ontario line road closures

Major downtown Toronto intersections are going to be a total mess for the next 7 years

The collective groan of thousands of Toronto commuters probably registered on the Richter scale back in August, when Metrolinx revealed that two stretches of Queen flanking Yonge would shut down for years to make way for construction of the new Ontario Line.

What is being touted by the province as a "15.6-kilometre-long, 15-stop, fully-automated rapid transit system between Ontario Science Centre and Exhibition Place" may be approved and funded, but we all knew the line wouldn't come easy.

Because what transit improvement has ever come without headaches in this city?

While it was previously stated that "two small stretches" of the thoroughfare would close for four-and-a-half years starting in early 2023 for the line's Queen station, new information hints that commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists will suffer not just sooner, but longer, and across many more areas of the city centre.

A report headed to the city's executive committee on Dec. 7 is showing a long list of restrictions that will turn stretches of Queen Street and King Street into warzones of traffic and pedestrian chaos from...take a deep breath now...2022 all the way to 2029.

The report recommends council approve several "temporary" closures of lanes and sidewalks on blocks surrounding five station sites, including the Queen Station-related closures known for months.

Four stations will require even lengthier temporary closures. The word temporary is used loosely here, with the closures predicted to last from October 1, 2022, to November 30, 2029.

This includes closures around the line's planned King-Bathurst Station, Queen-Spadina Station, Osgoode (Queen and University) Station, and Corktown (Queen and Parliament) Station. Areas around the stations will have sidewalks, bike lanes, and curb lanes rerouted or closed/

And it isn't just the immediate intersections that will suffer, surrounding streets are also included in some station plans, such as Stewart Street, Simcoe Street, and Victoria Street.

The closing date near the end of 2029 doesn't necessarily mean the end of construction either, with the report stating that roads "be returned to pre-construction traffic and parking regulations when the Ontario Line project is complete."

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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