Major Queens Quay Revitalization Construction Milestone

Streetcars Return to Queens Quay

TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The 509 Harbourfront streetcar will resume service from Union Station along Queens Quay to Exhibition Station this Thanksgiving weekend. The resumption of service on Sunday, October 12, will officially mark the completion of TTC-related construction activities on Queens Quay.

The newly rebuilt, separated streetcar corridor and tracks – which were at the end of their lifespan when construction began – include new underground chambers for the streetcar's electrical needs as well as new cantilevered poles for overhead wiring. The platforms have been widened to meet new accessibility requirements and include new passenger amenities such as ticket vending machines. The Spadina turning loop was also rebuilt and opened on August 31 allowing the 510 Spadina streetcar to return to Queens Quay.

The construction of TTC infrastructure is only one part of the massive Queens Quay revitalization project which is on schedule for summer 2015.  From Lower Spadina Avenue to Bay Street, the project is completely rebuilding Toronto's main waterfront street both above and below ground.

"With more than a million pieces of granite already in place and the streetcars about to return, excitement is building for the new Queens Quay," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "By next summer, when the transformation of Queens Quay is complete, Toronto will finally have the grand waterfront boulevard it deserves."

All of the construction on Queens Quay, which has included a major upgrade to Toronto Hydro's underground electrical network and new storm and sanitary sewers, was coordinated with the reorganization of the public space above ground. Extensive construction staging efforts were undertaken to keep traffic, transit, pedestrians and cyclists moving while the TTC corridor and roadway were rebuilt.

With less than a year of construction remaining, Queens Quay's new landscape features are emerging across the 1.7km site.

  • Crews are installing more than two million pieces of granite by hand for the pedestrian promenade, which is about three times the width of a normal city sidewalk.
  • The Martin Goodman Trail, which will give cyclists a much-needed, separated bike route through the central waterfront, is also under construction.
  • As crews build the promenade and Martin Goodman Trail, they are excavating approximately two metres below ground to install soil cells that will help Queens Quay's double row of trees grow quickly and stay healthy in order to create a green canopy.
  • In total, more than 240 new trees are being planted on Queens Quay. Some tree planting occurred last Spring but the majority will occur in Spring 2015.
  • The new asphalt roadway for the street's realigned traffic lanes is underway and granite laybys have been built to accommodate on-street parking. Traffic will continue to be one-way on Queens Quay until the project is complete and the road and signals are commissioned next spring.

Most of the waterfront's aging underground infrastructure has also been expanded or rebuilt as part of this project. This "deep services" construction – which included the installation of a new gas main, sanitary/storm sewers, hydro chambers and ducts, and new telecommunications chambers and ducts – was some of the most labour intensive and complex work required on the project.

Despite the complexities and delays related to underground work, the project is on schedule for Summer 2015, in time for the start of the Pan Am Games and the many visitors expected to come to Toronto for the Games. 

Photo-op advisory
Streetcar testing along Queens Quay is underway through Friday, October 10.

Images and Multimedia
High resolution construction photos
Queens Quay renderings
Animated video of Queens Quay construction
Progress Report

Image with caption: "Testing 509 Harbourfront Streetcar (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141008_C2626_PHOTO_EN_6492.jpg

Image with caption: "Completed section of promenade at Queens Quay Terminal (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141008_C2626_PHOTO_EN_6493.jpg

SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto

For further information: Samantha Gileno, Manager, Project Communications, T: 416-214-1344 ext. 264 / C: 416-271-1316, sgileno@waterfrontoronto.ca

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