Garrison Crossing is getting a little closer to reality as the second of its two bridges is about to be hoisted into place over the Lakeshore rail corridor. The crossing is a new pedestrian and cycle link being overseen by the City through CreateTO that will connect Toronto's Niagara neighbourhood, Liberty Village/Ordnance Triangle, and the Fort York area when it opens in 2019. 

The site, with the Demag crawler crane having arrived, image by UT Forum contributor Red Mars

The first span was (seen above at right) was assembled onsite and then hoisted into place over the Kitchener rail corridor on a weekend in late July. Since that time, crews from Dufferin Construction have been assembling the second span close to where it will be permanently located over the Lakeshore rail corridor. Seen being assembled by a smaller (but still substantial) mobile crane in the tilt shift photo above from earlier this week, a Demag CC2800 (SSL) will do the hoisting, starting about midnight tonight. The Demag is a 660-ton crawler crane with two tractor drives to move it, an operation which should be complete before 5 AM. Owing to health and safety concerns, there will be no public viewing site for the hoisting in close proximity.

The south span waiting to be lifted into place, image by UT Forum contributor Red Mars

The span, designed by PedeltaDTAH, and AECOM, will be lowered onto abutments on ether side of the rail corridor which were built early this summer. The northwest facing view below from above the Fort York grounds shows both a staircase leading to the bottom of the renderings, and a ramped path leading off to the left, which will make the span's connections to the south. In the distance, the north bridge can be seen leading to an extension to Stanley Park which the City is expected to landscape next year. The free space between the two spans is a new park associated with the development of new buildings to the west of it in the Ordnance Triangle. 

Looking northwest to the Garrison Crossing spans, image courtesy of CreateTO

There is a lot going on right now development-wise in the Ordnance Triangle, and in Liberty Village immediately west of it across Strachan Avenue. The image below from further west is dominated by the Garrison Point condo towers at centre, and its second phase called Playground at left. In front of them on the right with the white crane is Novus at Garrison Point, a two-tower residential rental complex. In the foreground on the left with the red crane, ZEN King West condos is currently closing in on ground level. Off screen to the right, a rental tower at 39 East Liberty Street and the second tower at Liberty Central on the Lake condos are soon to go under construction.

Lots of development is currently occurring just west of Garrison Crossing, image by UT Forum contributor smuncky

That's a lot of new development in an area that already struggles with congestion issues, and the list above does not include one final rental tower that will eventually complete development of the Ordnance Triangle area. With only one more new road planned to be built in the area, but no new road bridges out of it, other improvements to local transportation infrastructure are vital. While increased GO Train service to the area is planned for both the Lakeshore and Kitchener corridors—including a new station nearby at King and Atlantic on the Kitchener corridor—the expansion of active transportation infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists is also key to making getting around the area effective. Garrison Crossing's two spans will make walking or pedalling through the area much easier, and connect with more ways to get downtown to the east, as well as to the north and south. The images below highlight a much better connected park system in the area that is being made possible by the bridges.

Developing park connections around Garrison Crossing, image courtesy of CreateTO

More is going on in the area this weekend with the evening lighting of Waterlicht, at The Bentway for three nights only, just to the south. We will be back with more as work progresses here. In the meantime, there are several database files linked below that can give you more information on the projects mentioned here. You can get in on the conversations or see more recent photos in the associated Forum threads, or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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