Adelaide Street Reconstruction Open House

The City of Toronto will hold an online open house for the Adelaide Street project on Thursday, July 21 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

A link to register for this session is on the project page.

Track on Adelaide has been inactive for many years thanks to various cuts for utility projects and the high level of building construction along the street. The TTC contemplated reactivating the track as a bypass for, among other things, the Tiff street fair, but the opportunity did not present itself until now.

The Ontario Line open cut construction at Queen Station will require diversion of streetcar service around Queen and Yonge for several years. Cars will operate westbound via existing track on Church, Richmond and York. Eastbound service will run via York, Adelaide and Church.

This requires reconstruction of the Adelaide Street trackage as well as installation of new tracks southbound on York from Queen to Adelaide. Although only the track east from York is required for the Ontario Line diversion, the TTC will restore the track between Spadina and York making provision for a longer diversion. York will become two-way from Queen to Adelaide.

It is not yet clear which special work will be added at intersections, notably Adelaide and York where a north-to-east curve would be useful, especially if the TTC adds an east-to-north at King and York when this is rebuilt in a pending King Street project. Unfortunately, with the lead time between planning and execution, the TTC has forgotten on occasion (or chosen for budgetary reasons) to include missing curves that would make their operations more flexible notably at Broadview and Gerrard and, this year at Church and Carlton. These opportunities only come along every 25-30 years.

The project also includes water main reconstruction from York to Church, and repaving. Parts of the street are in very bad condition after years of condo construction trucks pounding the pavement.

From Bathurst to Parliament, the bike lane will shift to the north side of the street where there will be less conflict with the streetcars and with vehicles stopped in the eastbound curb lane.

I will update this article with more info after the open house.

10 thoughts on “Adelaide Street Reconstruction Open House

  1. Thanks. Your comments seem to be the most cogent, most informative explanation of what is happening – and why. Much appreciated.

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  2. So for clarification, the section of track from York to Victoria will *not* be restored? I.e. there will be a gap from York to Victoria, assuming that the Victoria to Church stretch will still be used for short-turns and diversions?

    Steve: That is incorrect. York to Victoria will be restored. There are several gaps in the existing rails.

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  3. I love that the track from Spadina to York is also getting rebuilt. Any idea on the last time a streetcar was able to travel down that stretch?

    Steve: Decades, probably before 2000.

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  4. Whys is open cut construction required on Queen Street and why will it take years to complete?
    Will any of this make use of the existing unused tunnel?

    Steve: The station is very deep. The existing tunnel will be used only as part of the upper concourse. Building the entire OL at that elevation would run into many utilites that are very close to the surface, as well as some of the existing underpasses under Queen Street.

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  5. Is there any thought to extend Richmond track further west to Spadina?
    This would allow full diversion in both directions…

    Steve: No.

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  6. On another note, due to the fact that all this work is required as a direct result of Metrolinx and the Ontario Line, Should they not be picking up a substantial amount of the cost of this re-construction, perhaps enough to cover the cost of all the directional special works?

    Steve: Metrolinx is paying for this from the OL budget. I suspect that if there were any add-ons, they would be on the TTC’s dime.

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  7. What’s the point of leaving the short segment between Adelaide and York one-way? Is the idea that diverting King cars can use the closer Wellington track instead? More short diversion segments are better than none in my opinion.

    Steve: I assume you mean between Adelaide and King. Yes, Wellington is available (or will be later this year when the now-and-forever project completes).

    Unfortunately, with the lead time between planning and execution, the TTC has forgotten on occasion (or chosen for budgetary reasons) to include missing curves that would make their operations more flexible notably at Broadview and Gerrard and, this year at Church and Carlton.

    I recall the TTC forgetting to add track at another recent build. I think it might have been Bathurst and College?

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  8. Steve said: Yes, Wellington is available (or will be later this year when the now-and-forever project completes).

    I wonder if that means 503 reverts back to its original routing this year (and that Adelaide could be used as a return instead of King)?

    Steve: I expect that the 503 will go back to its York Street terminus, but running east via Adelaide would require a north-to-east curve at York, and would not make a good connection with the subwyay for outbound passengers.

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