lake shore blvd construction

Toronto's Gardiner teardown is done but the traffic headaches aren't over yet

The teardown of the Gardiner Expressway's east end has changed the feel along Toronto's Keating Channel, and while the demolition has subsided and normal traffic conditions resumed, there are more headaches on the horizon.

The Gardiner's partial demolition required full closures of Lake Shore Boulevard East, which caused traffic mayhem in the surrounding areas for months. It was noisy and plagued with complaints about safety, but there was one positive note; the teardown actually concluded ahead of schedule.

But this was just the opening phase of work, and the next stage is promising even more traffic woes just in time for the nearby Christmas Market expected to draw crowds from all over the region the next month.

Drivers should hold onto their Santa hats, because the upcoming lengthening and widening of the Lake Shore Boulevard Bridge over the Don River translates to even more closures that will restrict traffic starting in December.

Unlike the full closures that ground traffic in the area to a standstill, this work will be conducted in steps, with partial restrictions between Don Roadway and Cherry Street that will allow motorists to move (slowly) through the work zone using two lanes of traffic.

And while care is being taken to keep traffic flowing along Lake Shore, the upcoming restrictions coincide with a full closure of Don Roadway south of Lake Shore Boulevard planned to begin in December. These restrictions will accommodate the construction of permanent flood protection and reconstruction of Don Roadway.

The closure will see southbound traffic off of the Don Valley Parkway halted at the Port Lands. Since there's no left turn on to Cherry Street from Lake Shore Boulevard westbound, drivers exiting the DVP will have to follow a convoluted path to access the Port Lands.

On top of these closures, the west end of Commissioners Street and the south end of Don Roadway remain inaccessible to cars and pedestrians until next summer, part of the busy work site to reroute the Don River into a naturalized mouth.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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