TTC Track Construction Update November 3, 2022

Various track construction projects continue into November, but there are signs of progress at some locations.

Updated November 6, 2022 at Noon: Photos of the current state of the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles project added.

College/Carlton Reconstruction and Diversion

Effective November 2, the intersection of Carlton and Church reopened for streetcars after a long delaty. This had been caused by an unexpected hydro vault under the intersection that conflicted with the new, deeper foundation that is placed under streetcar track.

The 506 Carlton service now operates on the originally planned Dundas Street diversion from Bay to Ossington while College Street is under construction. Here is the updated diversion map from the TTC’s Service Advisory.

The replacement 506C bus continues to operate via Harbord and Hoskin from University to Ossington, and via Gerrard from University to Parliament.

This configuration is expected to last to the end of 2022.

Track reconstruction has shifted east into its second phase between St. George and Bay Streets. Here is a view west on College from University showing the track structure with the old rails removed. The steel ties and attachment points for Pandrol clips are ready to receive new rails.

The City of Toronto’s project webpage contains more information about this status and details of the planned road reconfiguration.

King & Shaw

Construction continues at King and Shaw, but should be finished in time for service restoration on 504 King and 63 Ossington for the next schedule period on November 22. This has not yet been confirmed.

The service alert on the TTC’s website shows the correct routing for 504 services in the west end, but still includes the Queen/Parliament diversion to the east which ended a few weeks ago.

Queen & Carroll

Stop rail replacement on Queen east of the Don Bridge will occur over the weekend of November 4-7. 501 Queen and 504B King/Broadview Station services will divert via Parliament, Dundas and Broadview as shown below.

Although the map does not show this, the 504A King/Distillery service will continue to run on its normal route.

Wellington Street

Installation of new overhead is underway on Wellington, and the 503 Kingston Road car is supposed to resume its loop via Church, Wellington and York with the November 22 schedule changes. This has not yet been confirmed.

Adelaide Street

Track construction has begun on Adelaide Street to restore the link between Spadina and Victoria that has been inactive and unusable for decades. This will provide the eastbound diversion from York to Church for 501 Queen service during Ontario Line construction at Queen & Yonge. The track west to Spadina was included in the project as it will be useful for other diversions including the 504 King car during the film festival which typically closes King Street from Simcoe to west of John.

The construction work will occur in phases as described in the City of Toronto’s project page.

Phase 1A runs east from York to Victoria. This involves the replacement of an old watermain, work that is necessary before the tracks can be rebuilt. This is now in progress.

Phase 1B runs west from York to Simcoe. This is the first phase of track replacement. Initially only the eastbound track area will be excavated. The westbound track will be removed later.

Phase 2 will begin after phase 1B completes. It runs west from Simcoe to Widmer, and is expected to begin on November 7 subject to completion of work further east.

Phase 3 will begin after phase 2 completes. It runs west from Widmer to Charlotte where it will connect with existing track.

Once all of this work is finished, phase 4 will see the pavement marked for a revised configuration with the bicycle track relocated to the north curb lane from Bathurst to Parliament.

In 2023, a separate project will see new southbound track installed on York between Queen and Adelaide, and installation of new track from York to Victoria. The date for this work has not yet been announced.

In the map below, a shared lane is shown on the south side of Adelaide through the construction zone. The lane is actually on the north side of the street, at least as of November 2.

Adelaide Street looking east (on the left) and west (on the right) at University.

Here is a view looking west on Adelaide on July 1, 1967, west of Simcoe. The neighbourhood has changed quite a bit in 55 years.

King/Queen/Queensway/Roncesvalles

Due to persistent fog, I have not visited KQQR but plan to do so soon. I will update this article with the current status and photos in the next few days.

Updated November 6, 2022 at Noon

Here is a gallery showing the current state of the KQQR project.

The watermain reconstruction on Roncesvalles north of Queen completed recently. Concrete around the old track at the north gate has been broken up in preparation for removal of the special work.

At the Glendale stop (St. Joseph’s Hospital) formwork is in place for the new eastbound platform, but buses are still stopping beside an unmaintained dirt area on the south side of the street.

The walkway across the tracks to the eastbound stop has been repaired since my visit a few weeks ago and the handrail is now in place on the full length of both sides.

The new curb along the south side of The Queensway is progressing slowly.

Work at Sunnyside Loop was delayed for construction of a Bell Canada manhole on the south side of The Queensway, but poles required to string the new loop overhead are not yet installed.

According to the most recent construction update from the City, the TTC is considering changing the route of the 504C replacement bus to provide some service on Roncesvalles south of Howard Park, but nothing has been decided yet.

19 thoughts on “TTC Track Construction Update November 3, 2022

  1. Though the track on Wellington is complete, the street itself is a mess and the rebuild is far from complete – I STRONGLY doubt that, even if the TTC put up the overhead, the 503 will be seen there for several months. Interestingly (to me anyway) they have removed ALL the overhead from Wellington west of Yonge and York south of King though it was not put up long ago. I will not be surprised if they now decide the poles on Wellington WEST of Yonge are too old/weak and that they need new poles there too.

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  2. Oh the 501, 504B, and the 505 all trying to pass through that Parliament and Dundas intersection will be quite a sight. A signal was installed many many years ago for westbound Dundas capable of showing the advance left turn arrow to go south on Parliament, but as far as I can tell it has never been setup to turn on at any time. It sure would be helpful for a situation like this, but the default approach in the City is do nothing and learn nothing.

    Steve: Yes, whenever we hear talk of transit priority, it is always for standard, everyday routes, but the many short turns and diversions, which need all the help they can get, go ignored. I am tired of suggesting/asking/pleading for this sort of thing. The absence of such provisions shows what this town really thinks about the place of transit.

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  3. On the old image … OK, wow, a brand new ’67 Camaro (’68s wouldn’t be out in July) *and* a B/A station. Do #TheKidsToday even know what brand B/A stations became a year or two later? Likely not (and, for that matter, there are not many of the latter left south of the Medicine Line outside the northeastern states).

    But what really caught my attention was that this appears to be a one-way street for motor vehicles with two tracks. Was car service bi-directional? How did that work??

    Steve: The westbound track was left over from the days before the one-way street system. It was used by the Bathurst car which originally ran east on Adelaide looping via Church, Richmond and Victoria then west via Adelaide to Bathurst. With the one-way street, the westbound direction was changed to King Street. Note also that the track is in paving setts. It was rebuilt (!) in concrete including the wrong-way track on a “just in case” basis similar to the situation on Richmond, Wellington and York. Many condo and office construction jobs over the years required “temporary” rail removal, and there hasn’t been a continuous track eastbound for decades. There was a switch at Charlotte Street originally, but I doubt any car actually operated over Adelaide after Charlotte Loop was active.

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  4. When will track construction at KQQR be completed? For now, the western portion of the “501 Queen” route will operate with shuttle buses, between Dufferin Street (and eventually Roncesvalles) and the Long Branch loop. When are streetcars expected to return to this portion of “501 Queen”?

    There will be a delivery of 60 or more Flexity Outlook streetcars from Alstom (formerly Bombardier) at some time next year.

    Steve: There is no announced date yet for completion of KQQR and The Queensway west to Parkside Drive, but it’s supposed to be the end of 2022. I will believe this when I see it.

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  5. That eastbound A11 is signed up for NEVILLE QUEEN, so a diversion?

    I can report that at Kipling/Lake Shore, all four curves now have panto-friendly overhead. Also, the tail tracks are totally gone. I don’t think I saw any overhead signs showing “SR” or “NA”, assuming they still use those.

    Steve: Yes, this was a diversion around City Hall for Canada Day in the centennial year, 1967.

    There are no longer SR switches, only NA’s. Given the light use of Kipling Loop I expect these will stay manual even though boxes for electric switch machines were installed. This is standard at all new intersections now.

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  6. Steve: Due to persistent fog, I have not visited KQQR but plan to do so soon. I will update this article with the current status and photos in the next few days.

    You lazy ASS good for nothing rascal, we now have to wait for the fog to settle in order to get you to do your job. Everyone else can do their job in the fog and so why can’t you? The construction workers can continue to do their job throughout the fog and you can’t even photograph them, you lazy ASS good for nothing rascal.

    Steve: Ah yes, the Scarborough Troll is heard from again. Most of their comments don’t get published, but I thought I would let this through. First of all, giving you photos of anything, indeed providing this blog, is not my “job” but something I do free and gratis. If you were out in the fog, you would know that at locations close to the lake visibility was very poor and you would see nothing but the mist, not the workers who, by the way, have been noticeably absent on most of my visits to that project.

    Now crawl back under your rock.

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  7. Interestingly the stretch of Adelaide between Bay and Yonge was among the very first (maybe the first?) to be rebuilt with the steel ties back in the summer of 1995. As far as I know only one streetcar has ever run on that track, a car that was backed from Victoria to York to film a beer commercial. Unfortunately that track got cut up for work on the Bay-Adelaide Centre.

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  8. Steve: I am tired of suggesting/asking/pleading for this sort of thing.

    Well, then you should vote for change when the Liberal-NDP coalition government topples.

    Steve: You are such a hopeless idiot. The federal NDP/Liberal coalition has nothing to do with traffic signals in Toronto. As for “voting for change”, it is my hope that PP never, ever becomes Prime Minister. He is an arrogant little toad whose thinly veiled support for the trucker blockades makes him utterly unfit for office.

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  9. Thanks for the track construction update. I wonder what’s up with the conversion to pan friendly overhead?
    It seems the TTC is hoping for an APTA Award for longest overhead conversion.

    Steve: There is actually not a lot left to do. Queen has been waiting for the KQQR project to finish. The new overhead at that intersection and to the west is/will be pan friendly. Kingston Road has yet to be converted and there are a few odd bits of overhead to do, but most routes are running on pans today. Yes, it is taking a very long time, far longer than was originally planned. I suspect that it is work done in the overhead crew’s spare time, not as a dedicated project.

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  10. 503 Kingston Road car will be bustitution for at least the next 2 board periods.

    Steve: I will be intrigued to hear why this is “necessary” when the service memo for November comes out.

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  11. Do you think streetcars will get back on Roncys this year? The current 504 is not really very useful to many people and I have no doubt that users of the 501 are even more inconvenienced.

    The latest (official) news on Wellington is that street work will finish by 19 December – we shall see. They seem to usually only have a few folk working and still have most of the (less complicated) south side of the street to do.

    Steve: My bet is the new year, January maybe. Now that they are about to do the track replacement, the North Gate area should be open again in about 6 weeks based on the usual timeframe for this sort of thing. Of course then they have to put the overhead back up. If we’re lucky they will schedule the line as if it went to Dundas West and operate it to Sunnyside if need be. If we’re not lucky, well, at least the 504C will be back to a simpler route.

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  12. According to the most recent construction update from the City, the TTC is considering changing the route of the 504C replacement bus to provide some service on Roncesvalles south of Howard Park, but nothing has been decided yet.

    The phrasing in the email I received is “Concerns have been raised regarding the lack of service on Roncesvalles Avenue. The TTC is reviewing this concern and will provide an update once it is available.” which I take to mean “we know it sucks but we can’t do anything”.

    I struggle to see much that they could realistically do until at least the north gate of the yard reopens. Maybe they could move the detour route south to High Park Boulevard, but it’s narrow by bus standards. All the other streets are even narrower, and we know temporarily removing residential street parking to make them wider won’t happen in Toronto. Last year, when the 504R was looping around the yard entering via north gate, they occasionally had it do a three-point-turn at the gate with a supervisor supervising, but it seems like a stretch to do that full-time. Other than that, maybe run a shuttle up and down Roncesvalles using the small Wheel-Trans vans for which three-point-turns might be more realistic, but that would be a brand new way of running bus service so I doubt that would happen.

    Steve: I was trying to be a tad more generous in my intepretation of that sentence than you were 😉

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  13. Is the track construction on College from St George to Bathurst finished, is the street open?

    Steve: Track, not quite. Street, only on a limited basis. They still have to do the curb lanes to create a new bike lane. Of course track eastwards from St. George to Bay has only just started.

    During the Ontario Line construction, will the 501 westbound divert via Richmond St? If so, then is any track construction ongoing or planned or the tracks are already there by now?

    Steve: Unless you have not been reading this site for the past year, you would know that the westbound diversion is via Richmond, and yes the track is already in place for this.

    You stated that overhead (electrical) work is currently underway but is the track construction on Wellington complete?

    Steve: Yes. For some reason the overhead has been removed all the way to King and York. I don’t know what is planned to replace it. We shall see in due course.

    Do you know the last day of operation for the Scarborough RT? I know that it is sometime in 2023.

    Steve: Tentatively with the October or November schedule change which would put it either at Thanksgiving weekend, or late November. The exact date has not been announced. Don’t forget that they still have to get through whatever this winter throws at the SRT.

    Any update on the Queens Quay streetcar project east of Bay St? How will this impact Union Station?

    Steve: A report is to come to Council in the new year. I suspect that the first work to be done will be the Cherry connection south to Villiers Island. The Bay Street tunnel will close for some years (TBA) for major rework of Union Station Loop. There is a good chance you will see through east-west service on Queens Quay linking to Cherry Street before you will see cars back at Union. Funding is a big issue for this project.

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  14. Hi Steve

    I am curious, has any thought been given to extending the new south bound track on York down to King? I think that it would give some extra diversion flexibility for both King and Queen services. While I’m dreaming in colour, it would be nice to get an east to north curve in at King and York.

    Steve: For some reason, although that seems obvious, it’s not part of the plan. Also York will remain one-way northbound south of Adelaide. As for a curve at King, the street is to be rebuild in the next few years. It’s an obvious addition which the TTC has almost certainly forgotten to include. Equally nice would be an east to north at Adelaide.

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  15. The costly and time consuming task to rebuild Union Station loop to add service east of Bay Street along Queens Quay could easily be avoided. Eliminate the loop!

    Lay new track along the surface of Bay Street between QQE and Front Street West and westward to Spadina thence southward creating a “loop” in both directions.

    Steve: Are you aware that Bay Street is extremely congested between Queens Quay and Front, and that Front is substantially a pedestrian mall between Bay and York?

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  16. Is the 504B streetcar back to Broadview station after some weekend work on Queen St East?

    Steve: Yes. It was back on Monday morning.

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  17. I was walking along College near Bay and noticed that every 5th tie was visible, having had the concrete taken off right down to the metal. I’m assuming it’s so they can do some kind of inspection, but I can’t recall ever having seen it before. Any insights into the purpose of this? Thanks!

    Steve: I don’t know, but throw the question out to readers who might know what’s going on here.

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