks and a completely new trackbed for streetcars are almost over. When the project finishes in 2015, Toronto will finally see more than beautiful presentations and websites, we will see the street as the designers intended.
Updated October 8, 2014
Test car 4164 ran to Union Station on October 7.
Photos from Harold McMann:
View from 4164 eastbound at Lower Simcoe and Queens Quay:
Union Station Loop:
Photos linked from a comment by “Thomas”:
This was a typical scene only a week ago on September 24 looking west toward Rees Street and the Radisson Hotel. All traffic had shifted off of the streetcar right-of-way to the newly paved roadway north of the tracks (to the right in the view below). A fleet of vans from contractors putting the finishing touches on the line filled the streetcar lanes. Work at this point was mainly electrical – TTC power feeders, traffic signals and lighting. Preliminary supports were up for the overhead, but most of the line did not yet have contact wire in place.
By October 3, 2014, the contact wire is in place (although not yet energized) and much of the fencing around the right-of-way has disappeared in anticipation of test runs starting October 7.
This view looks west at Rees Street where both transit stops are now on the west side of the intersection (the eastbound stop has been changed from farside to nearside). The crew working on the roadway are making saw cuts for the loop detectors that will activate the transit priority signals.
This is a location where Toronto Hydro has not yet completed the shift of its plant into new underground chambers and conduit, and the street still has a mix of temporary and permanent utility poles.
The view below looks in the opposite direction east from Rees Street. The traffic signal will control the exit from the Radisson Hotel at the east leg of Robertson Crescent.
The new street is divided from south to north into three bands. Southernmost is the pedestrian and cycling area including rows of trees. The structures shown here are “silva cells” designed to provide support for the pavement above, but to be open for the growth of tree roots below. The whole area around the cells is filled with fresh soil before the area is closed in. Tree planting will be done in the spring of 2015.
This section will include the Martin Goodman cycling trail linking up existing portions of the waterfront trail from west of Spadina to beyond Bay Street. (Plans for Queens Quay East include a similar layout when the transit right-of-way is built, but for now there is a temporary trail heading east from Yonge.)
This view is in the same location, but from the streetcar lanes showing the new pavement on the north side of Queens Quay. Traffic operations are still only westbound because the project is not yet at the state where all intersections are ready to switch over to two-way traffic.
Looking east from Lower Simcoe Street. The eastbound stop at Lower Simcoe has been shifted further east, to line up with the new exit (controlled by the traffic signals) from the Harbourfront Centre site out of frame to the right. The westbound York Street stop remains in its old location and is on the east side of the new intersection.
Work west of Spadina is still underway, and I will add photos from that section next week.