Overnight Ramp Demolition: Lower Simcoe and Gardiner Expressway
Demolition of the former York-Bay-Yonge off-ramp is advancing quickly and crews are ready to take down the bridge over Lower Simcoe Street this weekend. In order to do this safely, Lower Simcoe Street will be closed to the public and work will take place around the clock until it is finished. Neighbours should expect noise, vibration, dust, and bright artificial lighting.
I have been advocating very strongly to limit the regular hours of work to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday, because this work is essentially in the "back yard" of thousands of residents. In order to ensure our downtown communities like the Waterfront and South Core remain liveable, we have to carefully manage noise and ensure that people are able to sleep through the night.
This weekend is the first of two occasions when planned overnight work is unfortunately unavoidable.
Street Closures and Lane Restrictions
Lower Simcoe Street will be closed between Queens Quay and Harbour Street while this work is taking place overhead. The street will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 5, and it will re-open at 5 a.m. on Monday, May 8. There will be no access for pedestrians, cyclists, or vehicles.
At the same time, eastbound traffic on Lake Shore Boulevard and Harbour Street between Rees Street and York Street will be reduced to one through lane.
The eastbound ramp from Rees Street to the Gardiner Expressway will also be closed overnight on Saturday and Sunday from midnight to 9 a.m.
Advance Notice to Neighbours
Whenever a disruption of this severity is anticipated in a residential community, it is vitally important to let people know what to expect so they are not caught off guard and can make alternative arrangements if necessary.
Advance notice of this overnight weekend work has been mailed to all households in the area, emailed to everyone who has signed up for updates, and circulated through the Construction Liaison Committee to every affected building and stakeholder. To download a copy of the mailed construction notice or sign up for regular email updates about this project, please visit www.toronto.ca/simcoe-ramp.
Enhanced signage will be in place to inform drivers to plan alternative routes or take public transit. Traffic signal timing at intersections will also be modified in anticipation of changing traffic patterns during the closure.
Following completion of the demolition of the ramp at Lower Simcoe this weekend, work hours will return to the normally planned schedule of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You should receive advance notification of any non-emergency work outside those regular hours.
One additional weekend of overnight work will be necessary to demolish the ramp where it bridges over York Street. At the current pace of progress, this will be the weekend of May 19 to May 22. Similar notice will be provided by mail, email, and through the Construction Liaison Committee when the date is confirmed.
When all the work is completed by January 2018, we will have a new urbanized Harbour Street with sidewalks and a multi-use path, a new public park at York Street, and a new shorter off-ramp ending at Lower Simcoe Street. These changes will expand the public space available to our growing population, and make the street in the neighbourhood safer and more convenient for everyone.