Toronto Star 06/06/2012
Tess Kalinowski Transportation Reporter
A $110 million plan to transform Queens Quay into a model streetscape with a wide pedestrian promenade, bike lanes and a new bi-directional streetcar corridor will break ground next month, nearly two years after it was expected to begin.
Environmental assessments, design and co-ordination of construction have delayed the ambitious project, but the makeover, to be finished in 2015, will be worth the wait, Waterfront Toronto officials promised at a press briefing Tuesday.
“The goal is to make (Queens Quay) the signature street for Toronto” — this city’s version of Barcelona’s Rambla, or the Champs Elysees in Paris, said Chris Glaisek, vice-president, planning and design for Waterfront Toronto.
The 1.5-km. stretch from about Spadina to Bay will include a tree-lined, 5-metre-wide pedestrian promenade on the south that will extend to 7.2 metres wide in some places. Fitted with granite curbs and red and white pavers, it will feature a maple leaf pattern.
There will be two bike lanes next to the pedestrian space, providing a continuous link for the Martin Goodman Trail across the waterfront.
A new two-way streetcar corridor will be built along the south side of the street, while vehicle traffic will be reduced to a single lane of cars in each direction on the north. The north sidewalk will feature the same red and white pavers.
A landscape magazine once listed Queens Quay among the world’s worst streets, said Waterfront Toronto President John Campbell.
As it stands, it is “both unattractive and dysfunctional,” he said. “Ultimately it acts as a barrier rather than a gateway to the waterfront.”
Construction has been meticulously co-ordinated into three phases to ensure the street remains accessible for residents and businesses during the work. Once the makeover is complete, there will be a five-year moratorium on tearing up the street.
Queens Quay will remain safe and accessible at all points during the construction, with two lanes of traffic moving at all times and full pedestrian access to businesses and condos on both sides.
Residents and businesses are invited to two open houses: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the lobby of 20 Bay St.
Full story - http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1206485--queens-quay-to-become-toronto-s-champs-elysees