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Bay streetcar tunnel maintenance: TTC operates buses, instead of streetcars, starting September 15



The TTC has announced that, starting Friday, September 15, it’s replacing streetcars with buses in the Harbourfront area. On it’s website, the TTC says it’s operating buses due to “infrastructure work”, but has not specified the exact location for the work. However, the transit agency’s X Message account, @ttcHelps, says the closure results from “maintenance work at Union Station”.

The TTC is likely conducting its routine inspection and regular maintenance of the streetcar tunnel under Bay Street.

Buses operate along these routes during the infrastructure work:

  • 310 Spadina overnight;
  • 509 Harbourfront; and
  • 510 Spadina.

Shuttle buses replace route 310 / 510 cars only between Queen Street West and Queens Quay West. Streetcars continue to operate north of Queen West.

509-510-310_IW_Feb23.gif

Crews continue the infrastructure work and buses continue to operate until February 26 (4 a.m.).


Here’s how Transit Toronto described TTC activity in the tunnel during a previous closure:

“As part of its preventative and corrective maintenance program, the TTC inspects and maintains the Bay streetcar tunnel regularly, it says, ‘to ensure safe and reliable operations.’

“TTC staff inspect and maintain the tracks and overhead wiring in the tunnel and clean debris and sand from the tracks and drainage system. They use chipping tools to work in certain areas of the tunnel nightly from 1 until 4:30 a.m.

“The crews also use a high-pressured water and vacuum system to clear obstructions in the catch basins and pump pits in the tunnel and near the bottom of the ramp from the Queens Quay West portal. According to the TTC, ‘This method of removing the obstructions and residue is efficient and quick.’ Expect noise when the equipment is fully operating.

“All TTC vehicles access the tunnel from the ramp. Crews park the truck with the water / vacuum system outside at the bottom of the ramp or on Bay Street north of Queens Quay West. You may hear beeping when vehicles back up the ramp. You may also notice bright lights.”


509 Harbourfront

From 11 p.m. Friday, September 15 until 4 a.m. Monday, September 18, buses replace streetcars along the entire route.

Eastbound buses start their trips in Exhibition Loop, then proceed:

eastward along the Exhibition Loop access road, Manitoba Drive and Fleet Street;
north- and eastward along Fort York Boulevard;
southward along Bathurst Street;
eastward along Queens Quay West;
northward along Bay Street;
westward along Wellington Street West; and then
northward along York Street to King Street West,
ending their trips.

Eastbound buses skip regular route 509 stops

  • on Fleet Street beyond Fort York Boulevard, across from Bastion Street and at Bathurst Street and
  • in the Bay streetcar tunnel:
  • at Queens Quay Station; and
  • at Union Station.

Instead, eastbound buses drop off or pick up passengers at stops

  • in Exhibition Loop,
  • on Manitoba Drive at Strachan Avenue,
  • on Queen’s Quay West beyond Bathurst Street, Dan Leckie Way and Lower Spadina Avenue, at Rees Street and beside the Harbourfront Centre,
  • on Bay Street beyond Queens Quay West and at Lake Shore Boulevard West and Front Street West,
  • on Wellington Street West at York Street and
  • on York Street at King Street West.

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Westbound buses start their trips on York Street south of King Street West, then proceed:

eastward along King West;
southward along Bay Street;
eastward along Queens Quay West;
northward along Bathurst Street;
west- and southward along Fort York Boulevard;
westward along Lake Shore Boulevard West;
northward along Strachan Avenue; and then
westward along Manitoba Drive and the Exhibition Loop access road into Exhibition Loop,
ending their trips.

Westbound buses skip regular route 509 stops

  • in the Bay streetcar tunnel:
  • at Union Station; and
  • at Queens Quay Station.

Instead, westbound buses drop off or pick up passengers at temporary stops

  • on Bay Street beyond Front Street West and Harbour Street,
  • on Queens Quay West beyond York and Rees streets, Lower Spadina Avenue and Dan Leckie Way,
  • on Bathurst Street beyond Queens Quay West,
  • on Manitoba Drive beyond Strachan Avenue and
  • in Exhibition Loop.

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From 11 p.m. Friday, September 15 until 4 a.m. Monday, September 18, southbound cars operate along their regular path to Spadina Avenue and Adelaide Street West, then detour:

eastward along Adelaide West; and then
southward along Charlotte Street to Oxley Street,
ending their trips.

Southbound cars skip their regular stops

  • on Spadina Avenue at King and Front streets west,
  • on Lower Spadina Avenue at Fort York Boulevard,
  • on Queen’s Quay West beyond Bathurst Street, Dan Leckie Way and Lower Spadina Avenue, at Rees Street and beside the Harbourfront Centre and
  • in the Bay streetcar tunnel:
  • at Queens Quay Station; and
  • at Union Station.

Instead, southbound cars drop off passengers at a temporary stop

  • on Charlotte Street at Oxley Street.

Shuttle buses replace the cars between Queen Street West and Queens Quay West. Southbound streetcar passengers may transfer to eastbound buses on Spadina Avenue south of Queen Street West.

Northbound streetcars start their trips on Charlotte Street at Oxley Street, then proceed:

southward along Charlotte; and then
westward along King Street West to Spadina Avenue, resuming their regular path northward along Spadina.

Northbound cars skip their regular stops

  • in the Bay streetcar tunnel:
  • at Union Station; and
  • at Queens Quay Station,
  • on Queens Quay West beyond York and Rees streets,
  • on Lower Spadina Avenue beyond Queens Quay West and Bremner Boulevard and
  • on Spadina Avenue beyond Front Street West.

Shuttle buses replace the cars between Queens Quay West and Queen Street West.

310 / 510 Spadina shuttle buses

From 11 p.m. Friday, September 15 until 4 a.m. Monday, September 18, buses replace streetcars along the 310 Spadina overnight and 510 Spadina routes south of Spadina Avenue / Queen Street West.

Southbound buses start their trips on Dundas Street West at Beverley Street, then proceed:

southward along Beverley;
westward along Queen Street West;
southward along Spadina and Lower Spadina avenues,
eastward along Queens Quay West; and then
northward into Spadina / Queens Quay Loop,
ending their trips.

Southbound buses drop off or pick up passengers at stops

  • on Spadina Avenue beyond Queen Street West and at King and Front streets west,
  • on Lower Spadina Avenue at Fort York Boulevard,
  • on Queens Quay West beyond Lower Spadina Avenue and
  • in Spadina / Queens Quay Loop.

Buses serve passengers at stops beside the curb on Spadina, Lower Spadina and Queens Quay West, instead of the “island” streetcar stops in the streetcar right-of-way.

Northbound buses start their trips in Spadina / Queens Quay Loop, then proceed:

northward along Lower Spadina and Spadina avenues; and then
eastward along Dundas Street West to Beverley Street,
ending their trips.

Northbound buses drop off or pick up passengers at stops

  • in Spadina / Queens Quay Loop,
  • on Lower Spadina Avenue at Bremner Boulevard,
  • on Spadina Avenue at Front, King and Richmond streets west and
  • on Dundas Street West at Huron and Beverley streets.

Northbound bus passengers may transfer to northbound streetcars on Spadina Avenue at Richmond Street West.

Buses serve passengers at stops beside the curb on Lower Spadina and Spadina avenues, instead of the “island” streetcar stops on the south-side streetcar right-of-way.


Since this detour would temporarily cancel overnight service along Queens Quay West through the Harbourfront area, the TTC may extend the path for buses along the 310 Spadina overnight route to York Street at King Street West. The buses would likely operate along the same path as buses along the 509 Harbourfront route beyond Queens Quay West / Lower Spadina Avenue.