TTC Track and Watermain Replacement & BIA Streetscape Improvements

Queen Street West (John Street to Spadina Avenue) is currently closed to allow for planned Phase 4 work. See where crews are currently working in Construction Phases and Details accordion below. Testing of the new watermain at the Queen Street West and University Avenue intersection is ongoing.

The City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) have coordinated a number of infrastructure upgrades on Queen Street West, which include:

  • replacement of streetcar track from Bay Street to Fennings Street
  • replacement of streetcar track at the intersection of Queen Street West and Shaw Street
  • replacement of watermain and City-owned portion of substandard water services from Bay Street to University Avenue
  • improvements to the streetscape along Queen Street West, in partnership with the Queen Street West Business Improvement Area (BIA)

In an effort to minimize the impact of construction on local businesses and residents, construction work will be sequenced and will take place in smaller work zones of about 300 metres. Work will start at Bay Street and move west towards Spadina Avenue (planned for June to August), and then from Fennings Street east towards Spadina Avenue (planned for August to December). Vehicles will not be allowed in the work zones for up to four weeks to allow the work to be completed faster. Please refer to Construction Phases and Details tab below for the sequencing and duration of the work phases.

During construction, notification is provided to inform local residents and businesses of temporary disruptions to local roads and traffic. Residents and businesses are encouraged to sign-up for email updates to be issued once construction begins.

Pre-Construction Notice – April 27, 2021

Construction Notice – June 23, 2021

Preparing for Construction (Bay to Duncan) – June 3, 2021

Preparing for Construction (Duncan to John) – September 29, 2021

The City is also hosting Virtual Trailer Drop-Ins where members of the public can join, (virtually), to ask questions about the ongoing Queen Street West construction work. City staff will be at the meeting to either provide answers on the spot or report back shortly after.

  • Date: Every other Thursday (starting August 26, 2021)
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Where: Login to the virtual trailer, or call 416-915-6530 (access code 177 690 1821)

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact us at 416-392-3074 queenwestconstruction@toronto.ca

*The work start dates and phase durations will be updated here once finalized by the City.

Phase 1 – West of Bay Street to York Street

Crews have:

Replaced top layer of TTC track, 100 + year old watermain and substandard water service connections (The track at the Queen and York intersection were not replaced).

Phase 2 – York Street to Queen Street West and University Avenue intersection

Crews have:

Replaced the top layer TTC track, the 100+ year old watermain and substandard water service connections (There is a short section just east University Avenue where full depth track excavation was required).

Phase 2A – West of University Avenue to Simcoe Street

Crews have:

Replaced top layer of TTC track and several overhead poles along south sidewalk.

Crews also replaced the 100 + year old watermain and substandard water service connections.

Phase 3 – East of Simcoe Street to Duncan Street

Crews have:

Replaced top layer of TTC track and some overhead poles along south sidewalk.

Phase 4 – West of McCaul Street to Spadina Avenue

Crews are

Replacing top layer of TTC track and some overhead poles along south sidewalk (The track at the Queen and McCaul and Queen/Spadina intersections will not be replaced). Crews will also undertake Queen Street West BIA streetscape improvement work.

Phase 5 – East of Fennings Street to Shaw Street

Starts: Early November 2021

Duration: Approximately 4 weeks

Work crews will:

Replace top layer of TTC track.

Phase 5A* – Queen Street West and Shaw Street intersection

*A separate construction will be issued with further details.

Starts: Mid-November 2021

Duration: Approximately 4 weeks

Work crews will:

Replace the full depth of TTC track at intersection.

Phase 6 – East of Shaw Street to Niagara Street

Start: November 2021

Duration: Approximately 4 weeks

Work crews will:

Replace top layer of TTC track.

Phase 7 – Niagara Street to Bathurst Street

Start: Mid-November 2021 to Early December 2021

Duration: Approximately 4 weeks

Works crews will:

Will replace top layer of TTC track. The track at the Queen and Bathurst intersection will not be replaced).

Phase 8 – Bathurst Street to Spadina Avenue

Start: December 2021

Duration: Approximately 4 weeks

Work crews will:

Replace top layer of TTC track at intersection. Crews will also undertake Queen Street West BIA streetscape improvement work.

While active construction takes place you may experience dust, noise, vibrations and other inconveniences. The City will make efforts to reduce the impacts. We appreciate your patience.

Communication with Contractors

There are times when contractors need to communicate with homeowners about what is happening in the work area. This could be about driveway access, exterior pre-construction inspections, CaféTO and site restoration work. Contractor’s staff are identifiable by high-visibility clothing.

Where possible, a phone number for a contact person on-site will be provided on notices, to answer questions about work near your property. At other times, the contractor may knock on your door, but will then step away the required distance to discuss the work that is taking place and what can be expected that day. Please practice physical distancing with workers so everyone can remain safe. If you have questions, call the contact provided on this notice.

City-led infrastructure construction has been deemed essential to ensure the City’s infrastructure remain safe, in a state of good repair and able to meet Toronto’s needs. Learn about the City’s response to COVID-19.

Work Hours

Work on this project will take place 24 hours a day seven days a week. Excavation activities and heavy breaking will be carried out at various times throughout the day.

All concrete breaking activities will occur between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Concrete breaking work is the most disruptive and will typically take place during the first two to three days for each phase of the construction.

There will be periods of 24 hour operations (overnight activities) by TTC crews during new rail installation. Around-the-clock work during rail installation is required to preserve the integrity and quality of new rail, concrete and to support the progress of the daytime activity. Overnight rail work by TTC may consist of moving new rail into position, rail installation and rail welding/grinding.

Property Access

The City-hired contractor may need access to the interior and exterior of your home to complete a pre-construction condition survey. Affected properties will receive a request to schedule a time to complete the pre-construction condition survey. Although participation is voluntary, the pre-construction survey results may be useful to confirm claims for potential damage caused by City construction.

Accessibility

In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the construction work zone. Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times.

The City’s contractor must ensure safe and accessible walkways and entryways are maintained for everyone during construction. Any temporary access disruptions will be communicated as soon as possible. If you experience a disruption, have a specific access need or related accommodation request, please contact the Public Consultation Unit listed on the right hand side of this page.

Traffic Management

Efforts are being made to manage traffic in the area for the safety of workers, road users and residents. People driving and cycling will not have access to the active work zone. Sidewalks will generally be open. As such, people cycling can dismount and use available sidewalks. Additional traffic management information will be communicated as it becomes available. Road users should expect delays and increased traffic on nearby main and side streets.

To ensure everyone’s safety, Paid Duty Officers (PDOs) and/or Traffic Agents will be deployed at the intersections on both ends of the active work zone

Parking

Parking will not be available within the active work zone. Pay and display on-street parking will be available east and west of each active work zone, where applicable. When work is taking place in your area, please direct your customers and visitors to park in the following Green P lots:

Parking Violation Notice

In an effort to reduce ticketing due to construction, the City encourages communities with construction to be patient as neighbours may need to temporarily relocate vehicles. If parking enforcement is called to a street, officers must issue a yellow parking violation notice (ticket) to vehicles in violation of parking by-laws. If you receive a yellow notice during this construction work, do the following within 15 days of the notice date:

  • Dispute the parking violation notice online or in person following the process listed on the back of the parking violation notice.

You may use the construction notice as part of the explanation of why the violation should be cancelled.

Violation notices cannot be cancelled if vehicles are parked in illegal parking spots (i.e. in front of a fire hydrant or in no parking zones).

Garbage & Recycling

Businesses and residents along Queen Street West should follow their normal routine and place bins on the curb on the required day. Collection on Queen Street West (Bay Street to Bathurst Street) occurs on Monday nights and (Bathurst Street to Fennings Street) is Thursday nights.

The contractor may need to move bins to an appropriate location for collection and then return them. If this is the case, notification and further instructions will be provided to all affected properties.

Restoration

The construction work area will be restored with sod and/or asphalt where required in future stages of the work. Updates will be provided.

The City has installed curb lane closures to accommodate all successful CaféTO applicants along Queen Street West.

The City will provide an email alert, approximately one week before the contractor reaches the area where your establishment is located.

Shortly after, the City inspector assigned to this project, or a representative from the contractor’s team, will inform you in person when work crews will remove the curb lane closure materials, such as traffic signs, pylons and concrete barriers. These items will be removed for up to four weeks. You will also be informed when you will need to remove and store all privately owned materials (e.g. built fencing, tables, chairs and umbrellas).

Once construction work is completed, the contractor will re-install the curb lane closure materials. At this point, you may also re-install your privately owned materials and resume operation of your patio.

Learn more about the CaféTO program.

During this project, the following changes to TTC service on Queen Street West are expected:

501/301 Queen

  • Queen streetcars will operate as far west as Parliament Street, then divert south and west via Parliament Street and King Street West to King/Spadina and turn back.
  • Queen buses will operate through the downtown area as far east as the Broadview/Queen intersection and turn back via Broadview, Gerrard, and River.
    • Queen buses (both ways) will be diverted around the construction zone via streets running parallel to Queen Street. The diversions will change as the work progresses. Routing information will be updated accordingly.

More detailed information here on 501/301 Queen temporary route changes:

North-South Routes

Service crossing Queen Street will be maintained as best as possible, however there may be times when the service may need to be diverted around the construction.

Visit ttc.ca for accurate schedule information.

Background and Scope of Work

In 2019, the City released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit a Landscape Architectural Team of Consultants to lead the Queen Street West Phase 2 Streetscape Revitalization project from Spadina Avenue to Simcoe Street. PMA Landscape Architects was selected as the prime consultant, with a fulsome team of specialists including artists Scott Eunson and Jyhling Lee (figureground studio), structural engineer Blackwell Engineers, and electrical consultant MJS Consultants. As part of a separate RFP, artists Catherine Tammaro and Mairi Brascoupé were selected to incorporate Indigenous placekeeping installations.

The overall scope of work included the conceptual design through to construction documentation and construction management support of streetscape features. This design process included workshops and meetings with selected members of the Queen Street West BIA Board, as well as presentations to the Board – to review and vet design proposals. The design process occurred from February of 2020 to March of 2021 with regular monthly to bi-monthly meetings.

Vision and Design Goals

Similar to the Phase 1 project, the project goals from the outset were about several key ambitions:

  • Placemaking – celebrating the street’s character with artistic and functional interventions, referencing cultural heritage
  • Site-Wide Public Art – continuing to support and implement public art by multiple local artists and celebrate Queen West’s eccentric identity of being “the same, but different”
  • Extending the Public Realm – create interventions that are engaging and encourage curiosity, lingering and interaction; physically expand the public realm where possible via sidewalk expansions and “bumpouts”; maximize pedestrian flow and circulation
  • Highlight Neighbourhood Connections – enhance physical and visual connections both north-south and east-west beyond, to draw people to Queen West

Through the facilitation process the vision and approach to the streetscape design were refined to the following Vision Statements:

  • Hear and be Heard
  • See and be Seen
  • Recognize the Past and Grow in the Present

All further design development and solutions would be measured against these vision statements and goals.

Design Features

A collection of public art and custom furnishings were developed that would have one or all of these characterizing qualities: Eclectic, Surprising, Reflective, Resilient and Flexible.  The features would have a robustness and durability that would minimize ongoing maintenance, but also serve as artful engaging placemakers and landmarks along Queen Street West.

The following features were developed as part of the project:

Sculpture

As a response to the Vision Statement of being able to ‘see and be seen’, artist Jyhling Lee developed a significant landmark sculpture that will reside at the northwest corner of Queen Street West and Soho Street, adjacent to the current MEC building.

The sculpture and inhabitable environment that amplifies the energy and dynamism of this stretch of Queen Street West as a place to see and be seen. The artwork captures and kaleidoscopically reflects this ever-changing environment both around and within its faceted mirror form.

Custom Seating

PMA developed a series of custom flexible seating that would provide short perching, comfortable accessible seating and socializing in small groups. This ‘ribbon’ of furnishings would reference some of the angular geometries from the Reflektor sculpture but also instill some colour and functional seating in the wider sidewalk block from Spadina Avenue to Soho Street.

Tree Fences

Continuing from Phase 1, artist Scott Eunson developed an updated and contextually appropriate design for the tree guards that draw inspiration and reference the heritage architecture cues of the store facades interpreting them into an abstracted city-scape that would wrap around the base of existing trees.

Bike Corral

As part of the City and BIA’s support of cycling in the City, an expanded sidewalk close to the Soho Street intersection is going to form the base of a new bike corral composed of a series of 10 custom bike rings designed by artist Scott Eunson.

Historical Lot Line Markers

To continue and complete the heritage mapping started in the Phase 1 project, artist Scott Eunson has designed a series of bronze inlays that will be demonstrative of early colonial habitation taken from a map from 1827.

Clan Markers – Bronze Inlays

Wyandot artist Catherine Tammaro was selected to design interpretive artful features that would reflect the continual presence of Indigenous Peoples on this land. She is working in consultation with community members, to design what she refers to as “Energetic Signatures” or “Clan Markers” which are culturally resonant signs of Indigenous Peoples’ kinship groups. The Markers will become “powerful connecting points for our beautiful reciprocity with the Natural World…” located rhythmically, close to Mother Earth, they reflect “sound songs”, throughout. She will present symbols from each of the clans of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabeg, and kinship markers for Cree and Métis Peoples. Catherine has said she is deeply honoured to be doing this sacred work.

Indigenous Sidewalk Mural

Anishinabeg artist Mairi Brascoupé was selected to prepare the design for the sidewalk mural. The site is within the northern sidewalk stretch east of Soho Street, continuing the legacy of the popular sidewalk mural installations that has existed on Queen Street West for decades. Her work subject matter focuses on land and place, plants that are related to the territory, mapping of important waterways and other expressions of Indigenous placekeeping.

The final result is a curated collection of public art and custom furniture that seeks to continue Queen West’s legacy as a culturally rich, artful and engaging place to be, to accelerate growth in the area and contribute to much needed public realm respite and socializing.

Sign-up for Email Updates

Given the fast pace of this project, it is recommended that you sign up for weekly updates. Your contact information will be kept private and will only be used to share information about this project.

Throughout construction the City has worked actively to keep local community members and businesses informed and involved in project stages.

Email:

We use a marketing automation platform in order to manage our client relationship and send you commercial electronic messages. By clicking to “Subscribe”, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to us in accordance to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Your contact information will be kept private and will only be used to share information about the Queen Street West TTC Track / Watermain Replacement and BIA Streetscape Improvements