roncesvalles streetcar

Roncesvalles braces for more streetcar construction

Mention the words streetcar and construction to Roncesvalles residents and business owners, and you're likely to see their heads start to shake.

When the street was rebuilt in 2009 to replace aging public works infrastructure and streetcar tracks, the two-part process drew out so long that a number of businesses closed.

Given the frustration that accompanied that project, news that the TTC will have to alter some of the streetcar bump outs installed at the time has already been cause for some grumbling on the street.

"When the bump outs were built, there were rough specifications for the new streetcars," notes area Councillor Gord Perks. "The final specs for the boarding ramps weren't available. As it happened, their range of movement was narrower than first laid out."

That means that some of the bump outs need to be shaved down and some need to be built up. Or, if you prefer to be dramatic, the ghost of the earlier construction job still haunts the street.

But Perks and other community stakeholders like the Roncesvalles BIA are committed to making the next phase of construction a far less trying experience. Even if the work required is less drastic, efforts are being made to go about it in the most efficient manner possible.

In this case, timing is everything.

The intersection of Queen/King/Roncesvalles is due for reconstruction work, the bulk of which had been scheduled for spring and summer of this year. A delay in securing replacement track, however, meant that the project was recently pushed to 2019.

Rather than hastily proceeding with work to retrofit the bump outs, which will necessitate the removal of streetcars during construction, both projects will now be completed at the same time, as streetcar service will already be suspended for work on the intersection.

"We consulted with the community and made a promise to do both projects at the same time," Perks explains. "Staff believe they can get the bump out work done in the same period of time as work on the intersection."

The reconstruction of Queen/King/Roncesvalles was already on the books, so combining the two projects should significantly diminish the collective duration of work on the street.

Lead photo by

Brian Cameron


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