toronto construction

Toronto is closing down parts of Bathurst St. for the rest of the year for construction

The city has been taking advantage of the newly-quiet streets to get more roadwork done, and it just announced that it will continue push ahead on a number of construction projects that have been in waiting.

The volume of traffic in Toronto has apparently fallen a staggering 45 to 65 per cent amid the pandemic, according to a press release, so "work will be accelerated on as many important projects as possible."

The latest areas that will be revitalized include the Gardiner Expressway's eastbound on-ramp at Jarvis Street — which will be closed from May 18 until sometime in 2021 as part of the roadway's contentious ongoing rehabilitation — as well as some watermain and TTC track replacements at Richmond and Church Streets, which will necessitate a full intersection closure for the month of June.

One of the biggest and most central projects is actually three-in-one, taking place along Bathurst Street between Dundas Street West and Fort York Boulevard. They are slated take the remainder of the year to complete.

The work will mean the complete closure of Bathurst to cars, streetcars and cyclists along the Bathurst Street Bridge between Front Street West and Fort York, starting on May 25 and spanning all the way to the end of December 2020 as the north-south thoroughfare's TTC tracks are replaced. 

Only one sidewalk will be available for pedestrians to navigate through the worksite.

Along with the tracks in that segment of the roadway, the tracks between Wolseley (the side street just north of Queen) and Dundas Streets will also be replaced — which will happen between September and October —  while a 144-year-old watermain between Front and Queen is removed and replaced as well.

The ambitious Bathurst facelift is being tackled all at once in an attempt to avoid long-term and repeated disruption to the neighbourhood over multiple years, which is certainly prudent and appreciated, but will unfortunately mean that an integral downtown portion of the street will be rendered unusable for months.

As Mayor John Tory has said, though, there is no time like the present lockdown to move forward with such projects: "We are doing everything we can as a municipal government to speed up as much road construction as we can right now so that our infrastructure is upgraded and ready for the restart and recovery process."

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