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TTC construction forces long closure of Queen & Leslie

Posted by Derek Flack / April 15, 2014

Queen Leslie constructionThose fancy new streetcars sure are nice, but the TTC needs somewhere to put them. Enter the Leslie Barns, a new car house being built at Lake Shore that will accommodate about half the fleet of new low-floor vehicles. As part of this project, the TTC has to install new tracks at Queen and Leslie streets, which will result in an extended closure of the intersection this spring. Between May 11 and June 21 (assuming everything goes according to plan) the corner that's home to The Duke and The Nose will only be passable if you're on foot or bike.

This will be a bit of a pain in the ass for motorists, who will have to jog up to Dundas before returning to Queen, but the real annoyance will be borne by streetcar riders. Heading east, the 501 car will divert to Gerrard St. via Broadview before returning south on Coxwell. That's a pretty big chunk of Queen St. that's going to lack streetcar service. Oh, and in case you live in the west end and think this doesn't affect you, do bear in mind that the 501 struggles with bunching as it is, and this detour isn't likely to help. It's just over a month, though. And those new streetcars really are nice.

Photo by Michael Kelly



iSkyscraper / April 15, 2014 at 09:44 am
When these kinds of projects happen it would be great if the city could collect some data.

Put GPS units in taxis and city vehicles, for example, and monitor traffic patterns and times along various streets during the blockage. Then pull similar data before or after the project. This would be helpful to have so that when something like closing Queen Street to private cars is considered, staff could say "such a closure would impact travel times on Dundas by X minutes and on King by Y minutes". Maybe it would be a disaster, or maybe traffic would show its elasticity and disappear. But in any case it would be much more useful to have hard data than the imagined hate crimes against cars that exists in the minds and mouths of Ford Nation when making policy decisions.

boom / April 15, 2014 at 10:18 am
Man this just made my life even better!!

Im at Dundas and Broadview and already have the pick of the litter between the many 504 and 505 cars.

Now add in all the 501s and i'll be riding dirty for well over a month!!!

Summer of George !
ames / April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am
I personally like the detour that the Jones bus is making. It kept me from having to wait for the 501 or walk to Carlaw in the cold.

James / April 15, 2014 at 10:22 am
Fortunately, according to the website there will be a replacement bus service along Queen, that travels around the Leslie intersection using Jones, Dundas and Greenwood.
Valentino Assenza / April 15, 2014 at 10:23 am
For anyone living east of Queen and Leslie on their way into work, I've done this diversion before, and I am really dreading ever doing this again. Multiply your commuting time by 2 it's really brutal. And for those like me east of Kingston Rd. We already deal with a 50/50 chance of the 501 short turning at Kingston and Queen, think about going through all that diversion, only for a driver to depart Connaught and get on his/her mic to tell you "Kingston Rd. will be the last stop for this car."

As a bigger guy, with the on set of warmer weather on the way, perhaps I should take this as a sign or cue to dig out my old bike from storage, dust it off, invest in a helmet and lock and invest in waterfront biking commutes to and fro. Something tells me those will be faster, and will motivate me to stay away from the salty snacks.
Valentino Assenza replying to a comment from James / April 15, 2014 at 10:29 am
James, the bus service sounds great, but depending on how much time there is into streetcar arrival intervals, by the time the 501 hits Coxwell there are already a substantial amount of people on a long 501 car. These same people get off and try to fit themselves into a bus. It's essentially a sardine can ride the rest of the way. The same applies even more so on the commute home. Totally understand this has to be done, but that will be a painful commuting month,
D!! / April 15, 2014 at 10:42 am
As long as this does not affect karaoke nights at The Duke, then everything else simply does not matter.

I implore each and everyone of you to check it out some night.
You'll thank me later.
tux replying to a comment from D!! / April 15, 2014 at 11:23 am
Charlie is the man.
Shannon / April 15, 2014 at 11:28 am
I need a vacation. faaaaak.
Deric / April 15, 2014 at 11:31 am
First I'll say that this doesn't really affect me much because I don't often take the 501 West of Broadview, but that is a HUGE (and fairly busy) chunk of Queen to have no streetcar service.

IMO the TTC should increase (drastically) bus routes travelling North and South on Carlaw, Jones, Greenwood to make the connections a little easier, in addition to having shuttle buses going along the normal Queen route (diverting at Leslie, to Eastern).
Timmy / April 15, 2014 at 11:43 am
Don't worry gang Olivia Chow has plans to move people through the city faster, and Kathleen Wynne is looking for any transit plans she can commit to spending money asap before we go to the polls...
Wes / April 15, 2014 at 11:50 am
Why divert to an already serviced route when you could run buses one block south of Queen along Eastern, a route that is currently only service by express buses during morning and afternoon rush hours. Seems like a no brainer to me.
Steven / April 15, 2014 at 11:58 am
New York City has no streetcars. People use subways for long trips then transfer to buses for shorter ones. Streetcars have been a pain (remember College?) and will continue to be a thorn until the city adds more subways.
David / April 15, 2014 at 11:58 am
I woner when when they are going to announce the work that will be done at Broadview and Queen that starts the end of June. The TTC planning department told me they are working to keep one lane open for traffic and buses, but they may have to divert buses north to Dundas, or down south as the entire intersection may have to be closed from time to time. I was told it could be as long as a month of headaches. That will really hit business in Riverside and Leslieville this summer.
ed replying to a comment from Steven / April 15, 2014 at 11:59 am
Except that we don't have the same density or population as NYC. Thanks for your comparison though. Bye!
BUSESBUSESBUSES / April 15, 2014 at 11:59 am
BUSES! BUSES! BUSES! Streetcars are so useless, expensive tracks, expensive wires, expensive power to power the things. Expensive vehicles that constantly break down and block traffic for miles...BUSES! BUSES! BUSES!

Bendy buses similar to the ones used by VIVA and ZOOM would hold just as many people as those streetcars and GASP! actually be able to pass a broken down vehicle, and would also NOT require building another place to park the things.

City should be investing in buses and RIPPING UP and start slowly phasing out ALL the streetcars. Above ground LRT's are one thing, but Streetcars are USELESS.

Davy Gravy replying to a comment from Timmy / April 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm
Actually, Timmy, Rob Ford is going to build a subway under Queen, completely paid for by our beloved private sector. Because he listens to the people.

Beachers want subways! Subways, subways, subways!
Deric replying to a comment from Wes / April 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm
The problem with that Wes, is that the current streetcars have to still go up Broadview to turn around. They only have the option to turn around at Parliament, or Broadview.

As much as I love streetcars - the only way they make sense is if they have dedicated lanes (i.e. Spadina and St. Clair) - otherwise, there is no benefit.
Wes replying to a comment from Deric / April 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm
Given the situation I am suggesting that there be no streetcars East of Leslie for the entire duration of construction. I travel downtown each morning along Queen from the East End before rush hour and this type of detour has tripled the length of my ride in the past. I cannot imagine how painful it must be during peak hours.
i dunno replying to a comment from Wes / April 15, 2014 at 01:11 pm
Its really not that bad.

Gerrard is a bit dicey around Pape, and can be a bit slow.
But the traffic on Queen East in the mornings pales in comparison to the west end.
steve replying to a comment from Timmy / April 15, 2014 at 01:16 pm
That's a good thing, they are looking after the people and providing them with the transit they need.
streetcars are awful / April 15, 2014 at 01:19 pm
I wonder what this will mean for the already awful 506 on Gerrard? Could it get any worse? Is that even possible?
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from Steven / April 15, 2014 at 01:26 pm
New York used to have many streetcars; some wish it still had them.

They are great for what they do, though of course no equivalent to subways for long distance travel. You'll be dead for 200 years before Queen finally gets a subway, so best to focus on the transit we have.

And if in doing so you think we should abandon our biggest investment in favour of buses, at a time when smart cities are doing the opposite, you're misinformed and I have no time for you.
local replying to a comment from boom / April 15, 2014 at 01:30 pm
Hahahahaha! Nice.
Bicknell Rogers replying to a comment from BUSESBUSESBUSES / April 15, 2014 at 01:40 pm
"and would also NOT require building another place to park the things."

Ummm, where exactly would you put them all then? If you replaced the 250 streetcars with 400 buses you'd still need to build two new garages and you couldn't use the existing streetcar yards. Get out your cheque book.

More buses = more drivers, more cost.
bike much? / April 15, 2014 at 01:53 pm
thank god bike season is here. I feel bad for seniors but to the rest of you it really is time to consider invest in a bike.
Queen and Broadview / April 15, 2014 at 03:03 pm
As soon as Queen and Leslie is finished, Queen and Broadview is next.
Eastern Closed Too replying to a comment from Wes / April 15, 2014 at 03:05 pm
Because Eastern and Leslie will be closed too - the tracks go south.
WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE replying to a comment from bike much? / April 15, 2014 at 03:34 pm
B-b-but my CAR!
Streetcars suck / April 15, 2014 at 04:17 pm
Metrolinx should be fired! Why buy new streetcars, build a new Streetcar barn, put all new tracks on Kingston Rd and Leslie etc. How many times was there a problem with the streetcars, go train and Scarborough LT this winter?
This is not California or San Fran. This winter should set an example to our Politian's underground transit is the way to go. But of course NO ONE wants to pay for it out of there budget!
Tom Kane / April 15, 2014 at 05:52 pm
Let's see. 1 month-10 days (okay probably a bit more more). Result: new and improved trackwork and foundation. Probably new cars on Queen. Lighter cars, in fact, compared to our Swiss-designed veterans.

On Roncesvalles we had 3 years of disruption, as the city and the TTC replaced everything - sewer and water lines, track, and overhead streetcar power. So, no watermain breaks, tracks and foundation and overheads ready for the new cars

BTW,probably another photo project (I made the Roncey renewal a 3-year project.) I hope the contractors and the TTC won't get too upset with me, and whoever joins me. It can be a great project for a photog.

West end / April 15, 2014 at 06:50 pm
Ugh! Welcome to the club, East side.
- West side
Warren replying to a comment from BUSESBUSESBUSES / April 15, 2014 at 06:53 pm
Here here!
Spike replying to a comment from Streetcars suck / April 15, 2014 at 07:24 pm
Aww, poor baby, did fate decide to kick you in the shins? Rest assured, this won't be as disruptive as you think it would be; you'll survive. Besides, if worse to to worse, you can always move to North York or Scarborough.
felicity thistle replying to a comment from Tom Kane / April 15, 2014 at 08:25 pm
Dammit. Leslie has already been disrupted for months, they've already diverted the Jones bus that used to run up it, now this, and who knows how long this will go on. Any disruption of the Queen car causes major inconvenience for those of us in the east end who are totally reliant on transit. For all of us who live right around Queen and Leslie this is gonna be a long summer.
Tom Kane / April 15, 2014 at 09:05 pm
Please do not think that I do not know about disruption, or lack sympathy for you. My point is that we had nearly 3 years of this, and still came out ahead.

T. M. Kane
Bob replying to a comment from BUSESBUSESBUSES / April 15, 2014 at 09:26 pm
Buses Buses Buses... Well, Toronto will need two new bus garages to maintain new 400-500 buses. Buses aren't as comfortable when your standing while those bendy buses will have to bend around traffic to avoid taxis, bikers, cops and illegally parked cars. Bendy buses will still block traffic if they don't have enough space to pull into a stop. Visit Dufferin and you'll see what I mean. It's all about cars avoiding those new buses.
Jefferson / April 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm
Boo friggity hoo. Instead of getting to work in 20minutes it may now take leslievillians 30 minutes. Try commuting from pickering into downtown and then you can complain
Question? replying to a comment from Jefferson / April 16, 2014 at 09:49 am
Who in their right mind would choose to live in Pickering...
Collateral damage / April 18, 2014 at 09:21 am
This closure has resulted in the closing of my business which is located west of Leslie before Jones. We have been in this location for 9 years this June. There is no consideration given to the local community...we are just collateral damage.
Joe Average replying to a comment from Jefferson / May 1, 2014 at 07:00 pm
Grow up. What is happening in Leslieville is the same thing that decimated St. Clair and Roncesvalle. You moved out of the city what did you expect as far a commute times!
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