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.
So in the “Looking west on The Queensway across Roncesvalles” photo, vehicles are on the reserved streetcar lane because there is concrete, not grass, on the right-of-way. Again the all-mighty automobile comes first.
Wonder if the “transit priority” traffic signals will still put the single-occupant automobile above the 70+ people onboard the streetcar?
Steve: No. The autos are on the streetcar lane because the rest of the roadway west of that shot has not been completed, as is shown in the photos taken at Glendale. I will clarify that in the article.
As for TSP, yes there are a few left turns across the streetcar right-of-way in the finished design where autos will go first.
I hope there is a plan to reinstall barriers on that new 505 platform to prevent passengers from crossing the 504 tracks everywhere.
Steve: It would appear not. I think that all the barriers we are going to see are there already. It’s quite a contrast to Broadview Station where access to the 505 Dundas platform is confined to a few locations.
This is really helpful. Thank you.
Have the platform heights along Roncesvalles Avenue been adjusted yet? I think the tracks along Roncesvalles were last replaced by 2010.
Since the Charlotte Loop is still operational, are 503 streetcars using it, or are they still going to Wolseley?
It seems that 501 Queen could be extended today to Roncesvalles by looping streetcars around the carhouse using the south gate; same for 504 King?
Steve: The platform heights are a work in progress, although this has probably been delayed to avoid interference with the street fair on Roncesvalles this weekend (Sept 17-18).
The 503s are going to Wolseley. At some point Charlotte Loop will close, but it is not clear exactly when because, like so many construction projects, it is not starting at the originally announced time.
As for service to Roncesvalles, when the schedules were drawn up for September, it was not certain that the work on The Queensway would be completed to the point that a carhouse loop would be possible. I believe that 501 service to Roncesvalles will begin on Thanksgiving weekend, but the TTC has not announced the October schedule changes yet. King will not be extended because Sunnyside Loop is not ready to take Queen cars and thereby avoid overloading Ronces with looping 501 and 504 cars. These changes are planned almost three months in advance using then available info and a strong dash of skepticism about construction schedules.
Looking at the Wellington photo, the streetcar stop at Yonge St looks like it’s going to be flush with the road, and not a raised platform, as done on Roncesvalles and the nearby new stops on Queen and on Dundas. Any idea on why this was done? Seems to me it would have been better to have a raised platform, especially considering it’s already a raised curb going east.
Steve: I think it’s a trick of perspective because the sidewalk should be above pavement level for the ramp to work properly. You can see the height of the curb in the background of the shot.
Pity they did not pour red coloured concrete on the approach to the right-of-way on Sumach. I do see private autos in there from time to time and sometimes they need a hint. Besides the new wheel greasers and new switch design, has the track geometry of the junction changed at all?
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was just there and it seems that the whole ramp (with the yellow tactile strip) slopes down to the road surface.
Steve Munro, just shut up about the name calling about operators.
How would you like it if someone called you a flaming idiot. Stay off @TTChelps permenantly.
Steve: The operator in question deserved to be called out for taking an extended break after which they left the station and bypassed riders waiting at a stop. We banged on the side of the car to no avail. There are some rotten apples out there. Note that I cited them by car number. They know who they are.
I very rarely call out someone for operations, but have big problems with TTC Comms and management. You style yourself as “Transit operators of Ontario”, but I am willing to bet that you speak for nobody. Global News wrote you up back in 2018.
By the way, I have been called a lot worse.
I am amused that you posted under a different guise, but from the same IP address in the immediately preceding comment on this site, albeit in another thread.
And your Twitter handle is suspended for violating Twitter rules.
As for @TTCHelps, the online complaint form is difficult to use and generates only an automated response but no action. I wanted what happened to be visible, and it didn’t take long for others to chime in “me too”.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Do you know if streetcars will detour on Bay again?
Google maps implied its still going on but I noticed the construction pictured is going on at Carlton and the stop says out of use.
Steve: Whenever the construction at Church finishes, the diversion should change to Bay-Dundas-Ossington.
Hey Steve, we’re fairly new the Park Lawn/Lakeshore area and have been trying to figure out when the Queen Streetcar will start operating in that area again. We noted they cleared the area West of Park Lawn but its still just bus service.
Thanks for the info/insight.
Steve: My guess is January. The real problem is that construction on The Queensway west of Ronces seems to be taking forever thanks to utility work along the south side of the street. The TTC plans conservatively about service restorations in case they get caught by delays. Schedule changes for late November will already be frozen, and so the next major change would be at New Year’s.
There’s only one more day left in September and Sumach has yet to re-open.
503 and 504B streetcars returned to the closed off section of King on this past Friday. Now the question I have is why has Queens Quay been shutdown for streetcars for all of this week? There was a Twitter notice yesterday about some “operational problem” but the TTC site helpfully only talks about a bus replacement with no other details. Something wrong with the track? Tunnel? TTC at its best again.
The 510 is currently using Charlotte loop to turn around so that piece of track is obviously still fully operational.
Steve: The schedules were written on the assumption that it would not be available. As you can imagine, with the two month lead time on scheduling, the crystal ball can be rather cloudy, especially this year. Diversions and short turns take advantage of the track, but there is no scheduled service. At this point it is not clear exactly when the new special work will be installed at Adelaide and Charlotte requiring that the loop be closed.
Not all hope is lost. I spotted one of those mobile electronic sign boards last week at King and Bay displaying a construction notice on Adelaide from Spadina to Victoria and to expect delays. This is presumably for the expected track construction.
Will South Etobicoke ever see a streetcar again? The work at St. Joes on the Queensway & King/Queen/Roncy will never end. Construction for life! What a debacle of a project since day one. What are we on now? Year 3 of this project?
Steve: Early in 2023, but a lot depends on actually finishing the work between Sunnyside Loop and Glendale before the snows arrive.