Streetcar Track Construction Update: Spring 2016 (Update 2))

Several projects sprang up with the warm weather in Toronto, and more are to come.

Updated May 13, 2016: Details of diversions and replacement services for College Street projects have been added to the end of this article.

Updated May 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm: Details of diversions and replacements updated for 506 Carlton and 512 St. Clair.

First off was the replacement of special work on Charlotte Street at Adelaide and at King including removal of the never-used lead to Adelaide Street eastbound.

Next was the replacement of the southwest ladder track at Roncesvalles Carhouse. Because of the odd shape of the property, this carhouse has many interesting twists and turns in its layout.

A short section of Bay Street south from Elm has been in rough shape with a slow order for a few years. Now the track has been replaced.

Pending work for the construction season includes:

  • Richmond Street tangent track from east of Yonge to York. This is part of an overall reconstruction of the street previously begun by Toronto Water.
  • College at Bathurst (June 20 to July 22) and at Lansdowne (July 11 to 22). This is part of a set of projects affecting College Street described in detail on the City’s website. See below for details of service diversions and bus replacements.
  • A shutdown of 512 St. Clair will be required for the reconstruction at both St. Clair West and St. Clair Stations. This will begin concurrently with the reconstruction of Bathurst & College.

As of May 9, the 501 Queen service is diverting around Toronto Water construction via Spadina, King and Shaw. This will be in place until Thanksgiving weekend unless the work is finished early.

Diversions for College Street Projects (Added May 13, 2016)

Illustrations here are taken from display panels for a public meeting earlier this year.

Through the summer to the Labour Day weekend, the 506 Carlton route will operate with streetcars on the eastern portion of the route looping downtown via Bay, Dundas and McCaul. This route stays the same throughout the period because it is not affected by construction projects further west.

The western end of the route will operate with buses whose location will vary from phase-to-phase of the work. The service will loop east of Yonge Street via Jarvis, Maitland and Church. Note that the section between Dufferin and Lansdowne will be affected by construction work that will take place for some or all of the summer (see later maps below).

Updated May 13 at 3:00 pm: The split service shown below will operate on weekdays. On weekends, buses will provide service over the entire route diverting as necessary between Spadina and Lansdowne.


While College and Bathurst is under construction, services will be modified as shown below.

The 506 west bus will divert via Spadina, Harbord and Ossington. The 511 Bathurst car will be replaced with buses diverting via Dundas, Spadina and Harbord.


During a considerable portion of the project, water main work between Dufferin and Lansdowne will require the 506 west bus to divert via Dufferin and Dundas.


While the intersection of College and Lansdowne is under construction, the 47 Lansdowne bus will divert via Dufferin Street from Bloor to Queen southbound, and will operate northbound via Lansdowne only to Dundas Street, then via Dundas and Dufferin to Bloor.


Updated May 13 at 3:00 pm: 512 St. Clair will be converted to bus operation during construction work at St. Clair West and St. Clair Stations throughout the summer. Buses will serve St. Clair West at on-street stops. During the September-October schedule period, construction work at St. Clair Station will require bus operation from St. Clair West Station to St. Clair Station.

15 thoughts on “Streetcar Track Construction Update: Spring 2016 (Update 2))

  1. Bow your heads and mourn the definite loss of trackage on Adelaide between Charlotte and York. Ah, memories….


  2. Yes, I think we will never see that stretch rebuilt (why doesn’t the TTC just says so?) but I live in hopes that the section from York to Victoria will be rebuilt as it really would give a good downtown diversion route – especially if they added a east to north curve @ King and York and, of course a north to east @ York and Adelaide.


  3. Guess the Adelaide tracks will never be used by the Bathurst, sorry I mean the 511, streetcar any time soon. They should have kept the tracks and overhead on both Adelaide and Richmond for detours.


  4. Historically was it common for streetcars to divert during water main replacement? It seems to me this only started in the last ten years, but I’ve only lived in Toronto for 20 years.

    Steve: What is relatively new is the replacement of century-old infrastructure. Depending on where the pipes are buried, there may not be room for the construction to co-exist with the streetcars. A few years, with the pipes on Ronces directly under the street, even the rails had to come out. Same thing on Bathurst at Dupont.


  5. It’s been a long time since I’ve been down there: has any of the McCaul trackage been upgraded in the last decade?

    Steve: Yes, it’s new track now.


  6. When Dufferin from Dundas to Queen was closed they ran the Dufferin buses down Brock. Why not run the Lansdowne buses via Brock?


  7. So don’t bother trying to take a streetcar ANYWHERE this summer. And bus service will suffer since all these extra buses are needed for replacements. Oy.


  8. What I’d like to know is why the trackage and St.Clair and St. Clair West weren’t taken care of when the big project took place. Had they done that, there would be one less closure to deal with right now.

    Steve: I really don’t know, although do remember that when they did the track within the loop itself, it proved far more complex a job than expected because of how the station was built.


  9. Beginning on Monday, June 20, streetcars will be taken off the “511 Bathurst” route and will be replaced with shuttle buses. The intersection of Bathurst and College streets will be closed to traffic, including TTC vehicles These shuttle buses will divert via Harbord Street, Spadina Avenue (including the loop located north of College Street around the old Knox College building), and Dundas Street West.

    When construction is complete, streetcars will return and will, temporarily, serve the entire “511 Bathurst” route until after the Labour Day weekend. That’s so people heading to the CNE don’t need to make a transfer. The shuttle bus service on the combined “509 Harbourfront” (west end) and “511 Bathurst” (south end) routes on Fleet Street shall resume after the Labour Day weekend.


  10. This current TTC track construction at Bathurst and College is reminiscent of that at Spadina Avenue and College Street more than a year ago, when the TTC replaced streetcars on the “510 Spadina” route with shuttle buses, and those diverted via Harbord Street, Bathurst Street, and Dundas Street West. Also, the main branch of the “510 Spadina” to Union Station (that’s Union subway station) via Queens Quay West didn’t run for the duration of the construction, and the low-floor Flexity streetcars on that route were shifted over to the “509 Harbourfront” route.

    The period of construction for Bathurst and College will take a little longer than last year’s (Spadina-College) as this intersection is in sufficiently worse shape than that other intersection, and shuttle buses which went into service on the “511 Bathurst” route will run until Saturday, July 30. When that construction is finally complete, streetcars will return on July 31 and run the full length of the route, to Exhibition Place until Labour Day. Also, on July 31st, the “509 Harbourfront” route will run its full course, into Exhibition loop. After that weekend, the Fleet Street shuttle bus service (of part of the combined “511 Bathurst” and “509 Harbourfront” routes) returns for a few weeks.

    Steve: Actually Bathurst & College track assembly was complete in the intersection except for the tangent rail leads last weekend. It was a simpler intersection that Spadina, and existing condition has nothing to do with construction times when a full demolition is the first step. Any further delay would be due to non-TTC work by others such as road reconstruction, Toronto Water, etc. The intent is to restore through bus service on Bathurst as soon as possible, not at the end of the month. The July 30/31 date is a function of TTC schedule change dates, not of the construction project. Carlton remains a bus through the summer due to other projects that preclude its operation west of Bathurst as a streetcar.

    Streetcar service returns to Exhibition Loop for August as this corresponds with the CNE period.


  11. Every year, many people take the TTC to get to the Canadian National Exhibition, and the majority of those take the time-honoured “511 Bathurst” streetcar to get there. Streetcars return to this route on Sunday, July 31, which coincides with the CNE period (the run-up events), and they run the full length of the route, from Bathurst Station to the Exhibition loop (the track construction at Bathurst and College streets will be completed by this time); this is the day that the HorseCapades and the Horse Shows in the Horse Palace (and the Ricoh Coliseum) will begin. This is so that visitors to the Ex needn’t make transfers to other surface routes to get to and from the Exhibition grounds during this period.


  12. When streetcars return to the “511 Bathurst” route, which is on Sunday, July 31, will the rolling stock include the new low-floor Flexity? These streetcars are on the “510 Spadina” (now fully converted to Flexity); “509 Harbourfront” (a mixture of Flexity, CLRV, and also one PCC which runs on Sundays during the tourist season); and the new “514 Cherry” route (which has a few of them).

    Steve: No.


  13. This past Sunday, streetcars made their triumphant return to the “511 Bathurst” route. However, according to your reply to my latest blog, there are no Flexities yet. It’s the same rolling stock – before streetcars were temporarily replaced with shuttle buses in order for TTC strack work at Bathurst and College streets – it’s the trusty old, and iconic Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (CLRVs) and Articulated Light Rail Vehicles (ALRVs) providing service on this route. It felt so good to be seeing them (and also riding them). There may be some Flexities added during the running of the CNE in order to provide extra service, as crowds are expected at this popular late-summer event.


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