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Waterfront Transit Reset Phase 1 Study

How should Toronto connect the East and West arms of the planned waterfront transit with downtown?

  • Expand the existing Union loop

    Votes: 200 73.0%
  • Build a Western terminus

    Votes: 10 3.6%
  • Route service along Queen's Quay with pedestrian/cycle/bus connection to Union

    Votes: 29 10.6%
  • Connect using existing Queen's Quay/Union Loop and via King Street

    Votes: 19 6.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 16 5.8%

  • Total voters
    274
The western portion along Queens Quay was built as the Harbourfront LRT. And the 509 was originally the Spadina LRT, before the name spooked some people, with the media showing pictures of RT trains running up Spadina.
In fairness to the media, those were actually UTDC renders from the ICTS development program... albeit unsolicited ones that even UTDC documents admit provoked a strongly negative reaction from City staff well before they went public and hurt the streetcar program.
 
I didnt major in economics, Whats the difference between theese 2 numbers?
Present value vs nominal dollars?
Chatgpt says that if i was to prepare a report Present value is the option you should use.
If thats true then saying the project is 1.5 billion sounds a whole lot better

also thats where 2.5 bil comes from theres about 200 mil spent on planning and design to this point and in the future
Note that 300/200 million of this project lowers the cost of the waterfront west to long branch because of the portals

1698280197476.png
 
I think nominal dollars is projecting inflation into the future and what the cost would be after projected future inflation in the year the expense will be incurred
 
Okay but is a connection to Line 1 so necessary? I don't see why all this money is being spent on a tunnel to connect this line to Union station when we could probably figure out less costly connections with the Ontario Line at Exhibition and potentially East Harbour and even a future Cherry station. I think as our transit system further expands into a network rather than intersecting lines, we should be thinking a bit more outside the box.
 
Okay but is a connection to Line 1 so necessary? I don't see why all this money is being spent on a tunnel to connect this line to Union station when we could probably figure out less costly connections with the Ontario Line at Exhibition and potentially East Harbour and even a future Cherry station. I think as our transit system further expands into a network rather than intersecting lines, we should be thinking a bit more outside the box.
The aim of the improved link to (and loop at) Union is to serve the many people who want to go to Union area and/or connect to subway. Look back in this aged thread to read the EA discussion.
 
The aim of the improved link to (and loop at) Union is to serve the many people who want to go to Union area and/or connect to subway. Look back in this aged thread to read the EA discussion.
The aim - but at that type of pricing, it's not going to happen, and none will be served.

So think outside of the box. Several options:

a) don't touch the Union Loop, and run just one just 509 and Queens Quay East. Loop Spadina at Spadina/Queens Quay.

b) don't even built a new portal, put tracks around the old portal, and run streetcars on Queens Quay East that don't connect to Union. Instead connect them to the subway at Corktown and/or East Harbour stations. (heck from Corktown they could head west, further downtown.

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).

Shame that that building a loop on the west end of the old GO terminal isn't an option any more.

All these options would likely be cheaper. It's a shame that no one involved with this is thinking outside the box.
 
The aim - but at that type of pricing, it's not going to happen, and none will be served.

So think outside of the box. Several options:

a) don't touch the Union Loop, and run just one just 509 and Queens Quay East. Loop Spadina at Spadina/Queens Quay.

b) don't even built a new portal, put tracks around the old portal, and run streetcars on Queens Quay East that don't connect to Union. Instead connect them to the subway at Corktown and/or East Harbour stations. (heck from Corktown they could head west, further downtown.

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).

Shame that that building a loop on the west end of the old GO terminal isn't an option any more.

All these options would likely be cheaper. It's a shame that no one involved with this is thinking outside the box.
Ahh!! goes back to my 2008 recommendation that call for filling in Union Loop and putting the tracks on the surface of Bay that run to Bloor St. You still have the e-w line.

Taking it a step further, duel end cars are use to service stub platforms at Union and turning Bay into an transit pedestrian mall between QQ and Queen. This would reduce the need for a loop at Bloor as well at Parliament St

How much money would be save doing this as well how sooner the lines being in service. The Bay line offer another option getting to Line 2 than wait for x trains pass you before you can get on one.
 
The aim - but at that type of pricing, it's not going to happen, and none will be served.

So think outside of the box. Several options:

a) don't touch the Union Loop, and run just one just 509 and Queens Quay East. Loop Spadina at Spadina/Queens Quay.

b) don't even built a new portal, put tracks around the old portal, and run streetcars on Queens Quay East that don't connect to Union. Instead connect them to the subway at Corktown and/or East Harbour stations. (heck from Corktown they could head west, further downtown.

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).

Shame that that building a loop on the west end of the old GO terminal isn't an option any more.

All these options would likely be cheaper. It's a shame that no one involved with this is thinking outside the box.
Except that none of these options address what the WELRT is proposed to be built for: transporting riders along the waterfront who also want to connect to additional services at Union Station and get into the downtown core proper.

The proposals you listed above would all create significant problems in one way or another.


a) don't touch the Union Loop, and run just one just 509 and Queens Quay East. Loop Spadina at Spadina/Queens Quay.
--> Sure they could do that, but the Union Station loop will still reach capacity without the 510 serving it. The platform is just too small as it currently stands.

b) don't even built a new portal, put tracks around the old portal, and run streetcars on Queens Quay East that don't connect to Union. Instead connect them to the subway at Corktown and/or East Harbour stations. (heck from Corktown they could head west, further downtown.
-->That would be extremely shortsighted and creates the problem of an inefficient transfer at Yonge/Queens Quay. There will be thousands of riders who will be heading toward Union station regardless of if you have a connection at Corktown to the Ontario Line.

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.
-->I dont see what this would accomplish, and there's no space for any kind of loop around Scotiabank Arena at surface level.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.
-->Sure, if you want to have 10 streetcars bunched up in horrid traffic with an added 20-30 mins just trying to reach the station. The TTC just re-routed the 97 to terminate north of Front because even they say how screwed up the traffic is south of there. Good luck trying to run streetcars south of there.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station
-->Same problem as I mentioned above, and the TTC isnt moving to double ended streetcars. That ship has long sailed.

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).
-->Sure, but you would be using funds inefficiently and your problem at Union station would still exist. Thus, nothing is really being solved.
 
The aim - but at that type of pricing, it's not going to happen, and none will be served.

So think outside of the box. Several options:

a) don't touch the Union Loop, and run just one just 509 and Queens Quay East. Loop Spadina at Spadina/Queens Quay.

b) don't even built a new portal, put tracks around the old portal, and run streetcars on Queens Quay East that don't connect to Union. Instead connect them to the subway at Corktown and/or East Harbour stations. (heck from Corktown they could head west, further downtown.

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).

Shame that that building a loop on the west end of the old GO terminal isn't an option any more.

All these options would likely be cheaper. It's a shame that no one involved with this is thinking outside the box.

@Amare has several good points above. But I want to add.

The current Union Station Streetcar Loop does not meet Fire Code , this is a huge part of the cost. The alternative, if one leaves the existing loop in place, capacity issues notwithstanding, is that if a fire were ever to occur, there may be a considerable loss of life. I don't think one can really set that aside. The moment you decide to alter the loop/station to meet code, you've opened the can of worms to the tune of several hundred million, it hardly makes sense not to finish the job.

****

The second thing I would note, the connection serves two primary purposes, as is:

1) Connecting those who live in Harbourfront and areas west to both Union Station (GO Service as well as subways) and to the financial district.
If this connection were either removed, or made substantially less convenient that would seem problematic.

2a) It serves to connect many people (still in a choppy way) to the Island Ferries. A nicely streetscaped road does not replace the literal capacity involved, nor does it provide weather protection for those walking.

2b) Should you seek to provide this same connection via a surface route, not only does it need to operate in its own ROW, it needs the connection to Union ideally (no other downtown station for GO exists); or at the very least a Line 1 subway station (King?) I'm not sure you actually save any money in this scheme.

All of that said, I actually want to take the time to applaud your out-of-the-box efforts.

I do have the impression that the City and TTC would benefit from at least conceptualizing a greater range of ideas, even if many turn out to be impractical. The 1/5 that don't may turn out to be a windfall.
 
I do have the impression that the City and TTC would benefit from at least conceptualizing a greater range of ideas, even if many turn out to be impractical. The 1/5 that don't may turn out to be a windfall.
Uh Oh, dont give the city any other ideas now.

Remember the last time they tried to conceptualize more ideas and they came up with the ever so stupid moving sidewalk concept during the whole Waterfront Reset waste of time/money study? The city deserves a big fat portion of the blame for wasting time with this, and for bloating up the costs of this project much higher then they need to be.
 
Ahh!! goes back to my 2008 recommendation that call for filling in Union Loop and putting the tracks on the surface of Bay that run to Bloor St. You still have the e-w line.

Taking it a step further, duel end cars are use to service stub platforms at Union and turning Bay into an transit pedestrian mall between QQ and Queen. This would reduce the need for a loop at Bloor as well at Parliament St

How much money would be save doing this as well how sooner the lines being in service. The Bay line offer another option getting to Line 2 than wait for x trains pass you before you can get on one.
So why has the city not considered a surface line on Bay?
 
Except that none of these options address what the WELRT is proposed to be built for: transporting riders along the waterfront who also want to connect to additional services at Union Station and get into the downtown core proper.
Options c, d, e, and f all accomplish connecting to Union. So does Dave's suggestion (let's call surface track on Bay as option g)

c) run tracks on the surface, on York, from Queens Quay to Bremner, and build a loop at the south entrance to Union Station by the Scotiabank Arena. Stay on the surface around the portal.
-->I dont see what this would accomplish, and there's no space for any kind of loop around Scotiabank Arena at surface level.
It would provide direct service from Union Station to Queens Quay East. But it would be 100% on the surface, with a loop at the south doors to Union Station. You wouldn't loop around Scotiabank. You'd build a loop in the square at the northwest corner of the arena. Yeah, Queens Quay East cars would have a different loop at Union than Queens Quay west cars.

d) run tracks from Queens Quay up Yonge to Lakeshore, and then run from there to the loop mentioned above.
-->Sure, if you want to have 10 streetcars bunched up in horrid traffic with an added 20-30 mins just trying to reach the station. The TTC just re-routed the 97 to terminate north of Front because even they say how screwed up the traffic is south of there. Good luck trying to run streetcars south of there.
I'd assume you'd put it in a ROW. But yes, there's impacts to cars.

e) run tracks up Yonge, but to Front, and then along Front, and switch to two-ended streetcars, with a terminus in front of Union Station
-->Same problem as I mentioned above, and the TTC isnt moving to double ended streetcars. That ship has long sailed.
I'd say all the option ships have sailed. My point is that it's time to go outside the box, because I don't see how the near $4 billion is going to happen.

f) similar to e), but use the proposed Church/Cooper street tunnel under the tracks - (which will avoid the whining about losing lanes).
-->Sure, but you would be using funds inefficiently and your problem at Union station would still exist. Thus, nothing is really being solved.
Surely it would be even more efficient, not less. The premise is that the tunnel from Church to Cooper is going to happen anyway, so the cost of including tracks would be less than putting tracks on Yonge or York.

Yeah, there's weaknesses in all the plans. But mostly if you compare them to the $4 billion plan. If that become untenable, the question would be are any of those cheaper options better than the status quo.

... I want to add.

The current Union Station Streetcar Loop does not meet Fire Code , this is a huge part of the cost. The alternative, if one leaves the existing loop in place, capacity issues notwithstanding, is that if a fire were ever to occur, there may be a considerable loss of life. I don't think one can really set that aside. The moment you decide to alter the loop/station to meet code, you've opened the can of worms to the tune of several hundred million, it hardly makes sense not to finish the job.
A good point. Though the cost to deal with fire code at the Danforth Line stations hasn't required 100 million per station. All you need is a fire exit on the platform. A low-cost stairwell with fire-doors from the east-side of the current platform to just south of the southeast corner of Bay and Front would accomplish that. It doesn't need finishes and form. Just function.

I'd love to see an upgraded loop, with a new portal leading to Queens Quay east. And connections up (and down!) Cherry and Broadview. And Commissioners. But with that kind of cost, I fear we will have nothing.

So why has the city not considered a surface line on Bay?
That would be the beauty of that option (and perhaps going up York or Cooper/Church too). Is that then you don't have to stop at Union, but can connect better into the Financial District. The ROW would be difficult though.

In an ideal world, they'd tunnel under Bay from Union to Dundas or something. But that would be more like $20 billion - and you'd have to lower the existing loop to go under the subway tracks!
Maybe in 2100 or so ... :)
 
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I think any surface route from QQ to the Union Station area is way out of consideration. This is a high traffic area, especially with limited Gardiner access to the east and west. And not just vehicle traffic but foot traffic as well, most sidewalks in the area can’t afford to be shrunk down. Even if you could afford to reclaim 2 road lanes where do you squeeze in the stops?

And yes, you need proper platform stops near a major terminal, can’t have big crowds crossing from the median. If trains ran in outside lanes with platforms on the sidewalk, this would lead to congestion and overcrowding (and you’d definitely need a loop or some extended crossover through traffic at the terminus).

Chance of reclaiming an entire one of these N/S routes and turning it into a transit mall? Nearly Zero. There are only a handful of roadways crossing USRC, York/Bay/Yonge are all major arterials.
 
A good point. Though the cost to deal with fire code at the Danforth Line stations hasn't required 100 million per station. All you need is a fire exit on the platform. A low-cost stairwell with fire-doors from the east-side of the current platform to just south of the southeast corner of Bay and Front would accomplish that. It doesn't need finishes and form. Just function.

I'm afraid the fire code issue is rather more involved at this particular location.

From Steve Munro's site:

1698393266713.png


Source: https://stevemunro.ca/2021/02/16/waterfront-east-lrt-virtual-public-meeting/#Update
 

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