It's often said Toronto only has two seasons, Winter and Construction. Across the city, various projects are being completed while the weather permits, and the TTC is taking advantage too. Despite best efforts by crews to work during off service hours, some projects are just too large. In August the TTC is undertaking a series of major projects, on the subway and streetcar networks. Some projects will be more noticeable than others.

TTC, City of Toronto, Pape StationModernized Pape Station from above, image courtesy of TTC

The most apparent job will be the reconstruction of Pape Station. In April 2013, the TTC took a survey of its customers asking if they would prefer closures of Pape Station to accelerate construction work, or if they preferred the status quo pace. Ultimately, 52% of those surveyed voted to close the station for 12 straight days to let crews complete most of the remaining construction work.

TTC, City of Toronto, Pape StationNew enclosed Bus shelter and fare concourse at Pape Station, image courtesy of TTC

TTC officials created a video on Youtube explaining what exactly will be happening between August 19 and August 30th at Pape Station. With the station completely closed, work on the bus platform and the new enclosed shelter will be finished. Following the end of a brief labour disruption by the terrazzo workers union, inside work on the station walls, floors ceilings and stairwells can now be completed.

After the construction blitz, four significant works will remain at Pape: the second station exit, elevator, landscaping, and bike racks. These projects will be mostly out of the way of station users, however. The entire station modernization will be completed by the end of the year 2013.

TTC, City of Toronto, Pape StationPublic art at platform level in Pape Station, image courtesy of TTC

In the downtown core, the Yonge-University-Spadina line will be closed from St. George to Bloor stations on August 10th and 11th. The closure here involves the extensive signal upgrading work the TTC is doing on the Y-U-S subway line. The entire line is scheduled to be retrofitted in time for the opening of the Spadina-York Subway Extension in 2016 with the new Automatic Train Control (ATC)  signalling system allowing the TTC to run trains closer together with lower wait times to address the overcrowding on the route.

TTC, City of Toronto, Toronto StreetcarWorkers disassemble streetcar tracks at Queen and Spadina in summer 2012 image courtesy of TTC

Above ground, the TTC is working diligently to complete a significant portion of streetcar track repair. Much like last year's Queen-Spadina closure, the intersection of King St. and Spadina Avenue will be completely closed until August 20th while crews replace the worn out track. Track work here is especially complex because streetcars need to be able to turn in all 8 directions. To speed up replacement work, the crews are using pre-welded track blocks to replace the "grand union" intersection.

TTC, City of Toronto, Toronto StreetcarWorkers demolish intersection and streetcar tracks at Queen and Spadina in 2012, image courtesy of TTC

Construction methods for streetcar track replacement have changed over the years. In the mid to late twentieth century, the TTC was considering abandoning its streetcar network. With new vehicle investments though, the TTC is committed to providing better long lasting infrastructure for the vital network. Once completed, future crews will only have to remove the top of 3 layers once every 25 years to replace the track while the lower layers will last more than 60 years. The result is better infrastructure and fewer headaches for drivers.

TTC, City of Toronto, Toronto StreetcarNew Low Floor Streetcar, image courtesy of TTC

Maintenance on the TTC is essential to keeping Toronto moving. A quick glance at their construction page shows 12 major projects currently underway with many more to come soon. As work continues on the various transit construction projects around the city, UrbanToronto will keep you posted with the latest news.

To see some of the other projects the TTC is working on, check out our dataBase entries below for new stations on the Spadina line. Join the great discussions in our Forum, or leave a comment below to voice your opinion.