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Major downtown fire disrupts transit services

Update, 6:30 p.m.: The TTC is now posting service diversion information for the 501 Queen route directly from its homepage. Streetcars on the 501 and 301 Queen routes are now diverting along Shaw, King and Spadina. The TTC is not posting information on 511 Bathurst and 510 Spadina diversions, so it may have resumed regular service on those routes.

Map of 501 Queen diversion.

Update, 12:20 p.m.: citytv is now reporting that 511 Bathurst and 510 Spadina cars are operating along a shuttle between Bathurst and Spadina Stations, proceeding south from Spadina Station along Spadina Avenue, westward along College Street and northward along Bathurst Street to Bathurst Station and then reversing the routing to Spadina Station. In the south, the two routes are operating along a wide loop. From Union Station cars are proceeding westward to Queens Quay and either Lower Spadina Avenue or Bathurst Street then proceeding northward to King Street West and then continuing to either Bathurst or Spadina to head southward again towards Queens Quay and Union Station.

Six-alarm fires require many, many emergency vehicle to suppress the fire, so the vehicles are blocking all access to the area, especially along Bathurst Street. Water from the firehoses has frozen, covering the entire intersection in ice, further hindering streetcar access.

The Queen detour will likely continue until tomorrow, although some service to Spadina and Bathurst may resume later today.

Thanks to Nick Boragina for the “heads-up” on the latest details.

A six-alarm blaze engulfed the entire south side of Queen Street West between Bathurst and Portland Streets starting at 5 a.m. today. The fire has filled the downtown area with the smell of smoke and diverted transit services on the 501 Queen, 510 Spadina and 511 Bathurst streetcar routes this morning. citytv has the story.

Eastbound streetcars on the 501 Queen route are operating along their regular route to Queen Street West and Shaw Street, then diverting southward along Shaw, eastward along King Streets West and East and then northward along Church Street to Queen, where the cars resume their regular route eastward along Queen. Westbound streetcars are reversing this routing. Extra streetcars resulting from the detour along King Street may also delay service on the 504 King route.

Some Transit Toronto readers have reported that the TTC has diverted all service on the 511 Bathurst and 510 Spadina routes south of Dundas Street, but have not confirmed details of the rerouting. All detours will likely continue for most of today.

Some riders have also indicated that the TTC temporarily shut down the 1 Yonge-University-Spadina subway briefly this morning at St. Andrew Station, after passengers reported a fire at the station. This may have been a false alarm resulting from the heavy smell of smoke in the area.