Construction Projects

Gerrard - Elm - D'Arcy - River Street Watermain Replacement

photo of a shaft site under construction

Project start date: January 3, 2012
Expected project completion date: October 2015 

The City of Toronto has identified major watermains between Spadina Avenue and River Street that need to be replaced to increase capacity and maintain the safety and reliability of the water supply. This project is part of the Toronto Water cast iron watermain replacement program. A Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Schedule A) study was completed in January 2008  to determine a preferred route for the replacement of the watermain.  Construction of the very large pipe will be done by tunneling underground, which minimizes traffic delays and community disturbances.

Construction Area

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Construction Details

The main watermain route goes from Spadina Ave., along D’arcy St. to McCaul St., continuing north on McCaul St., east on Elm St., north on Elizabeth St., east along Gerrard St., turning south on River St., and ending at Mark St. A secondary segment includes Beverley St. from D’Arcy St. to College St.

Construction is done by tunneling the watermain underground, which minimizes traffic delays and community disturbances.

The tunneling process required the construction of seven large tunnel shaft sites along the route. Tunnel shaft sites provide an area to launch and operate the tunneling machine and allow for the removal of soil and other material.

Construction takes about 12-21 months at each shaft site, with the exception of Allen Gardens south east corner, which will contain a construction site for the full three and half years. 

Construction work will also be required for smaller valve chambers and connection sites along the route. Work at each smaller site will vary from one to eight months.

Construction Sites Schedule

Updates and further details provided as work progresses.

Location Start* End* More Info Latest Status
Tunnel Shafts        
Spadina Ave. & D’Arcy St. COMPLETE! (minor curb restoration to occur 2015)
D’Arcy St. & McCaul St. COMPLETE! (minor curb restoration to occur 2015)
Elm St. & Elizabeth St. Sept. 2012 2015 Aug. 2012 Notice Occupied with minimal surface activity
Elizabeth St. & Gerrard St. (No longer required)
Allan Gardens (south east) Jan. 2012 Oct. 2015

Feb.2012 Notice

Meeting Slides

Gerrard St. & River St. COMPLETE!
River St. & Mark St. COMPLETE! (some curb restoration to occur in 2015)

*Timelines subject to change


Work Hours

Work will typically take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday, with work after hours and on weekends as required.


During construction there will be restrictions to turning, parking and driving lanes in and around each shaft work area. Advisory signs will be put in place. Access to all businesses and residences will be maintained on both sides of all roads at all times during construction.

From time to time residents may experience vibrations, dust and noise from the excavation and tunnelling equipment, including back up beepers from trucks.

The water supply to local properties should not be affected by this construction project.

Every effort will be made to reduce inconveniences. The City appreciates your understanding and co-operation.