Updated January 28, 2018: Construction photos added for Humber Loop.
January 28, 2018
The track for the new Queen car loop is substantially in place, and there is one major change – the conversion of what was once a passing track intended for use in coupling PCC trains (50 years ago) to a tail track long enough to hold a Flexity car. It is unusual in two ways. First, the TTC has systematically removed tail tracks everywhere they existed. Second, it is a dogleg shaped track so that a car sitting on it will not be in a straight line.
The Long Branch side of Humber Loop is still a construction site, although the new substation is now physically in place.
On The Queensway, concrete is complete all the way into Humber Loop, but the overhead supports have only been installed as far west as the South Kingsway underpass.
Updated December 4, 2017: Construction photos added for Lake Shore east of Park Lawn, Humber Loop and on The Queensway east of the Humber River.
Updated November 3, 2017: Construction photos have been added for work on Lake Shore near Park Lawn, and on The Queensway near Grenadier Pond.
Updated October 20, 2017: Construction photos have been added for work on Lake Shore east of Louisa Avenue, and on The Queensway east of Humber Loop. A block-by-block list of the construction status for The Queensway has been added.
Updated September 19, 2017: Construction photos have been added for work on Lake Shore between Symons Street and Mimico Avenue, and on The Queensway at Windermere.
Updated August 31, 2017: Construction photos have been added for work on Lake Shore near Symons, and on The Queensway.
Through the spring and summer of 2017, the TTC will be rebuilding all of the track and overhead on The Queensway from the beginning of the right-of-way east of Parkside Drive to Humber Loop, and the loop itself.
This project also includes the reconstruction of the bridge over the Humber River which will be done in three stages:
- March to June: Work will take place in the middle of the bridge; TTC tracks and deck will be removed.Bearings on the bridge will also be replaced. A new bridgedeck will be constructed including waterproofing and paving.
- June to September: Work will take place on both the north and south sides of the bridge, with traffic moving to the centre of the bridge. New sidewalks, parapet walls, light poles and metal railings will be constructed. A new bridge deck will be constructed including waterproofing and paving.
- September to December: Work will consist of installing replacement TTC streetcar tracks. TTC will reinstate overhead electrical wiring to support service when it resumes. The top layer of asphalt will be installed along with permanent road lane markings. [From City of Toronto Construction Notice, March 3, 2017.]
This post will be a repository for photographs of the construction work as it progresses.
Reconstruction west from Humber Loop on Lake Shore Boulevard to Dwight Ave (the point where Lake Shore straightens out for its run west to Brown’s Line) will follow later in the year.
The segment east of Parkside to Roncesvalles is planned to be rebuilt and reconfigured as reserved transit lanes during a project in 2019 that will also include replacement of all special work at Queen/King/Roncesvalles including the carhouse entrances.
December 4, 2017
Track installation on The Queensway is substantially complete including the bridge over the Humber River. Installation of new track at Humber Loop is in progress.
On Lake Shore, track installation has progressed east to Brookers Lane, and removal of the old track is complete to the south entrance of Humber Loop. There is not yet any roadbed for new track in the underpass.
Construction of the new substation at Humber Loop is well underway.
At this point, it is not clear whether streetcar service to Humber will resume in mid-February as the TTC is still unsure of streetcar allocations given the unexpected jump in demand on 504 King. Streetcar service beyond to Long Branch will not be possible until the new substation is completed and online, and in any event the planned June 2018 date may be difficult because of the streetcar shortage.
November 3, 2017
On The Queensway, track installation is in progress between Colborne Lodge and Ellis. Work here had been suspended pending resolution of structural problems due to the high water table. Overhead pole bases south of Grenadier Pond are more robust than those originally planned.
On Lake Shore, track installation is progressing east from Legion Road, and demolition of the old track structure is now underway east of Park Lawn (the intersection at Park Lawn was replaced on the weekend of October 6-10, 2017).
October 20, 2017
On The Queensway, work is in progress on various stages of the reconstruction from Parkside to Humber.
- Parkside to Colborne Lodge: Track complete. Overhead suspension in place awaiting contact wire.
- Colborne Lodge to Ellis: Installation of new, more robust pole bases in progress. This section had to be re-engineered due to the high water table at Grenadier Pond.
- Ellis to Windermere: Track complete. Overhead poles installed.
- Windermere to Humber Bridge: Installation of pole bases in progress.
- Humber River Bridge: Paving of the new westbound and eastbound road lanes is nearly completed. When this is done and traffic is shifted back to its normal location, the central TTC span of this bridge can be rebuilt.
- Humber Bridge to Humber Loop: Track installation in progress. Pole bases installed.
On Lake Shore Boulevard, track reconstruction west of Mimico Avenue is nearly complete with final paving work in progress on October 10.
From Mimico Avenue to Louisa Street, no work has begun.
East of Louisa, work is in various stages to east of Legion Road.
September 19, 2017
East of Symons, the TTC expects that the existing trackbed was built in layers that will allow the removal of only the concrete down to the foot of the rail leaving the ties and foundation in place for the attachment of new track. In practice some of the track was excavated more deeply than expected, but most of the work to date is only on the top layer. Two crews are working toward each other east from Symons Street and west from Mimico Avenue.
On The Queensway, track construction is underway east from Windermere to Ellis, while right-of-way preparation for the new track foundation is working west from Windermere toward the Humber River bridge.
At Humber Loop, all track from both loops has been removed. Construction of the new substation continues.
August 31, 2017
Track demolition has progressed on Lake Shore to just east of Symons Road.
On The Queensway, work has skipped over the section south of Grenadier Pond due to high groundwater levels, and is moving east from South Kingsway. The stock of rail formerly stored at SOuth Kingsway has been moved to the streetcar lanes at St. Joseph Hospital.
August 8, 2017
Track installation is now in progress west from Parkside Drive.
At the Humber River bridge, road traffic is using the centre streetcar span over the river while the eastbound and westbound road spans are rebuilt.
At Humber Loop, construction of a new substation on the northwest corner of the property is in progress.
On Lake Shore, track installation has begun east from Dwight (near First Street) and excavation work is now east of Royal York.
April 18, 2017
Following up on comments regarding both the track construction planned for Lake Shore Boulevard, and the trees on The Queensway, I asked the TTC’s Brad Ross for further information.
The Lake Shore track is comparatively recent and would not be due for replacement for a decade at least, and that under heavier service wear than service west of Humber Loop will ever see. It turns out that there is problem with electrolysis of the rails.
In 2002 TTC rehabilitated the entire track structure on Lake Shore Blvd West between Humber Loop and Symons Street due to state of good repair – end of life cycle of the rail and concrete.
Due to accelerated galvanic corrosion to the base of the rail we are now undertaking a rail replacement only project between Humber Loop and Symons Street. The top 150 mm of concrete will be removed to expose the existing rail and fasteners for replacement, and new top concrete will be placed. The occurrence of premature corrosion of the rail will be addressed with the construction of a new sub-station inside the Humber Loop this year.
In addition, we will be undertaking state of good repair – end of life cycle track replacement from Symons Street to Royal York Road, and from Royal York Rd to the west side of Dwight Avenue, which were last rehabilitated in 1998 and 1996, respectively. [Email from Brad Ross, April 18, 2017]
With respect to the trees, the project description on the TTC’s site states:
Tree line along streetcar r-o-w on The Queensway
269 deciduous trees on the narrow turf boulevard along the north and south side of the streetcar r-o-w will be removed. While the majority of the trees are in good condition, they are in the path of construction and will be affected by construction work/activities. All 269 trees will be replaced in the same general areas where they were removed with similar trees – a variety of native species having a tolerance to road conditions. Another 28 existing trees will be protected during construction.
Brad Ross adds:
We worked closely with City Forestry to ensure the right species were planted.
April 14, 2017