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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
 

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This will be completed by the time we have a new mayor. Notice how the cars have been pushed back to the north side away from the lake. Not something Ford would have voted for.
 

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I am looking forward to seeing it completed. From Adam Vaughan's latest newsletter:

The transformation of Queens Quay into a world-class waterfront street is about to begin. After years of planning, design and public consultation, construction will start rolling out this spring. The new Queens Quay will be a world-class destination featuring:


  • A broad granite pedestrian promenade with a double row of trees alongside a new stretch of Martin Goodman Trail.

  • Beautification on the north side of the street that will stimulate ground floor retail activity and urban vibrancy.

  • New two-lane, two-way street with expanded turning lanes and a dedicated light rail transit (LRT) corridor with widened platforms and passenger amenities.

When complete in 2014, Queens Quay will be both a beautiful and efficient street. Traffic will move more smoothly, infrastructure will be completely upgraded and transit will run faster. There will also be a new pedestrian promenade and Martin Goodman Trail for cyclists.


What You Need to Know About Construction
Three stages of construction are planned between Yo Yo Ma Lane (just west of Spadina Ave.) and Bay Street:
Stage 1 (June 2012 – Spring 2013): Upgrades to all utilities including Bell, Hydro and Enbridge and build new storm and sanitary sewers. The TTC right-of-way will be demolished, realigned and rebuilt and new tracks will be installed with expanded platforms and amenities.

Stage 2 (Spring 2013 – Early 2014): Brand new traffic lanes on the north side of the TTC tracks with expanded turning lanes and improved signal timing. The new roadway will have granite curbs and sidewalks on the north side including tree planting and finishes.

Stage 3 (Early 2014 – Late 2014): New granite pedestrian promenade and continous Martin Goodman Trail connecting east and west framed by a double row of trees.



What To Expect During Construction
Queens Quay will be open for business during construction and the street will be safe and functional. Access will be maintained to all businesses and residences at all times. Transit, car and pedestrian traffic will continue.

There will be changes in how the street operates during construction. Delivering this important revitalization project will require:

  • Temporary one-way traffic operations alternating between the north and south side of the TTC tracks to avoid construction areas.

  • Temporary TTC bus service running one way on Queens Quay and the other way on Lake Shore while the streetcar line is rebuilt in the first stage of work.

  • Temporary gangplanks to ensure continuous pedestrian access to all buildings and stores during sidewalk reconstruction.

  • Temporary fences around all construction areas to maintain pedestrian and vehicular safety.

  • Construction noise as permitted by the City of Toronto between 7am and 7pm while work is occuring.

Over the course of the project, Waterfront Toronto and their construction manager, Eastern Construction, will coordinate regularly with residents and businesses, and we encourage a two-way dialogue. Weekly construction notices will be available online and by email to help with planning.
 

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What happened to the old design? I'm glad Queen's Quay is being dealt with, but this new design doesn't look anywhere as nice as the old one. The bike lane with now be tarmac? The pot lights are gone as is the bed of greenery between the bike lane and the road?

 

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What happened to the old design? I'm glad Queen's Quay is being dealt with, but this new design doesn't look anywhere as nice as the old one. The bike lane with now be tarmac? The pot lights are gone as is the bed of greenery between the bike lane and the road?


That may just be a render from a different section. Also who's to say that isn't asphalt and those aren't just painted on dots for separation?
 

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That may just be a render from a different section. Also who's to say that isn't asphalt and those aren't just painted on dots for separation?
It was a number of years ago now, but I read the West 8/DTAH winning bid document quite throughly. Many features of that design have been abandoned, while others get watered down bit by bit.

I'm almost positive that the bike lane was originally a quality material other than tarmac and that there were pot lights embedded. The grey stone path now appears to be made of red brick.

The original winning design was outstanding, but they've stripped away most of the beauty leaving just the functionality of that bid. The basic concept is still there, but it's no longer the show stopper it was. We were promised a Alfa Romeo and now we're getting a Pontiac. It still works, but....
 

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QQ has tons of potential and is currently very bland and under utilized. If this is done right, it will be absolutely amazing.
 

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^^ That re-design doesn't exactly fill one with confidence that the potential of Queen's Quay will be realized. It will end up becoming a good Toronto street, but nowhere near what it could have been.

Yeah, those 2 streets have NOTHING in common. I guess they just picked the most famous and celebrated street in the world, for reference but it's still stupid.
Agree, and they're certainly not even moving in that direction with the cheapening evident in the new design. Perhaps Waterfront Toronto should actually visit the Champs Elysees to see what a first rate grand avenue looks like before comparing their proposal to it.
 

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^^ That re-design doesn't exactly fill one with confidence that the potential of Queen's Quay will be realized. It will end up becoming a good Toronto street, but nowhere near what it could have been.
What exactly would you have preferred?
 

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When I look at those two renderings, it looks to me that they are intended to represent two separate stretches of Queen's Quay. The first one has a park branching off to the side, the second one has a very wide sidewalk. I am unsure of what people are meaning when they say it is a "redesign" that has been cheapened out. What has been redesigned and cheapened? One shows bigger trees, but that is just enthusiasm on the part of the renderer.
 
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