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Transportation : Development News

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Regent Park gets 38 Bixi bikes

Regent Park took another step forward on Saturday at the grand opening of the two new Bixi bike stations, the first two outside the downtown core.

Sponsored by Daniels Corporation, the private-sector development partner for the new Regent Park, the two stations are at Dundas and Parliament, and Parliament and Gerard, with 11 and 27 bikes respectively. The cost, which Daniels covered, was about $10,000, according to Martin Blake.

"We saw Bixi coming around, and thought to ourselves, 'What a wonderful benefit to bring to the neighbourhood,'" says Blake, who's vice president at Daniels, as well as vice chair of Habitat for Humanity Canada, an organization he's been working with since 1996.

The bikes, in addition to the Autoshare and Zipcar spots already there, will serve the residents of the two existing buildings, One Cole, with its 292 units, and One Park West's tower and townhouses, which comprise 227 units.

The bikes were first installed about three weeks ago, and ever since, Blake says he's been using a Bixi app, available for Blackberry, iPhone and Android to monitor their use, which he says is prodigious.

"I sit in meetings and keep track of how many bikes are out right now," he says. "It's kind of addictive."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Martin Blake

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Bayview strip gets $300,000 worth of new sidewalks, more benches

The Bayview sidewalks between Millwood and Fleming have had a rough time.

"Hydro went in there and did some work," says Councillor John Parker, of the strip's concrete tribulations that began about four years ago. "I think Toronto Water went in and did some work, and it's probable that Enbridge made a cut. Typically, when one person makes a cut, everyone dives in."

As Parker points out, this little bit of Leaside is a pretty active strip, so it got noticed, and was a bit of a pain and a lot of an eyesore.

So this month, two months after it was originally scheduled and several years later than many in the area thought it ought to have been tended to, work is being done on the sidewalk, one storefront at a time. "They move pretty fast," Parker says. "I think they're at one location a day, maybe more than one per day."

Since it was the utilities who tore it all up in the first place, it's the utilities, and not the taxpayers (or at least, not the taxpayers directly), who are footing the approximately $300,000 bill.

With the work already scheduled, Parker decided it would be a good idea to get rid of the concrete planters, add a few extra benches and ring-and-posts for the bikes, and gather the previously scattered newspaper boxes into little clusters. The work, Parker says, should be done by the end of the month.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: John Parker

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Extra work on Pottery Road delays re-opening to Nov. 30

Fans of Pottery Road are going to have to wait a little bit longer.

The reconstruction of the popular alternative route was originally scheduled to re-open after Labour Day weekend, but in late August, the team realized the work they'd done might have destabilized the inclined earth around the road.

"We're going to put in something referred to as soil nails," says Maurizio Barbon, the city's manager of design and construction, "long rods driven into the slope above the detaining wall, and then covering it with concrete and putting in some fill as well, to treat the slope as one large unit."

Barbon says the project was substantially completed on its original deadline. This week, they're finishing off a bit the re-pavement of the bottom end of the road near Bayview.

Barbon estimates the road will now re-open on Nov. 30.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Maurizio Barbon

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Bayview extension gets a new traffic-slowing 90-degree corner in Bennington Heights

A transition from a major thoroughfare to a quiet city street that has been increasingly troublesome since the 1960s is finally getting a redesign.

Since it was built, there has been no physical indication of the point at which the Bayview extension transforms into Bayview Heights Drive in Bennington Heights. This has meant that cars traveling 50km/h or more up the extension have taken a while to slow down to 40 km/h or slower for this child-heavy, sidewalk-free neighbourhood.

According to councillor John Parker, residents had just lived with their concern about the situation, which to his knowledge has never resulted in any injuries, until several years ago when several trucks were parked on the road right at the transition point doing some sewer maintenance. This gave residents the idea that a form of traffic slowing might help.

So the city is now building a bend at the end of Bayview Drive, a 90-degree turn to let people know they're leaving a big street and entering a small one.

"Instead of a straight-line transition from Bayview Avenue into Bayview Heights Drive, we now have the top end of Bayview Heights Drive taking a bend to the east," Parker says.

They are also putting in a sidewalk.

According to Parker, the project will be finished by the end of the month.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: John Parker


Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Boring begins on $2.6 billion, 8.6km Spadina subway extension to York U

Four boring machines started work Friday morning at Sheppard Avenue West station.

Named Holey, Moley, Torkie and Yorkie, the four tunnellers began drilling their 8.6km way northwards in the latest extension of the city's subway system, connecting the Spadina line to York University.

The project, which will add six new stops to the line, is estimated to ultimately cost $2.6 billion.

According to Dale Albers, York Region Rapid Transit Corporation's communications guy, "Work started at 10am and will go on 10 hours a day" until the tunnel's finished. The borers place the tunnel liner down as it digs, building the tunnel as it goes, according to Albers.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Dale Albers

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

Pottery Road closed from May 24 until September 5 for large-scale improvements

Pottery Road's been closed for the first time in at least 50 years, and probably the first time ever, for a total reconstruction.

The popular collector route, which usually carries an average of 18,000 vehicles a day, was closed a week ago Tuesday while contractor Nu Road Construction begins work on a complete overhaul, including replacing water mains, building curbs and a wide sidewalk to give pedestrians and cyclists, according to Gord Macmillan, the city's director of design and construction, "a bigger part of the road allowance.

"It's a high-traffic area for cyclists and pedestrians. That's another reason for the complete road closure."

The road will be closed until Labour Day, which Macmillan calls a hard deadline.

"If necessary, there will be work late into the days and weekend work will be required to make sure the contractor stays on schedule."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Gord Macmillan

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


After March 1 meeting, traffic calming to be instituted this week on Barton Avenue

Seaton Village is about to try out a new kind of traffic calming.

Ever since last year's construction on Bathurst north of Dupont prompted people to find alternate routes, Barton, a formerly quiet residential street running east-west between Bathurst and Christie, has gotten busy.

"About a year and a half ago we got a request from a number of parents at Palmerston school, most of whom walk their kids to school along Barton," says Councillor Adam Vaughan. "They were wondering what we could do to get a handle on the traffic situation."

Barton already had speed bumps and reduced speed limits, and residents didn't want no-turn signs reducing their own access to the street. So on a walk through, the councillor noticed the parking patterns on the street, which alternated north and south every block. It reminded him of a idea that had been presented at a pedestrian conference he had attended in The Hague.

"We decided to zig zag every half block," he says, "so there were essentially pinch points created mid-block that made people slow down."

The only expense associated with the plan is the $60-$70 per block needed for signs, which will be going up this week.

Vaughan says they'll revisit the situation next year to see how it's working, but he's confident they've found a solution that may end up being a model to the rest of the city.

"Jane Jacobs said it in one of her books," he says, "the only thing that slows cars down is other cars."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Adam Vaughan

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Long-delayed Millwood Road work to be completed by November 31

Municipal works are complicated things, and road works, involving not only the department of roads but often of several utilities, can be especially difficult to orchestrate.

Veteran councillor John Parker understands this, but even he was nonplussed at the tribulations of what ought to have been a relatively simple watermain update on Millwood Road between Bayview and McRae.

After two years and no apparent end in sight, with questions to city staff going unanswered, or receiving vague or inconsistent responses, he'd finally had enough.

"I'd lose track of what was happening when," Parker says, "staff would lose track of who they'd called, and residents would call and I'd get frustrated having to tell them I didn't know what was happening."

So he wrote a letter with all the questions he and his constituents had had over the months and years, and demanded a comprehensive reply.

He found out that the delay had been caused by a French farce's worth of miscommunication and bad decisions. The work was first meant to repair the watermains. When the ground was dug, workers discovered the sewers were in bad shape, too. After some winter weather delays, the city decided to inform the utilities that if they wanted to do anything in the area themselves, now was the time. The utilities had to figure things out, and then do their work. When that was done, the road department called the water department to make sure they'd finished their work, and when they were told they had, they began re-paving, only to receive a call from another desk at the water office saying that no, in fact they hadn't finished their work. "That's why you'll see some areas where brand new sidewalk is being broken up," Parker says.

The final word is that, after Enbridge is finished with some gas lines, the city will re-do all the surfaces by November 31.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: John Parker

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


$1.5-million road work on The West Mall starts up again after winter hiatus

The $1.5-million road works project for The West Mall is starting up again.

After replacing the water mains in the fall, and shutting down for winter, the resurfacing work is getting underway, and is scheduled for a May or June completion.

According to city engineer Salima Jivraj, the work, which is being carried out between Burnamthorpe and the Civic Centre Court, will have minimal effect on traffic.

"Most of this work will occur at night," she says, "during lower traffic volumes, and a paid duty officer will be present."

Writer: Bert Archer
Source; Salima Jivraj

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


$3-million work on Eastern and Front set for July completion

The work being done to replace the water mains and sewers on Eastern Avenue and Front Street is set to be completed by July.

The $3-million project is dealing with Eastern Avenue from Trinity to Sumach, and Front Street from Jarvis to Eastern.

"The water mains were identified for replacement due the age of the water mains, and to coordinate with the planned road works," says Salima Jivraj, senior engineer with the technical services section of the city's Design and Construction: Linear Infrastructure division. "The sewer works on Front Street East were added to the program due to poor structural condition. There is no sewer work identified along Eastern Avenue."

There is one lane of traffic in each direction being kept open during construction.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Salima Jivraj

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


$430,000 water main replacement on Victoria Park between Kingston Rd and Winston begins

Beginning this week, Victoria Park Avenue between Kingston and Winston roads will have reduced northbound capacity until July.

The east boulevard is being dug up in order to replace the water mains, which is expected to cost the city $430,000.

According to Salima Jivraj, a senior engineer with the city, "The water main was identified for upgrade as the existing water main was considered substandard in size, and therefore was planned for upgrade."

The project is one of several commencing this month and next, part of the annual spring fling of road works.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source; Salima Jivraj

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.
paul baron - century21 - paul.baron@century21.ca 416 849

Work on $9-million Roncesvalles road reconstruction will begin again this week

The most disruptive road work in the city is starting up again this week.

Its significant effect already the inspiration for a poster campaign among local merchants with the tag "Road work sucks," the work on Roncesvalles seems to have been going on forever, and after a short respite, it's up and running again, part of a $9-million improvement program for the area.

"This project was initiated through the maintenance program for track replacement," says city senior engineer Salima Jivraj, "and subsequently tacked on various public realm improvements from the Environmental Assessment initiated 2008."

The work will now consist of streetcar track replacement and road resurfacing. It's expected to last until July.


Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Salima Jivraj

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


$1 billion Astral Media deal helps city's walking strategy win national prize

Toronto's walking strategy has been named the best transportation plan in the country.

As described in the citation from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, who gave the award, "The city aims to strengthen Torontonians' sense of community by putting more "eyes on the street' and by creating more shared public spaces and opportunities for social interaction and recreation."

The plan, developed roughly between the Walk 21 conference in Toronto in 2007, and its adoption in May, 2009, has been funded through the public realm section of the city's $1-billion street furniture advertising contract with Astral Media, from which the Pedestrian Projects division gets roughly $1 million a year.

"I think it's that, for me, it's the three guiding principles: design excellence, universal accessibility and safety," says Fiona Chapman, the woman in charge of executing the strategy.

She's especially enthusiastic about the strategy's design aspect. "If it isn't handsome, there's no point in it," she says. "A lot of walking is not just about getting from a to b; it's sitting, watching other walkers, that's what makes our city so fantastic."

The strategy involves physical things, like paths, green spaces, benches; promotional items, such as ad campaigns and a walking website; as well as more strictly pragmatic things, like the pedestrian scrambles at Yonge and Dundas, Yonge and Bloor and Bloor and Bay.

The current strategy has a 10-year time frame.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Fiona Chapman

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


First meeting of York Quay construction committee answers questions about 302-spot underground lot

Construction is to begin in the next couple of weeks on the underground parking lot between York and Queens quays.

The much-delayed schedule was confirmed at the first meeting of the Construction Liaison Committee for what's being called the York Quay "revitalization" at the beginning of January. The committee was struck to deal with community questions regarding the project, scheduled to be finished by the summer of 2012.

The first step in construction, according to builder Ellis Don's project manager Anthony Bisanti, will be the concrete caissons being dug in to provide a structural framework for the lot. The work will go on weekdays from 7am to 7pm until Victoria Day, and will stop an hour earlier from Victoria Day to next Thanksgiving. When Saturday work is necessary, it will run between 9am and 6pm.

The especially noisy caisson phase of the work is expected to be finished before the spring.

The project is replacing 212 surface parking spots on a 1.4-hectare site with 302 underground spots.

The next meeting of the liaison committee has been scheduled for two weeks after construction commences.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Samantha Gileno

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.


Work is completed on 1.1km stretch of water main on The West Mall

Work replacing and repairing the water main on The West Mall between Bloor and Burnhamthorpe has finally wrapped up.

Begun June 17, the 1.1km stretch of construction, which also included some maintenance work on the sewer, will cost the city $1.5 million, once the road resurfacing, scheduled for the spring, is done.

According to a spokeswoman from acting manager of structures and expressways Mike Laidlaw's office, who by City Hall rules is not allowed to be identified, the work was the result of a regular maintenance schedule.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Mike Laidlaw

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a cool new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

135 Transportation Articles | Page: | Show All
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