queen yonge

Work to prepare for the major shutdown of key Toronto intersection starts this month

While there hasn't been as much chatter about the forthcoming Ontario Line subway lately as there was in the earlier days of the massive project, Metrolinx and the province have been making their preparations for the massive undertaking, which is expected to be completed by 2030.

Construction already began last year on the western terminus of the line at Exhibition Station, but this month, the work will be moving more central as crews prepare for what may be one of the biggest disruptions of the project.

Major intersections like King and Bathurst and Queen and Spadina are set to be completely revamped with all-new subway stations and transit-oriented communities (read: condos). The existing stops that the Ontario Line will be passing through are also slated for renovations to accommodate the new subway.

One of these stops will be Queen Station, and the expected construction work will unfortunately mean full closures on two stretches of the bustling intersection on either side of Yonge Street — for nearly five years, according to the estimates.

In anticipation of that work, which will start next year, crews are this month beginning to reinstall streetcar track on adjacent streets so that TTC vehicles can divert passed the key stop at Queen and Yonge, travelling instead down York, Richmond, Church and Adelaide Streets.

This should take approximately five months, during which there will certainly be hiccups and delays for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and businesses in the area.

But, the work will be taking place 24/7 in an effort to expedite the process — after which there will be, of course, just more construction to come.

The city will be taking the opportunity to repair an old water main along Adelaide at the same time, which will reduce the street down to one lane in the coming months before the more substantial work on Queen and across the rest of the city begins.

Drivers especially are bound to be rife with complaints about the upgrades, but it's nothing Metrolinx isn't used to — the transit agency opened physical locations in 2020 to field people's questions and concerns as the planning process pushed on.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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