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Attention Riders: Streetcar Detours and Disruptions Are on Their Way

Construction—and preparations for the new streetcars—will mean changes for the Dundas and Spadina streetcar routes this summer.

Travelling by streetcar in downtown Toronto is about to get a bit more complicated. Starting July 14, Toronto Water will be digging up the intersection at Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue to replace a water main. That project is expected to take two weeks—and as soon as it’s been completed, TTC workers will descend upon that same intersection to replace switches and track.

The closure of the major downtown intersection will mean some changes for regularly scheduled TTC service. From July 14 to August 11, the 505 Dundas streetcar will be detouring along McCaul, College, and Bathurst streets.

The 510 Spadina situation is a bit more complex: streetcars will be replaced by buses, and from July 14 to 28, those buses will be running the established 510 route, because one lane will remain open in each direction at Dundas and Spadina. But from July 28 to August 11, the intersection will be shut down entirely to traffic, and the 510 route will be divided in two. Buses will be running on the northern end between Spadina Station and Baldwin Street, and also on the southern stretch between Sullivan Street and Queens Quay. So if you’re planning to travel, say, from Spadina Station to Queens Quay, you’ll be obliged to walk from Baldwin Street to Sullivan Street.

As of August 11, the 505 Dundas streetcar will return to its established route, and the 510 Spadina route will be back in one piece, with buses once again running through the intersection. Streetcars will not be seen again on Spadina until August 31, though, and when they do make their appearance, they will undoubtedly cause a great deal of excitement: that’s because they’ll be new, and low-floored, and air-conditioned, and long, and fancy. That’s right! The new streetcars will officially be making an appearance on the 510 Spadina route on August 31. It’s possible that just the sight of one of these beauties will make you forget all about those summer walks you took back and forth between Baldwin and Sullivan streets.

“It has been a busy year,” says TTC CEO Andy Byford in the video above. “We’ve had so much to do—there’s been a lot of construction going on along Queen, and obviously now here at Spadina and Dundas. So we do recognize this is inconvenient for our customers, and it is hugely disruptive for businesses. But what I would say is this will be worth the wait. These are state-of-the-art new streetcars that we’re getting, this is the transformation of transit in Toronto. So thanks for your patience. Thanks for bearing with us. It will be worth the wait.”


  • stapler

    Detours and disruptions are on their way? Any daily streetcar rider will tell you disruptions and delays are already here, they’re a fact of life. Construction just adds a new element to an already unpredictable commute.

    I moved a few months ago and for the first time I’ve had to rely on the streetcar to get to work. It’s been a disaster. I’ll walk to my stop to either wait between 10 and 30 minutes for a car (scheduled to arrive every ~5 or so) or 3 cars sitting there empty. I never know. Every day is an adventure.

    I won’t even get into the delays involved with short-turning and the nonsensical way they interact with vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

    I know there’s a complicated debate about streetcars and their appropriateness, but I cannot believe half the city is expected to rely on them for important things like getting to work on time. A 40 minute walk is often the faster, more predictable choice and that’s an indictment of the system.

    • nevilleross

      The only thing that it’s an indictment of is people unwilling to see that these improvements and repairs are needed. If I were mayor and premier, I’d get rid of buses entirely, build light rail and streetcars across Toronto (even have light rail and streetcars run in the same lanes!), and ban on-street parking and left-hand turns to make them go faster. Nobody would be banning stops on my watch, not even the Sunday ones (people still do go to church, y’ know, and they do other things on Sunday.)

  • Sarah

    I don’t mind. It’s just another excuse for me to play The Shuffle Demons’ ‘Spadina Bus’ while actually being on a Spadina bus. Hurray for literalism!