lake shore east detour

Toronto planning massive series of detours for cyclists that will last 3 years

Toronto cyclists who frequent the Lake Shore Boulevard East Trail and the Lower Don Trail will soon have to face a number of years-long detours thanks to a host of construction projects set to begin in and around the area.

A new report set to go before the Infrastructure and Environment Committee on July 5 states that construction for five different upcoming projects will require the closure of parts of these multiuse trails from Sept. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2024.

The projects, planned by Waterfront Toronto, include the removal of the Gardiner East access ramps at Logan Avenue, reconstruction of the Lower Don River Bridge, and temporary closure of Don Roadway from Lake Shore Boulevard East and Villiers Street.

The reconfiguration of Lake Shore Boulevard East from Don Roadway and Carlaw Avenue will also be completed during this time, as will the construction of the Sediment and Debris Management Area (SDMA) adjacent to the Lower Don Trail.

According to Transportation Services, construction staging operations for these projects will require the closure of the multiuse trail on the north boulevard of Lake Shore Boulevard East between Don Roadway and Carlaw Avenue.

"The removal of the Lake Shore Don River Bridge and closure of Don Roadway will effectively close the Lake Shore Boulevard East Trail at Don Roadway, resulting in a 'dead-end' for trail users," reads the report.

"In addition, the proposed construction staging areas will require the closure of the south sidewalk on Lake Shore Boulevard East, from Don Roadway to Logan Avenue."

The Lower Don Trail will also be closed south of Corktown Common from November 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023 in order to facilitate the construction of the SDMA. 

"In order to safely detour people cycling around the construction staging areas, new cycling infrastructure detours are recommended," reads the report.

Transportation Services is therefore proposing to install temporary cycling infrastructure on four roadways to provide detours to these closures for a period of up to 40 months:

  • Cherry Street (bicycle lanes / cycle tracks, Ward 10)
  • Villiers Street (cycle tracks, Ward 14)
  • Saulter Street South (cycle tracks, Ward 14)
  • Commissioners Street (cycle tracks, Ward 14)

"Pedestrian movements will be detoured onto existing sidewalks on the above roadways and in some cases, new sidewalks or multi-use trails will be constructed to improve pedestrian connectivity," reads the report.

And while these detours are being proposed as a temporary solution, Transportation Services says it could be beneficial, in some cases, to eventually make the new cycling infrastructure permanent.

Lead photo by

Bruce Reeve

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