Several construction projects are in various states of beginning, underway and completion on the streetcar system. Here is a round-up of their current status.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos in this article are by the author.
Updated September 17, 2022: Photos of King/Sumach added.
KQQR and The Queensway
The intersection of King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles is now operating with its south leg (King Street) open to traffic and its north leg (Roncesvalles) closed. Although it is fenced off, the north leg has not yet been excavated.
Looking west on The Queensway across Roncesvalles
The eastbound lane arrangement is not yet in the final configuration because autos are driving on what will be a reserved streetcar lane. South (left) of the streetcar lane are three road lanes: one for left turns, one for through traffic and one for right turns.
Because these lanes are not yet complete further west, all of the traffic is sharing the streetcar lane right now. The photos in the next section at Glendale show excavations where the eastbound Queensway traffic will eventually drive separate from the car tracks.
When the intersection is finished, the through traffic will actually have to merge on the east side of the intersection with the streetcar lane at the eastbound farside stop. This should be “interesting” depending on signal timing for the streetcar and auto phases eastbound.
King Looking Northwest to Queen/Queensway
The new intersection geometry gives the streetcars a 90 degree approach in all directions rather than the former angled approach westbound. The streetcar here is a Queen car running in to service from Roncesvalles Carhouse. Only the south gate can be used for access to and from the carhouse now that Roncesvalles is blocked off.
The Queensway at Glendale
Work is not progressing very quickly at Glendale, the St. Joseph’s Hospital stop. In the eastbound view below, motorists are now using the streetcar right-of-way eastbound from Glendale rather than merging in further east.
Not much has changed since my last visit in this view looking west beyond some grading work in the remaining open segment between Glendale and Claude at the start of the existing right-of-way.
This is the view west from the south curb which has been in his condition for some time. Although the TTC stop is now marked at a short paved (sort of) stretch, buses actually stop further east so that their rear doors are not fouled by the traffic cones.
Here is the view east at the eastbound stop. In the distance, you can see the old merge point where traffic joined the streetcar right-of-way before construction of the new eastbound streetcar tracks at Glendale was completed.
Dundas West Station
The loop is once again open to TTC vehicles, although the 504 King route operates with buses due to construction at KQQR.
The platform for the 505 Dundas service has been realigned and extended so that two Flexitys can fit on it at the same time. Once streetcars return to 504 King, they likewise will serve the station with two stopping locations for unloading and loading.
Buses continue to serve the north side of the platform and are no longer picking up on Edna Avenue, although that has become a favourite layover spot.
King & Shaw
Although service diverts around this intersection, excavation of the streetcar tracks has not yet begun. There is also water main work to be completed before new track can be installed here.
Service diverts eastbound via Douro and Strachan, westbound via Strachan, East Liberty and Atlantic.
Charlotte Loop is still in operation despite the intention to close it for installation of new trackage on Adelaide. King cars routinely use the Spadina, Adelaide, Charlotte loop to short turn as shown below.
The remaining segment of Wellington east from Yonge to Church is nearing completion, with all of the new track installed. Note that the former eastbound track has not been removed yet. This will be done after traffic shifts north to the new roadway and the southern lanes can be rebuilt.
The overhead shot below shows how the street is reconfigured with a wider north sidewalk coming out to the track in places and short indents for laybys.
King & Sumach
Work continues at King and Sumach. The TTC’s target date for resumption of service here, including the 504A branch to Distillery Loop, is “late September” according to TTC Media Relations. I will update this article with photos when I get a chance to visit the site. My previous review was on September 2.
Update September 17, 2022:
Looking west on King across Sumach: the paving on King Street is substantially complete except for a top layer of asphalt in a few spots in the curb lane. The eastbound trailing switch is in the middle foreground.
In the closeup of the trailing point switch below, the quite different switch profile and mounting are evident. The intent is to reduce the “slap” when wheels pass over the switch.
Here is the westbound trailing point switch seen from the side with the same new arrangement as eastbound.
Looking east on King toward Sumach: the future location of a wheel greaser is in the eastbound track. The reservoir will be on the north sidewalk at the curb, but it has not yet been installed.
The traffic signal shows a white bar transit priority indication even there are no streetcars for blocks nearby.
Looking south on Sumach from King: installation of the new wheel greaser on the northbound track under the bridge is in progress.
Carlton & Church
Since my last report, more of the new track has been set in concrete and some work is now underway around the Hydro vault under the tracks. It is unclear when this problem will be resolved. Here is a view of the intersection from the City of Toronto traffic monitoring camera on the north east corner.
College from Bay to Bathurst
College Street will close on September 19 for replacement of streetcar track and other road reconfiguration activities. The segment-by-segment schedule is (as of September 16):
- Start at Spadina Avenue working east to St. George Street: September 19 to October
- Start at Spadina Avenue working west to Bathurst Street: September 20 to November
- Bathurst Street to Manning Avenue (work direction to be confirmed): October to December (only cycle track work)
- Start at University Avenue working west to St George Street: October to early November
- Start at Bay Street working west to University Avenue: November to December
Source: City of Toronto within the “Construction Map” tab.
Track is currently stored in the streetcar lanes west of Bathurst.