‘It’s so hard to get around’: Numerous construction-related road closures leaving Torontonians increasingly frustrated

The start of a huge construction project in Toronto will close more downtown streets over the next six weekends, leaving Torontonians increasingly frustrated with the ongoing closures and resulting gridlock in the city.

“There is construction everywhere. It’s very difficult to get around this city and it’s difficult to get around the city by all means of transportation,” Matti Siemiatycki, a professor at the University of Toronto School of Cities, told CP24 on Friday.

As of 7 a.m. Friday, a portion of Yonge Street was closed to begin work on the partial demolition of the Metrolinx Bridge.

The city says traffic lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks will be closed on Yonge Street from Lake Shore Boulevard to Front Street until 11 p.m. Oct. 30 for bridge demolition. Access to Yonge Street from the westbound Gardiner exit ramp will also be closed.

Additionally, northbound and southbound vehicular traffic will be rerouted on Lake Shore Boulevard and Front Street, respectively. Local access will remain on the west side of Yonge Street between Lake Shore Boulevard and the south end of the Metrolinx Bridge.

The city says the closure will occur every weekend through early December.

“It’s hard to get around by car with all the construction. It is difficult on public transport. We have major streets like College Street where you can’t even take a streetcar. It’s hard to bike with a lot of bike lanes being eliminated by condo construction, and it’s hard to walk with a lot of the sidewalks blocked,” Siemiatycki said.

toronto construction

Last week, the city announced the start of another major construction project on Adelaide Street through the spring of next year to work on the Ontario Line subway extension.

One traveler, who identified herself as Loraine, told CP24 that she hopes Mayor John Tory will do something soon to address all of the construction chaos in the city.

“I am sick and tired of this city, everything is happening at the same time. Why don’t they do things in progress? But now the whole city is like closed… I am an elderly person, it has taken me four buses to reach my destination that I used to take one (bus) in 20 minutes,” he said.

Another unidentified traveler said traveling around the city is taking almost twice as long as it would normally take to get around.

“It seems like no matter where you go, no matter which route you choose or which app you choose to navigate, there are builds no matter where you go. Everything is taking between one and a half and three times as long to go from point A to point B.”

Meanwhile, some residents are more understanding of the closures and are grateful that there are options for getting around town.

“I feel like that’s the case in any city. At least here we have traffic that goes underground and is not on the road so you can move around well,” a traveler who identified herself as Annie told CP24.

Although the closures will be a headache for many commuters, Siemiatycki said most of the city’s construction efforts need to be done as soon as possible.

“We have left maintenance for a long time and we are trying to catch up. We did some of the construction during the pandemic, but now we are at a point where we have to move on and all of this construction is what is needed to keep the city in good shape,” he said.

“I would just encourage people to get back to the idea that this construction is what is necessary if we want to keep this city going. And we know what the city looks like when we don’t do this work. The city is starting to look patchy, which people are complaining about a lot during elections too,” he added.

Below is a list of other road closures and restrictions happening in Toronto and beyond this weekend (Oct 28-30).

EVENT ROAD CLOSURES

• Danforth Avenue between Broadview Avenue and Donlands Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from 11 am to 4 pm on October 30 for the Oxi Day Parade.

• Church Street between the north side of Carlton Street and the south side of Gloucester Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6 pm on October 31 to 2 am on November 1 for the Halloween on Church event.

CONSTRUCTION CLOSURES

• Access to Lake Shore Boulevard East via northbound Parliament Street will be closed until 9 pm on October 30 to continue gas main work. One westbound lane will be maintained through the intersection. Northbound and southbound traffic will be rerouted on Lake Shore Boulevard East and Front Street East, respectively.

• The concourse between Market Street and Church Street will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm on October 30 for crane lifting operations.

• Yonge Street between Maitland Street and Alexander Street will be completely closed from 7 pm on October 28 to 5 am on October 31 to facilitate the erection and dismantling of a mobile crane and removal of the tower crane at 480 Yonge Street.

• Rees Street from Bremner Boulevard to Lake Shore Boulevard West is closed to vehicular traffic until 6 pm on October 28 for the lifting of auxiliary equipment by Toronto Hydro.

• Adelaide Street from west of Simcoe Street to Bay Street is reduced to one shared lane and the intersection of University Avenue and Adelaide Street is reduced to one lane in each direction for major construction. There will also be a partial closure of the Adelaide Street intersection at Simcoe Street with no traffic south of Adelaide.

• Beginning the week of October 31, Adelaide Street from Widmer Street to Simcoe Street will be reduced to a shared lane and there will be partial intersection closures at Widmer Street, John Street and Duncan Street.

RESTRICTIONS QEW AND HURONTARIO STREET. CLOSING

There will be traffic restrictions and closures this weekend along the QEW on Hurontario Street for construction on the future Hazel McCallion Line.

Beginning October 28 at 10 pm, traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction, diverting off the highway onto Hurontario Street and onto the ramps before returning to the QEW.

There will be no access to the QEW on ramps from Hurontario Street and access to the QEW will be diverted onto Cawthra Road.

All roads will reopen on October 31 at 5 a.m.

TTC STREET STREET WORK CLOSURES

The following road closures are in effect through mid-November to accommodate the replacement of TTC streetcar tracks.

• College Street, between Borden Street and Spadina Avenue, is reduced to one eastbound lane.

• College Street from St. George Street to University Avenue is reduced to one westbound lane.

• University Avenue southbound at College Street will be reduced to one lane on November 1.

• The intersection of King Street West and Shaw Street is completely closed.

• Traffic lanes in Queens Park, between Bloor Street West and Queen’s Park Crescent, are shortened to accommodate elevator installation work at Museum Station.

• Queensway has a reduced number of lanes in both directions between Parkside Drive and the King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles intersection. Eastbound left turns are not permitted from The Queensway to Glendale Avenue.

• Roncesvalles Avenue is closed from Queen Street West to Harvard Avenue.

• Wellington Street, from Church Street to Yonge Street, reduces to one westbound lane. Scott Street, north of Wellington Street, is closed to all vehicular traffic.

METROLINX CLOSURES

This weekend, construction-related service changes will affect service on the Lakeshore West, Lakeshore East and Barrie GO Train lines.

• Lakeshore West trains will run hourly between Union Station and West Harbor GO Station. Connection times between the Lakeshore East and West trains will be longer.

• Trains will operate slightly different schedules on the Lakeshore East Line to accommodate work on the Lakeshore West Line.

• Niagara Falls trains and bus routes 12, 15 and 18 will operate on slightly different schedules.

• There will be hourly GO train service on the Barrie Line between Union and Aurora GO stations with no trains running between Aurora GO and Allandale Waterfront GO. Buses will replace some of the canceled train services.

Riders are encouraged to check GO Transit schedules and plan their trips by visiting the GO Transit website.

There are no TTC service interruptions scheduled for this weekend.


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