Posts Tagged ‘LRT’

bus stop and shelter on Don Mills Road at Wynford, Crosstown construction and high rises in the background

I’ve been keeping an eye on the old IBM building at the corner of Don Mills and Eglinton. It was built in 1951 as IBM’s Canadian manufacturing plant and head office.

It’s been empty for a long time but recently work has begun on the site.

east side of old IBM building at Don Mills and Eglinton, low rise yellow brick, horizontal windows, empty and ready for demolition

The IBM complex sits on 60 acres and the whole site will be redeveloped in the coming months.  The white tower in the background is also on the site, right beside the CPR tracks that mark the northern boundary.

piles of metal from demolition of building

below: A Canada goose struts near one of the entrances to the old IBM building that is being demolished.

solitary Canada goose walking on the grass beside the parking lot for old IBM building, demolition of one of the entrances in the background

an entrance to the IBM building on Don Mills Road being demolished

below: 1954

an old black and white photo of the IBM building on Don Mills Road in 1954

photo credit – taken from ‘Urban Toronto’ online article about this development

below: Apparently the plan is to build a mix of residential and commercial buildings on the site ranging from 3 to 44 storeys.  A new community centre and park are also included in the planned Crosstown Community.

corner of Don Mills and Eglinton during Crosstown construction, IBM building in the background

In terms of construction and development, this intersection is very busy as it is also the location of the future Science Centre LRT station.  It has been a mess for so long that I can’t remember how long it’s been.  There are  signs of progress starting to emerge from the chaos so perhaps there is hope for a 2021 opening of the Crosstown LRT.

below: The new bus bays on the northeast corner are starting to take shape.

west end of the new bus bays at Eglinton and Don Mills, under construction, glass walls and roof

below: More of the NE corner.

vacant lot on Eglinton Ave by Great Canadian Superstore at Don Mills, edge of Crosstown construction site

concrete barriers being stored on a vacant lot, one ornage and white cone too

below: Looking across Eglinton towards the Mormon church and other buildings on the south east corner.

construction on Eglinton at Don Mills, Mormon church in the picture - Church of Latter Day Saints

below: A sign of the times.  Covid-19 dos and don’ts.

signs re covid-19 on a green fence around a construction site

below: New tracks being laid where the LRT comes back to the surface east of Don Mills Road (looking east towards the DVP).  The Science Centre station is underground even though the tracks on both the east and west side are above ground.

construction of the Crosstown l r t, tracks being laid on the above ground portion of the line, near Eglinton.

below: From the NE corner (black building is/was the Ontario Federation of Labour) looking south.  All buildings are on the east side of Don Mills Road.

from the northeast corner of Don Mills and Eglinton looking to the south east corner, Foresters building, another older office building and two newer condos.

below: A sidewalk, temporary, lined with cones, along Eglinton.

line of orange and black traffic cones on both sides of the sidewalk along Eglinton through Crosstown construction zone

There are other buildings being torn down.  The building in the background is 1200 Eglinton Ave East.  It was an office building with a parking structure beside it.   This is the view from Wynford Drive.

two concrete buildings from the 1970s or 1980s, one behind has started to be demolished, a parking lot and large tree between the buildings

The same building a few days later when I went back to check on the demolition’s progress.  The parking structure is now just piles of rubble and more of the exterior walls of the other building are gone.

green machery demolishing a parking structure that is now just piles of rubble, beside another building that is partially demolished

lower levels of a building that has been partially demolished, all the exterior walls have been removed, leaving just the interior walls

below: The large, almost empty, parking lot behind the Bell building on Wynford.

large yellow arrow painted on the surface of a large parking lot, only a few cars

below: With a few exceptions, most of the buildings around Wynford are products of the 1960s and 1970s.

three storey white concrete building with the width of the floors increasing as you go upwards

low one storey building with two large windows with blinds closed, no cars in parking lot

two trees in front of a concrete building with lots of narrow vertical windows

a red brick one storey light industrial building

below: Another empty parking lot.  This picture was taken on a Saturday afternoon which might explain the lack of cars but as I drive around the city I see lots of empty parking lots even during the work week.   A sign of the times.

bent metal pipes as a railing, painted in yellow and black, empty parking lot beyond with a couple a buildings in the background

below: Looking across the Don Valley Parkway

tree silhouette (no leaves) in front of a glass building that is reflecting the blue of the sky

below: CPR tracks behind Wynford.

graffiti, tags, along the concrete embankment beside the CPR tracks, apartment buldings can be seen over the wall

below: Rusty metal spirals, tightly wound, found amongst the gravel along the train tracks.

a pile of rusted spiral pieces of metal formed from drilling into the sides of railway tracks, lying in the gravel beside the tracks

a set of three railway lights at 2042-1 pole, lights are arranged vertically, one on top of the other

edge of parking lot that it empty, with railway tracks behind, a wall with graffiti, and an apartment building in the background

below: Looking east along the tracks just before they cross the DVP.   If you follow the tracks, they lead you to the CPR marshaling yard at McCowan and Sheppard.   So, that’s where I went next…. (scroll down!)

a lone chair sitting in the grass beside the railway tracks, shrubs behind the chair, early spring, no leaves on the shrubs

along the railway tracks, shrubs, and an old wood utility pole with glass knobs

Open Doors was this past weekend in Toronto.  For one day only, the new maintenance facility for the Eglinton Crosstown in Mt Dennis was open to the public, the EMSF (Eglinton Maintenace and Storage Facility). Although the new trains (aka light rail vehicles) are very much like the new TTC streetcars and the new maintenance buildings resemble the Leslie Barns, here are a few glimpses of what is to come.

below: The parking lot and pedestrian access to the EMSF is off Industry Street.

bus shelter at Bertal Rd near the new facility, barbed wire fence around the building, grass and weeds around the shelter

below: Exterior of new Crosstown light rail vehicle. Six new vehicles have been delivered from Bombardier so far.  Another seventy are expected to arrive before the Crosstown opens in 2021.

inside the new maintance building, a new grey, black and white crosstown train on display, people walking past it and taking pictures

below: Interior, looking towards the front.

a few people talking at the front of new Crosstown train, from farther back in the train.

below: The AVIS facility – Automated Vehicle Inspection Station

the AVIS building at the new eglinton crosstown buildings, AVIS means, automated vehicle inspection station. It is a covering over tracks that the trains can pull into

below:  Looking into the maintenance building.

people standing outside the open door of the crosstown facility, can look inside

inside the new train maintenance building with three levels of access to the trains,

the front end of two trains parked inside, with work areas under the trains for maintenance

below: The site takes up 42 acres of land.   There are 8.5 kms of track.

streetcar tracks and overhead wires

exterior of new crosstown maintenance facility with double grey stripes, a doorway with many warning signs.

Not shown: There is also a building for Transit Operations.

The other evening I was going to try some evening photography along the waterfront starting around Sugar Beach. As I walked down Lower Jarvis, this view caught my attention – looking west along Lakeshore Blvd.  It’s a view that has been changing very rapidly.    I counted at least seven cranes as I stood there waiting for some of the traffic to clear.

downtown Toronto, looking west towards all the tall buildings, looking along the Lakeshore with lots of traffic on it, many buildings in the foreground under construction with 7 cranes in the photo

below: Sugar Beach.   Unfortunately a film crew was already here so I didn’t stick around.

a group of people standing near the waterfront at sugar beach with its pink umbrellas and white muskoka chairs

below: One of the buildings to the east of Sugar Beach is a new George Brown College building.

looking up to a second floor of a building that has a very large window, three round tables and some chairs can be seen through the window

below: Film crew trucks ready to be loaded back up

the back of two large trucks with their doors open as cables, tools and other equipment for filming is being load back into the trucks

The strip of green that you see on the right side of the above photo is part of Sherbourne Common (at the foot of Lower Sherbourne Street).    From here east to Parliament is now being developed as East Bayside and is a continuation of the now completed development from Jarvis (Sugar Beach) to Sherbourne.   East Bayside is bounded by Queens Quay and Lake Ontario as well as Sherbourne and Parliament.  1800 residences are planned in this space.

below: Some of the condos are under construction.  Same old same old; yawn.  They may look a little more interesting from a distance, but at street level they are hopelessly banal.  If you want to buy a condo here, there are only a few left in the two buildings known as Aqualina and Aquabella.   In the latter, only 3 are available, starting at a two bedroom suite for 2.8 million.  Five million dollars will get you a three bedroom penthouse with two terraces but if you want to pay an additional 1 1/2 million you get 4,000 square feet on two floors (3 bedrooms and 2 terraces as well).

new condo development by the lake

below: At least the “linear park” and waterfront path is being continued eastward along Lake Ontario.

construction of a waterfront path

orange wheel barrows at a construction site beside a lake

below:  Work is also underway on Queens Quay East.   As a frame of reference, the tall building behind the billboard is in the Distillery District.  Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner run behind the buildings with the blue trim.

billboard, construction on queens quay east

What hasn’t yet been started is construction of two office buildings that will front on Queens Quay, called T3 Bayside.  They are going to be made of wood which should be interesting.

There has been a lot of talk for the past 12 to 14 years about extending streetcar service along this route.  So far a lot of planning and a lot of talk but that’s it.  An LRT right of way running along the south side of the street has been approved but the East Bayfront LRT project, (aka Waterfront LRT) has stalled because of the usual political shenanigans and financial hiccups.   A major part of the delay has been the question of how to link an East Bayfront LRT to Union station.  The present tunnel is barely sufficient for the streetcars that use it now.  Just recently (April 2019) the city released a report on how to address this issue.  I haven’t read it all yet (it’s 40 pages long) but the gist of it is that the city is considering two options – 1. rebuilding the tunnel or 2. building an automated people moving system of some sort and leave all streetcars out of the tunnel.

below: There is a small trench down the center of the street.

danger sign on construction zone in the middle of the street, Queens Quay, looking west along the street towards downtown toronto

Any ideas what’s being planned for the north side of Queens Quay?

two orange and black traffic contruction cones on the street in front of an old white industrial building with red door frames and a wood loading dock with yellow trim
metal framework that is holding up a large billboard

below:  Queens Quay turns towards Parliament Street.  The blue building is a Sidewalk Labs information centre.  The land that Sidewalk Labs wants to develop, Quayside, is close by – south of Lakeshore and east of Parliament.  It also includes the little strip of land between Queens Quay and Lakeshore, i.e. that answers my question above about what happens on the north side of Queens Quay.  There was some rumour (plan?) about Sidewalk Labs being involved in development of some of the Portlands but is that still on?    As to what their plans are or where they are at now, I have no idea.  That’s probably another blog post!

many orange and black cones on a stretch of road that is having work done on it

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will be 19 km long once it’s finished in 2021.  The other day I posted some pictures of the construction between Yonge & Victoria Park on the eastern section.  This post covers the stretch from the Allen Expressway to Weston Road where the tracks end in the west.

below: A new way to ride. For a city on the move. Cringe worthy design.

pink billboard seen between pine trees, raised high, words on it that say A new way to ride. For a city on the move. Eglinton Crosstown arrives 2021.

below: Approaching the south end of the Allen Expressway as well as Eglinton West subway station from the east.  Eglinton West station, on the Yonge University line, is low building with a flat concrete roofline.  You can hardly see it in the photo, but it’s there.  The interior of the present station is heavy on the concrete, a legacy from the 1970’s.  As to whether or not this will be renovated, I don’t know.

workman with a slow sign upside down, on a construction site in the middle of a street, crosstown eglinton lrt

below: No room for the sidewalk so it diverts through Ben Nobleton park.

a sidewalk ends at a fence arond a construction site and pedestrians are diverted through a park to the left, signs on the fence directing traffic

below: Working under Eglinton Avenue in front of Eglinton West station.  Once the Crosstown in open, this will become Cedarvale station.

construction site, excavation and building under a road

sidewalk, many orange construction signs cluttering the sidewalk, bus stop, traffic on the street,

below: The big green crane at Oakwood station

large green overhead crane on steel runners, hanging over a construction site

below: Beside Oakwood station with all the “Open for Business” signs.  Businesses in the area are struggling.

crosswalk leading to buildings, stores beside the construction of Oakwood LRT station, concrete barriers and fence in front of most of them, Manafa Law office and Asian massage therapy centre, signs saying open for business, Eglinton Avenue West, crosstown construction

wire mesh fence in front of open pit excavation of underground LRT, steel cross beams and wood supports,

open pit excavation of underground LRT, steel cross beams and wood supports,

a workman in hard hat and yellow jacket stands on a pile of steel rods on the back of a flat bed truck with a crane lowering a steel beam into the ground in front of him

below: At Dufferin, looking north towards Central Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Fairbanks station will be at this intersection.

blue fences between sidewalk and rad at Eglinton and Dufferin, construction, church in the background,

below: Also at Dufferin, this time looking south towards St. Hilda’s towers.

red brick apartment buildings with crosstown LRT construction in front of them.

below: Photobombed!

a workman in a hard hat and carrying yellow packages walks in front of the camera on a construction site

stop sign in front of a construction site on Eglinton Ave

below: Construction of Caledonia station in front of Westside mall.  Because this station is adjacent to the Barrie corridor (GO train), plans are in the works to build a GO station here too.

three apartment buildings in the background, construction in foreground, in front of a grocery store, snow on the ground, green fence around the construction

below: A mural showing the evolution of TTC streetcars, painted by Jim Bravo in 2017, with supported from Fairbanks Village BIA, Josh Colle (city councillor), the City of Toronto., and Sherwin Williams paint.

mural of the evolution of TTC streetcars and LRT vehicles, painted by Jim Bravo in 2017, stylized but realistic looking

below: Construction in front of York Memorial Collegiate (at Keele).

Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction at Keele, in front of

below: looking east along Eglinton from Keele.

street scene, traffic and stores, construction in the middle of the street, Eglinton Avenue looking wast from Keele street

two workmen in hard hats and orange work vest look at paperwork on a construction site.

below: Working on the westernmost section of the LRT after it emerges from underground between Keele Street  and Black Creek Drive.   As you can see, the tracks are elevated and cross over Black Creek before entering the terminal station at Weston Road (Mount Dennis station).

work on the west end of the corsstown lrt, after the tracks emerge from underground, raised track for a section before final station

crane lifting wood panel from bridge, used as a form for making concrete, workmen watching,

below: The western end of the line.   The bridge is new.  I am a bit annoyed because I didn’t pursue it – I don’t know where the road goes!  It has to go somewhere because I saw at least two vehicles on it.  A quick search on google maps plus a guess equals maybe it’s an extension of Photography Drive (named that because it’s where the old Kodak factory was).

new building under construction, older white large building behind it. road in foregraound, Mt Dennis LRT station under construction

below: There is pedestrian access to the bridge, or rather, there will be access.

new concrete steps, still fenced off, up a hill with a light covering of snow to a new bridge

Then Eglinton Avenue passes under the railway tracks (the same line that the Union Pearson Express runs on) and into Mount Dennis.

construction beside a bridge, underpass is a street

below: Construction of another access to Mt Dennis station to the west of the railway tracks.

construction of Mt Dennis LRT station beside Eglinton ave and beside railway tracks

back of houses behind construction of mount dennis LRT station

below: The EMSF aka the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility is almost finished.  It’s the long low grey building in the photo; it is about the size of 4 football fields.  Access is from a side street to the north of Eglinton.  This isn’t the best photo of it.  If you are interested, there is a better photo online (a ‘Toronto Now’ article) that is taken from an angle that I can’t access.   The same article describes how the Mt Dennis station will be the second largest transit hub in the city (after Union Station) as it will service GO trains, the TTC, and the Union Pearson Express.

green construction fence in front of a long low building in two shades of grey

below: mural by Adrian Hayles at the northeastern corner of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue.

Mount Dennis Metrolinx mural by Adrian Hayles, people, a boy fishing, a person playing hockey, machinery, a turtle,

looking through blue see through fencing towards an apartment across the street, a pedestrian crossing sign in front, a danger due to excavations sign on the fence.

Back before the winter snow had melted, I was at Yonge and Eglinton and noticed that the old bus bays at Eglinton station were gone. That structure had sat empty for a couple of years but now there is a big hole where they once stood. As I looked through the pictures that I took that day, I decided that it might be interesting to explore farther east to see what was happening with the Crosstown LRT construction that has messed up the traffic through midtown for so long now.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Eglinton.

large hole in the ground at a construction site, diggers and a crane onsite

below: There is still a lot of construction underway on Eglinton near Yonge.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT, shoring, wood and pipes

below: A little father east and more holes in the ground. This is the intersection of Eglinton and Mt Pleasant taken from the SE corner looking towards the NW. At least the facade of the old Imperial Bank of Canada building on the NW corner was originally going to be used as the LRT station but have those plans changed? The building was demolished but apparently the facade was taken apart brick by brick and will be re-built later.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT

below: This is the plan for the Mt Pleasant station as seen on the Crosstown website.

artists conception of a new LRT station with a re-purposed older building

below: Looking west from Mt. Pleasant.

cain link fence and gate is open, construction crew in the middle of Eglinton Ave (at Mt Pleasant) is working with a digger, hole in the ground

below: Between Laird and Brentcliffe (east of Bayview). See those low rise brick apartment buildings? How long until they’re gone?

red and white tim hortons sign with an arrow pointing left at a long grey fence around a construction site, sidewalk, street, and low rise buildings on the right, Eglinton Ave

two 3 storey red brick apartment buildings

below: At Brentcliffe. The LRT is underground here and there is no station at this intersection. Laird, where there is a station, is only one block to the west.

Eglinton Ave east at Brentcliffe

below: From Brentcliffe, Eglinton goes downhill because of the Don River ravine system

looking east on Eglinton, towards Don Mills Road in the distance, construction in the foreground

below: Part way down the hill there is a section of concrete. At first I thought that this was where the LRT was going to come to the surface.

concrete section of road, construction

below: But then I wasn’t so sure. There is a concrete wall blocking what would be the exit. It’s difficult to get a closer look because there are two layers of fencing in the way. Nobody was working here. In addition, there is another section farther along that looks like the actual opening. Maybe this is part of the supporting infrastructure?

two fences in front of a dug out section of road, with concrete wall at one end.  One f the fences is orange, wire,

below: Still walking east along Eglinton…. Almost to the bottom of the hill at Leslie – looking east along Eglinton Avenue with E.T. Seton Park on the right and the railway bridge in the distance. Leslie Street, which ends at Eglinton, is on the very left side of the photo. There is talk that this intersection will be closed for two months this summer.

looking east along Eglinton Ave towards Leslie, on the right is the road to the park and beyond that, a railway bridge

below: I turned around and took a picture of the hill that I had just come down. Here the LRT surfaces and the tracks run down the center of the road, with lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks. I am fairly certain that you can see the entrance to the tunnel, the east portal, near the middle of this picture. From here to Kennedy station the tracks are above ground (except for a portion of the route at Don Mills).

traffic drives west along Eglinton Ave., up the hill from Leslie, through the crosstown LRT construction

below: The sidewalk on the south side ends at Leslie street. Here, I chatted with a policeman while we waited for the light to turn green. Once he did, he escorted me across Eglinton as we had to pass through part of the construction zone. This is where I also discovered that there are no bus stops between Brentcliffe and Don Mills Road. That’s only 2 km but it feels a lot longer!

on the south side of Eglinton, where the sidewalk ends at Leslie street, looking east beyond that with construction on the right

below: A development proposal sign stands on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park but what is now a Toyota dealership.

development proposal sign on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park on the north east corner of Leslie and Eglinton

green netting and fencing on both sides of a narrow sidewalk running between construction and traffic.

below: The station at Don Mills and Eglinton will be called “Science Center” and it will be under the intersection.

LRT track path being constructed,

below: There will be a bus terminal on the northeast corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton with underground access to the LRT station. This is what construction looks like on that corner at the moment.

underground sections of LRT being constructed at Don Mills and Eglinton, crane at work, metal frame over tunnel

Just east of Don Mills Road, the LRT surfaces again and remains above ground until Kennedy station. I took the bus from Don Mills Road to Victoria Park as there wasn’t as much to see in this stretch.

below: Looking east from Victoria Park Avenue.

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides,

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides, water tower in the distance

concrete utility pole with two ripped paper temporary bust stop signs, TTC, stops no longer in use