Drivers making their way through downtown Toronto over the next five months will have to navigate around a series of construction projects being carried out ahead of upcoming Ontario Line subway construction.
The work, set to begin this month, will affect stretches of Adelaide Street as new streetcar tracks are laid, a watermain is replaced, and a bike lane is relocated.
Construction of the Ontario Line is set to begin in 2023 and will require a four-year-long shut down of a stretch of Queen Street between Bay and Victoria, meaning Queen Street streetcars will need to be rerouted. The City is planning for Richmond Street and Adelaide Street to be the detour routes for this line, meaning an eastbound streetcar track system will need to be reinstated on Adelaide Street between Charlotte Street and York Street to make this happen.
Adelaide will be reduced to a single shared travel lane within the work zones.
While this work is going on, the City also plans to replace a watermain on Adelaide, running between York and Victoria streets, that has been there for more than 100 years. Additional sections of watermain on Adelaide from Bathurst to Spadina, and Church to Jarvis, will also be replaced, and the roads resurfaced there.
Because of the watermain work, residents may experience water shut offs, but according to the City, a contractor will provide notice at least 48-hours in advance unless it's experiencing an emergency water shut off situation. During these times, the City is advising residents to temporarily disconnect any water treatment systems such as softeners or filters, water-cooled air conditioners, or similar plumbing fixtures.
Also as part of the work, the cycle track that runs along the south side of the street will be relocated to the north side from Bathurst to Parliament. The street will also be getting new bike signals installed and will have traffic signal timing modified.
Work is set to take place 24/7 through late December, but the noisiest parts of the work -- the concrete breaking -- is scheduled to occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
"Concrete breaking work is the most disruptive and will typically last the first couple days for each phase of the construction," a notice from the City of Toronto reads.
The overnight work is necessary to preserve the integrity and quality of new rail and concrete, and support the daytime work, the City says, with overnight rail work consisting of moving new rail into position, installing, and welding the rails.
These construction disruptions are just a taste of what the city will be in store for come 2023. Late last year, City Council approved a plan that would see seven years of road closures in downtown to make way for Ontario Line construction. The downtown closures, which will affect roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes, are planned for frequently-travelled throughways like Bathurst Street, King Street East, Spadina Avenue, University Avenue, and King Street West.
The Ontario Line, once complete, will span 15.6 km from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre with a total of 15 stops and connections to the TTC's Line 1 and Line 2, GO train lines, and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.