The final piece of the Wellington Street reconstruction is underway with new track between Church & King and Yonge & Wellington. The long-inactive wrong-way track has been / will be removed during this work.
Wellington Street has a new design with the north sidewalk extended into what was once the curb lane in places for transit stops. The view below looking east from Scott shows a lay-by cut into the former curb lane. This can be used for deliveries, taxis, etc., but it is not a through lane.
Westbound streetcars remain where they were in the second lane counting from the north side.
503 Kingston Road service will return to this track once it gets new pantograph-compliant overhead in the Fall.
Though it is certainly good to have the Wellington track work (almost) finished; this is much more than a track project between Church and Yonge. All the conduits in these blocks were consolidated, there is also a new watermain and gas line and there will be extensive tree pits and trenches. The tracks west of Yonge were rebuilt a couple of years ago and, though the whole project has taken FAR longer than it should have, it is now moving along quite fast in the blocks east of Yonge.
Too bad the city couldn’t extend the tracks on Richmond & Adelaide west to Bathurst and east to Parliament. For diversions, detours, and short turns.
When this is all finished, the downtown core is going to have a 1921-1953 Streetcar track east/west appearance, with Queen’s Quay replacing Front and a bit of truncation to the west.
All this despite the arrival of The Gardiner, the YU Subway, and various Fords.
Take a bow, Andrew and Steve!
Steve: I am not ready to declare victory quite yet. There’s some distance to go on the waterfront, and who knows how badly construction upheavals on the Ontario Line will affect ridership. There’s also the matter of recovery of th office population and travel demand.
In some ways I find it surprising, and somewhat reassuring, that this trackage is rehabilitated. Let’s face it, if the TTC could, they would eliminate Kingston Rd. service. As it is, how many 503 trips (assuming things stay as 502/03) are there during peak service? The other thing is, I’ve always wondered why the TTC never tried to make better use of Kingston Rd. trackage post 1966.
Steve: The 502/503 headway today is every 10 minutes, hence 6 trips/hour. It’s always been an odd route very dependent on traffic going to/from downtown, although the cars operate as extra service on Queen and King Streets as well.
The new tracks are now fully installed on the south part of Church, around the corner into Wellington and the tracks but not all the concrete are in place most of the way to Scott Street. No tracks yet from Scott to Yonge, where there is other work going on. The contractor continues to excavate the road throughout the work area and is busily pouring new concrete base.
May have been an isolated incident but there is also significant track work occurring on King around Sherbourne area. Given the trackage of the area there are *significant* Flexity lineups on Church (both directions???), Adelaide, and Victoria – or at least there were Friday afternoon. I think the 504 is diverting both ways via Queen / Church, and the 503 is diverting via Victoria, Adelaide, and Church. Squeezing everything on queen between Yonge and Sherbourne – combined with already awful traffic, and lane closures for construction – well, use your imagination and then make it even worse! I don’t envy those TTC drivers…trying to navigate a Flexity through that area looked like a seriously losing battle.
Steve: Yes, and on Caribana weekend too! The TTC was doing a stop replacement at Ontario Street. Service is back on King to Parliament today, then diverting around the King/Sumach project.