As Toronto's major harbourfront thoroughfare, Queens Quay Boulevard is an important artery not only for private vehicles, but for public transportation, bicyclists, and pedestrian flow as well. Our formerly industrialized waterfront has been transformed by new attractions and lots of commercial and residential development over the last couple of decades, but the quality of the public realm was not keeping pace. Recognizing the importance of a cohesive look for this waterfront boulevard, and for a need to improve all modes of transportation here, Waterfront Toronto has been pushing forward for the last two years with the long-term revitalization of Queens Quay, both east and west of Yonge Street, and has recently announced updated timelines for completion of the project's various elements, many of which are already well underway for the stretch between Yonge and Spadina.

Rendering of Queens Quay post revitalization

One of the most complicated aspects of the plan is construction of the boulevard's deep services, which encompasses all of the project's underground municipal infrastructure including power and cable lines, water mains and sewers. Those are now approximately 90% complete, with work expected to conclude this May, allowing roadwork on Queens Quay to begin as early as April. That work is expected to conclude in October with both directions of traffic restored (the road is currently a westbound-only obstacle course during construction), and moved to the north side of the right-of-way.

The TTC plays a major role in how Torontonians access the waterfront, and the corridor used by streetcar routes like the 509 Harbourfront is getting a major upgrade. On Queens Quay the infrastructure is getting a full rebuild, and is being shifted south about three metres. Work commenced just over a week ago on the moved line and is expected to be complete by August. At Queens Quay and Spadina, the TTC's 510 Spadina streetcar loop is currently being fully rebuilt as well. The project is roughly 40% complete and work there is also expected to conclude in August. Buses currently run as a replacements for the streetcars here as we await the new infrastructure.

TTC track work on Spadina as seen in December 2013, image by Forum member drum118

One of the most important aspects of the revitalization project is improving pedestrian infrastructure to create a truly walkable and inviting waterfront, and that includes upgrading the materials used. The replacement of concrete sidewalks with granite is proceeding. Work on the north side of Queens Quay is now 30% complete with work expected to conclude in December, while the promenade on the south side of the street is roughly 15% done with completion slated for July of 2015.

Granite sidewalk installation as seen in December 2013, image by Forum member drum118

The experience of cyclists, inline skaters, skateboarders and joggers will also improve thanks to a generous modernization of the Martin Goodman Trail's central stretch along Queens Quay. Work on the upgrades is due to get underway in Fall of this year, with completion slated for July of 2015. We are really looking forward to the new trees too!

Rendering of pedestrian promenade and Martin Goodman Trail

For additional information including project facts and renderings, please visit our dataBase page for this project, linked below, and recently beefed up with many more images. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread link, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided below.

Related Companies:  DeepRoot Green Infrastructure, DTAH, urbanMetrics inc., Waterfront Toronto, West 8