Seven years of Ontario Line construction to cause traffic delays up to 29 minutes

Dec 2 2021, 3:21 pm

Seven years of downtown Toronto road closures required for the construction of Ontario Line stations will cause traffic delays of nearly half an hour, according to a new City staff report.

Toronto City Council’s Executive Committee is considering a recommendation at their December 7 meeting calling for closures along several major roads from fall 2022 to fall 2029. According to the City staff report, these closures, along with other ongoing City works projects, will result in traffic delays up to 29 minutes.

“The existing pm peak congestion will significantly worsen due to the City-led construction works reducing capacity on some corridors and with drivers switching to alternate corridors,” the report reads.

The Ontario Line construction would affect portions of King Street West, King Street East, Queen Street West, Queen Street East, Bathurst Street, Spadina Avenue, University Avenue, Stewart Street, Simcoe Street, Victoria Street, Albert Street, James Street, and Parliament Street. Closures along these routes will allow for the construction of the Ontario Line’s King-Bathurst, Queen-Spadina, Osgoode, Queen, and Corktown stations.

Queen Street alone is expected to displace approximately 900 vehicles during the am peak hour and 1,500 vehicles during the pm peak hour. Drivers travelling down Richmond Street, which will be used as a detour route for both the TTC and other vehicles during construction, can expect congestion-related delays of up to 29 minutes during the peak pm period.

Adelaide Street would see delays up to 24 minutes and Wellington Street up to 23 minutes. Drivers heading eastbound on Dundas Street could expect up to a 14 minute delay, and those heading westbound could be delayed up to 11 minutes. Front Street would see delays up to five minutes.

Morning commutes will be less affected by the construction, according to the report.

“In summary, while impacts will be seen, in general the network should operate satisfactorily in the am peak period with both the City-led works and the OL closures,” it says. “The greatest impact will be seen in the already congested pm peak period where congestion will increase further and vehicle journey times will be significantly impacted.”

These estimates, the report says, are a conservative estimate of the worst-case scenario, meaning the delays could end up being less significant.

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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