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Bathurst streetcar track construction starts May 20

Update — May 17, 6:40 a.m.: Construction will start on Tuesday, May 20, according to a City of Toronto media release, and not on Monday, May 12 as the City and TTC originally announced. Except for the start date, all other details remain as we originally posted.

Starting Tuesday, May 20, the TTC will revise bus and streetcar services during a construction project to replace the streetcar tracks along Bathurst Street and Vaughan Road, south of St. Clair Avenue West.

The City of Toronto and TTC will rebuild the tracks in three stages.

The project affects transit service on these routes: 7B Bathurst; 26 Dupont; 310 Bathurst (overnight); 312 St. Clair (overnight bus); 512 St. Clair (streetcars); and 512 St. Clair (shuttle buses).

Revised transit services

Starting Tuesday, May 20, the TTC will divert transit services around the construction.

7B Bathurst

On March 30, the TTC split its regular 7 Bathurst route into two branches to help keep buses on schedule during this construction project and a project on the overpass north of St. Clair Avenue and yet another project later this year to reconstruct Bathurst Street between Lawrence Avenue West and Glencairn Avenue.

Starting Tuesday, May 20, the TTC will further detour buses on the 7B branch of the route between St. Clair West Station and Bathurst Station.

Southbound buses will operate from St. Clair West Station:
westward along St. Clair Avenue West;
southward along Christie Street;
eastward along Dupont Street; and then
southward along Bathurst Street to Bathurst Station.

Northbound buses will reverse this routing.

310 Bathurst

Starting Tuesday, May 20, southbound buses operate along their regular route to Bathurst Street and St. Clair Avenue West, then detour:

westward along St. Clair;
southward along Christie Street;
eastward along Bloor Street West to Bathurst,
resuming their regular route southbound along Bathurst.

Northbound buses will reverse this routing.

26 Dupont

Starting Tuesday, May 20, the TTC will operate a special short-turn branch of the route to increase service to the construction area.

This short-turn branch will operate between Christie and St. George Stations seven days a week from about 5 a.m. until 1 a.m. Two buses will serve passengers along the route every 15 minutes during most times of the week. Early on Saturday, Sunday and holiday mornings before 9 a.m., the TTC will provide just one bus on this branch route and offer passengers a half-hour frequency. Operating this branch route will not affect the regular service on the 26 Dupont route.

Eastbound buses start their trips at Christie Station, then proceed:
northward along Christie Street;
westward along Dupont Street;
southward along Bedford Road; and then
westward along Prince Arthur Avenue to St. George Station.

Westbound buses start their trips at St. George Station, then proceed:
northward along Bedford;
westward along Dupont; and then
southward along Christie to Christie Station.

512 St. Clair (after-midnight shuttle bus)
312 St. Clair (overnight bus)

After midnight, seven days a week, starting Tuesday, May 20, the TTC will extend the 512 St. Clair shuttle buses to operate along the complete St. Clair route between Gunn’s Loop, west of Keele Street, and St. Clair Station. (Before midnight the buses operate between Gunn’s and St. Clair West Station only.) Since the TTC will be storing streetcars overnight inside the streetcar — or upper — platform at St. Clair Station, starting tomorrow, the shuttle buses will operate to the lower St. Clair Station platform off Pleasant Boulevard.

Eastbound buses will operate from Gunn’s Loop,
eastward along St. Clair Avenues West and East;
southward along Avoca Avenue; and then
westward along Pleasant Boulevard to St. Clair Station.

Westbound buses will reverse this routing.

After 2 a.m., buses will start operating along the overnight 312 St. Clair route between Jane and St. Clair Stations. At St. Clair Station, the buses will operate to the lower platform along the same route as the after-midnight 512 shuttle buses.

512 St. Clair (streetcars)

On Sunday, March 30, the TTC revised the service to accommodate the ongoing project to rebuild the streetcar tracks along St. Clair Avenue West and preliminary work on the project to rebuild the tracks along Bathurst Street. Since then, streetcars have operated between St. Clair West and St. Clair Stations only, while shuttle buses operated between Gunn’s Loop (west of Keele Street) and St. Clair West Station.

Starting Tuesday, May 20, until around July 5, the TTC will operate seven streetcars on the 512 St. Clair route. From Mondays to Fridays, the TTC will operate all seven cars at a frequency of every three minutes. On Saturdays, the TTC will operate six cars at a frequency of every three and a half minutes. On Sundays, the TTC will operate just five cars at a frequency of every four minutes.

The project to rebuild the streetcar tracks along Bathurst Street effectively isolates the 512 St. Clair streetcars from their usual home base at Roncesvalles Carhouse.

Since the St. Clair (or Wychwood) Carhouse no longer stands and the track construction will temporarily remove streetcar access tracks into the Hillcrest Complex, the TTC will store and maintain the cars at three locations along St. Clair Avenue. (At a later stage of the project, the TTC will start storing and maintaining the cars at Hillcrest.)

It will store three streetcars on the eastbound tracks along St. Clair Avenue West between Wychwood Avenue and Vaughan Road. These three streetcars will serve as spares if the TTC needs to replace any of the current cars on St. Clair for mechanical reasons. Security guards will closely monitor these cars and the City and TTC will also secure the westbound tracks beside the spare cars. TTC crews may use the westbound tracks to repair or maintain operating cars.

Overnight, the TTC will store the operating cars on the streetcar loops inside St. Clair and St. Clair West Stations. Inside the stations, TTC crews will perform routing servicing of the cars, including cleaning the interior and inspecting vehicle safety features.

Streetcar service on the 512 route will start seven days a week around 5 a.m. while the Bathurst construction continues. However, it will end earlier at around midnight seven days a week.

Three-stage construction project

Stage 1: May 20 until July, 2008

Stage 2: Mid-May until August, 2008

Stage 3: June until fall, 2008

Stage 1: Bathurst Street between St. Clair Avenue West and Bridgman Avenue, including Vaughan Road.

Stage 1 — Phase 1 starts at St. Clair Avenue West and proceeds southward and includes:

  • completely excavating the current streetcar tracks so that construction crews can install new streetcar rails on a new concrete track base; and
  • installing a new watermain and replacing water services on Vaughan Road.

Stage 1 — Phase 2 starts at Bridgman Avenue and proceeds northward and includes:

  • completely replacing the streetcar tracks including the special track work at the entrance to the Hillcrest Complex.

Stage 2: Bathurst Street between Dupont and London Streets

Stage 2 — Phase 1 includes:

  • installing a new watermain; and
  • replacing water services

Stage 2 — Phase 2 includes:

  • replacing the streetcar tracks soon after the track work in Stage 1 is completed (probably in early July).

Stage 3: CP Rail overpass across Bathurst Street (Bridgman Avenue to Dupont Street)

Stage 3 includes:

  • rehabilitating the bridge structure;
  • replacing the streetcar tracks; and
  • lowering the roadway between Bridgman Avenue and Dupont Street. (This will involve multiple phases and changes to the traffic flows.)

You can find out more about the Bathurst track replacement project here and here.

You can find out more about the plan to store streetcars on St. Clair Avenue here.

You can read Transit Toronto’s history of streetcar service along Bathurst Street here.