King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles Update: November 26, 2022

The KQQR project is heading into the home stretch with work now underway on the North Gate to Roncesvalles Carhouse, and roadway construction and paving on The Queensway west to Parkside Drive. Alas, there is no announced completion date.

At the North Gate, recently completed utility work allows the area to be excavated in preparation for the new special work. This track has not yet been rebuilt to current standards (a program that will take years to complete as the cycle time is 20-30 years) with a concrete foundation, pre-welded track mounted on panels, and a top layer of concrete that can be removed for repairs without disturbing the two layers below.

The new track panels are sitting on trailers on King Street east of Roncesvalles awaiting installation.

Meanwhile there is some preliminary work on new overhead leading north into this area, but the main installation cannot occur until the new track is in place and overhead trucks can drive under the new wire.

On The Queensway itself, overhead has begun to take shape at Sunnyside Loop, but it is still not operational. This leaves the 501 Queen service turning back at Dufferin Street.

On King Street east from The Queensway, conversion of overhead suspension to pantograph compliance has finally started. This area and Kingston Road are the last two major areas to be converted.

Along the south side of The Queensway, much of the new curb is now in place and concrete for the new curb lane will likely appear soon, weather permitting. At Glendale eastbound (St. Joseph’s Hospital) the bus stop is even more rudimentary than on previous visits. Passengers wait in the temporary crossing area (which is now at least concrete rather than a wooden bridge), and then move across the traffic lane to board a bus when it arrives.

Between Claude and Parkside (the easternmost part of the existing streetcar right-of-way) excavation is in progress to remove old track and wooden ties in anticipation of completing the new trackwork between Glendale and Parkside.

14 thoughts on “King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles Update: November 26, 2022

  1. Thanks for this latest, and informative-as-usual post.
    One correction, I believe you are referring to St Joseph’s Hospital not St Michael’s.
    Best regards,
    Laurie

    Steve: You are correct. I will fix the text. Thanks for catching that.

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  2. The detour of the 504 (now buses) is probably the strangest detour seen of late. Parkside & Lakeshore do not work well for Roncesvalles accessability. Return to normal (servicing all of Roncesvalles) from Dundas West station is scheduled for December 31 according to messaging sent – target date compliance has been abysmal on entire project. Wondering if there’s a chance they can complete on time or perhaps maybe even hit the target before the end of December and open the regular routing to Dundas West earlier as a holiday show of goodwill. Seems every time I walk by construction patch areas workers are having the McDonalds (Queensway/Roncesvalles location) coffee break run.

    Thanks Steve for your continued awesome reporting!!!

    Steve: You’re welcome!

    Given that they excavation is almost ready for the foundation concrete pour, I would expect the new track to be installed starting late this coming week or so (Dec 3 onward). It takes about a week to assemble things, and then they have to pour the top layer of concrete. Effectively this means that best case there would not be a road for buses to travel on until mid-December, but I would hope that they could bring back bus service before Christmas.

    As for the work crews, I don’t get out to KQQR as often as someone who lives there, but what I have seen is a badly co-ordinated, piecemeal approach to various components of the work. I am not surprised that people are standing around with nothing to do. There are two many fingers in this pie to assign blame, but as a general observation the decision to reconfigure the intersection and do major utility work at the same time added many variables. Stir in covid delays and problems with ancient utilities not being where they were expected, and it has been a shambles.

    Sadly it’s seen as a “TTC screwup” when there are many parties involved.

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  3. Interesting to include Copernicus Lodge (looking north on Roncesvalles to Harvard). It was the location of the old, old TRC carhouse. The new old Roncesvalles carhouse is an amalgamation of the old, old Roncesvalles and old Dundas (at Howard Park) carhouses.

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  4. “general observation the decision to reconfigure the intersection and do major utility work at the same time added many variables.”

    Seems like this has happened over and over. The St. Clair ROW, the Queens Quay reconstruction and now this intersection. In each case the primary source of delays is Toronto Hydro. If only the City of Toronto has some kind of control over them…

    Steve: Don’t forget Wellington Street in this list!

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  5. All this work has been going on for years. For someone like myself that is handicap it’s hard to walk around all this work.

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  6. The construction on the tracks at King–Queensway-Queen-Roncesvalles is now in its homestretch, or final phase. Still, a substantial portion of the “504 King” (King & Bathurst to Dunds West subway station) and “501 Queen” (Dufferin & Queen to the Long Branch loop) routes continue to operate with shuttle buses along as needed.

    When will streetcars eventually return to the western portions of the King and Queen routes?

    Steve: The TTC has not announced dates for this, only vague “early 2023”. I think King to Dundas West should come back fairly soon, maybe at the new year as the track will be in on Roncesvalles in a few weeks, and overhead work is already in progress. I doubt that The Queensway will be finished enough for January, but maybe mid-February. A lot depends on the weather.

    Remember that the service plans are drawn up a few months before they take effect, and it from that vantage point in time that the TTC has to decide whether to schedule a return to service.

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  7. Any news on the loading platforms along Roncesvalles? I hadn’t see that any work started last time I was in the area. IIRC, they were waiting until now was to take advantage of the north gate closure as buses wouldn’t be loading on the street leaving less disruption from the work.

    Steve: Given that the buses have not been stopping south of Howard Park for ages, I have to wonder why it’s taken so long to start on the loading islands, but they do have a month to get it done. The amount of work per island is small.

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  8. I go past this site frequently. There is is just not enough bodies on it and I just don’t understand the lack of urgency. This intersection has been down far too long. It’s just a mini Union Station screw up at this point.

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  9. yes, but when will it be done?

    Steve: When I know something definite, I will report it, but I am in not position to guess beyond the crystal ball gazing I have done already.

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  10. I have to go to St. Joseph’s Health Centre on Tuesday. Luckily (?) I know that the 504C bus will take me to Glendale Avenue on The Queensway from the Dundas West Station. But the TTC website does not show a map for that on 504 streetcar (had to Google search for one). The current website map shows the old 504 route, when it should be showing the diversions.

    However, I will be giving myself an extra 30 minutes, in case of customer and operational problems that the management has or will not rectify.

    Steve: You also need to know that the eastbound stop on The Queensway at Glendale is no longer in service due to construction. You have to ride the 504C east to Roncesvalles, then walk from the farside stop on King up to the westbound stop on Queen and wait for a 501L westbound which will drop you at the westbound Glendale stop. A westbound 504C will do the same if it shows up, but its stop is east of the intersection and it’s impractical to wait on the corner for whichever one shows up first unless you’re a fast runner.

    I have alerted @ttchelps to the problem that, as commonly occurs, the service notice for the 504 diversion is not linked from the 504 schedule page, only the notice about the pending reopening of King & Shaw. This kind of thing happens all the time on the TTC’s site, and it puts the lie to their supposed customer focus.

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  11. The alternative would be to take the 80 QUEENSWAY bus from Keele Station and get off at Garden Avenue or The Queensway. Except I’ll have to use the traffic signals located at Spring Road to cross over “safely” to get to St. Joseph’s. There are no signals at the Queensway underpass entrance to the streetcar right-of-way.

    Ah, for the days before The Queensway and when Parkside Drive and Indian Road met at a fork before the railway underpass. It bugs me that to build the Parkside Drive to Ellis Drive section of The Queensway, the Metro government bought 7.3 hectares (18 acres) of High Park from the city. This was in contravention of stipulations by original High Park owner John Howard that the lands be used for parkland only. Metro officials searched for descendants of Howard to obtain their consent. All for the almighty automobile. Little regard for the pedestrian in the 1950’s, and still happening now.

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  12. Hot off the press! Delay to ‘spring 2023’. Such a failure – that so many saw when this project launched.

    Steve: This project, even without covid complications, has been an example of what happens when the City tries to do too much in one project and depends on the timely participation of multiple players some of who, like Hydro, are notorious for screwing up project timelines. TTC takes it in the neck for what is seen as a track project screwup when, in fact, purely track projects elsewhere in the city have run on time or early.

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