A busy Toronto street that’s very much in need of a few improvements is about to get them.
A stretch of East York’s O’Connor Drive — a busy throughway on the eastern side of the city — has new greenery, public space, drainage infrastructure, and parking in store.
The section of the road that will undergo the transformation, from Glenwood Crescent to Bermondsey Road, has had issues in the past with basement flooding and street safety, and these new fixes are expected to address that.
The City of Toronto presented their plans for the street during a recent public consultation, and the roadway will soon look very different.
A large portion of the work will involve upgrading sections of the sewer system to protect against basement flooding. After that, the road will need to be reconstructed, which is when new sidewalks and curbs will be installed.
At the corner of O’Connor Drive and St. Clair Avenue East, there will be a new public plaza with a walkway, greenery, and a curved bench. The two-storey building that currently sits on the corner — home to a TD branch — will need to be removed.
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The streetscape along O’Connor Drive will also be reimagined with new plants, benches, interlocking sidewalk pavers, and sidewalk “bump-outs.”
The bump-outs — areas where the sidewalk extends out further — will allow the street to have designated lay-by parking areas.
The roadway itself will also undergo some changes, namely that the right-turn channel at O’Connor and St. Claire will be removed. This will reduce the amount of road that pedestrians have to cross, and has the additional benefit of forcing vehicles to turn at a slower speed.
The TTC bus stop will also be moved from the east side of Curity Avenue to the west, which the City says provides a larger area for people to wait.
Construction on the street is expected to start in the spring of 2022, with landscaping and restoration work wrapping up the following year.