No traffic will pass through the major downtown intersection of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue for a fortnight, starting Monday, as streetcar tracks are replaced.
The intersection will be closed to traffic in all directions until the evening of July 23. Eastbound and westbound traffic will be rerouted onto Dundas, Richmond, Adelaide and King Streets. Meanwhile, northbound and southbound vehicles will be diverted to Bathurst Street and University Avenue.
The closure will be in place 24/7, unlike some other maintenance jobs, which are completed during overnight hours only to minimize disruption. "That would be more disruptive because it would go on for much longer," said Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross. "We're trying to get all this work done as quickly as we can."
He was unable to say whether crews will work through the night, but he said the closure is comparable to the one last summer at King Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue.
"We're always having to do construction and track replacement," Mr. Ross said. "It's part of having a streetcar network in the city, infrastructure does need to be maintained."
He said the process is lengthy because all the tracks, switches and overhead wires need to be replaced at the intersection, where two streetcar lines cross. Concrete in the intersection has to be broken, he said, and platforms need to be rebuilt.
At the same time, platforms are being rebuilt and overhead wires with a different power distribution are being put in place in preparation for new streetcars that will roll out in 2014, Mr. Ross said.
Other maintenance on Spadina Avenue has caused the TTC to temporarily replace streetcars with buses. The buses, as well as Queen streetcars, will be diverted away from the intersection.
Pedestrian access to businesses near Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue will be maintained, a statement from the City of Toronto said.
City spokesman Steve Johnston said in an e-mail that residents in the area were given information about the closure in March, June and July. Plus, he said, two dozen signs were placed in the neighbourhood regarding the shutdown.