Following this morning's official launch for the 2.6-kilometre Bloor Street bike lane pilot project, the Province of Ontario is commencing an expansion of Toronto's Dufferin Street Bridge, which will accommodate both the GO RER service expansion plan and the extension of the West Toronto Railpath. 

The Dufferin Street Bridge, viewed from the south, image via Google MapsThe Dufferin Street Bridge, viewed from the south, image via Google Maps

Passing over Queen Street West, the rail bridge will be widened to facilitate an additional track for the Barrie GO corridor, needed to facilitate increased service as part of the GO RER program. Meanwhile, the expanded bridge will also allow for an extension of the West Toronto Railpath, a multi-use "rails to trails" path used by both pedestrians and cyclists. 

Running alongside the rail corridor, the West Toronto Railpath currently stretches from Cariboo Avenue in The Junction (just north of Dupont) to Dundas Street West. Made possible by the widened bridge, the planned extension will take the railpath further southeast, terminating on Sudbury Street. Continuing towards the core, the King HighLine project will subsequently accommodate a further extension of the path, which will would eventually run to Garrison Common and beyond to CityPlace's North Linear Park while serving the growing population of Liberty Village. 

The West Toronto Railpath corridor, image via the City of TorontoThe West Toronto Railpath corridor, image via the City of Toronto

The extended railpath will also connect to a new public park planned immediately north of the Dufferin bridge on the east side of the street. Funded by on-site parkland and Section 37 contributions from the neighbouring Carnaby Condo, the 'Dufferin Peel Park' will provide a valuable new green space for the West Queen West corridor, which is experiencing notable population growth. 

The park site, looking southeast from the corner of Peel and Dufferin, with the The park site, looking southeast from the corner of Peel and Dufferin, with the Carnaby seen in the background, image via Google Maps

Work on the Dufferin Street Bridge expansion will be headed by builder Ellis Don, who were awarded a contract worth slightly over $8.4 million. Construction will begin this summer, and is expected take approximately one year to complete.

We will keep you updated as the project takes shape. Want to share your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page, or join the conversation in our Forum