Gardiner Expressway Lower Simcoe Ramp Removal

Weekly Updates: Extended Hours of Work for Gardiner Expressway Demolition 

As the demolition work of the York-Bay-Yonge ramp proceeds eastward from Lower Simcoe to Bay Street, the contractor is moving closer to the intersection of York Street and Harbour Street. This work is on schedule and should take place the weekend of May 19-22 to remove the section of the Gardiner ramp over and closest to York Street.  

In order to meet the date for the scheduled closure and safely perform the work along Harbour Street, the City’s contractor will extend their current work hours (7:00 AM - 7:00 PM) to include 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM effective Thursday, May 11 and as needed, it is anticipated extended hours until 11:00 PM will only be needed for about 3 nights.  

Local Noise 
During these extended work hours, the contractor will be saw cutting sections of the deck that hang over Harbour Street. This work will be disruptive because saw cutting is loud, and there may be tough pieces of concrete that are being removed; however the work will stop at 11:00 PM.

Lane Closures
Due to the close proximity of the ramp to Harbour Street, along this section, traffic lanes will be reduced to two lanes to ensure safe conditions for motorists.The on-ramp at Rees Street is now fully open to motorists. The day time closures are no longer required.

INTERSECTION CLOSURE at York Street and Harbour Street Gardiner Expressway Ramp Reconstruction (from Lower Simcoe to Bay Street)

Street Closes 10:00 A.M. Friday, May 19, 2017

Street Opens 11:00 P.M. Monday, May 22, 2017

The York-Bay-Yonge off ramp demolition work is expected to reach York Street by Friday, May 19. 
In order to safely remove the sections of the ramp over and closest to the intersection, there will be closures at the intersection of York Street and Harbour Street 

 Map of Work Area

Work Hours
To help alleviate concerns about noise from overnight work, the City has limited the hours of work from 7:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. for the whole weekend.  No work will take place between 11:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. Be advised, this work is exempt from the municipal noise by-law; it will be well-lit, loud and disruptive. Staff are monitoring the vibration caused by this demolition  

Traffic Management
Access at York Street and Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street will be affected as follows from Friday, May 19 to Monday, May 22:

  • There will be no through-traffic on York Street northbound and southbound between Harbour Street and Queens Quay from 10:00 A.M. Friday, May 19 to 11:00 P.M. Monday, May 22. 
  • Both directions of York Street will close from Lake Shore Blvd W to Harbour Street at 1:00 P.M. Friday to 11:00 P.M. Monday.
  • Two lanes eastbound along Lake Shore Blvd/Harbour Street will remain open from Lower Simcoe to Bay Streets until 1:00 P.M. Friday. All lanes will be closed as of 1:00 P.M. Friday to 11:00 P.M. Monday.
  • The eastbound Rees Street on-ramp will be open at all times.
  • Westbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard West will remain open.

Efforts have been made to manage traffic in the area for the safety of workers, road users and residents. Road users should expect delays and increased traffic on nearby main and side streets.

Pedestrian Access
Due to the nature of the work and for safety reasons, pedestrians will not be able to use York Street to access Queens Quay south of Harbour Street from 10:00 A.M. Friday to 11:00 P.M. Monday.Pedestrians should use Lower Simcoe Street or Bay Street to access Queens Quay.

Alternate Cycle Routes:  
The cycle tracks on Lower Simcoe Street will be open. The Lake Shore Boulevard West multi-use trail remains closed from Rees Street to York Street for the duration of construction.  Signs for cyclists will be posted directing them to the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay West.

Construction Updates
Construction Update #2 (April 25, 2017)
Construction Update #3 (May 11, 2017)

Overview of Project

Beginning late July 2016, the City of Toronto will be preparing for the construction of a new off-ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to Lower Simcoe Street. This project will also include the removal of the York-Bay-Yonge off-ramp as well as improvements to Harbour Street. Work is expected to begin the week of July 25, 2016 and continue until January 2018.

A new ramp to Lower Simcoe Street and improvements to Harbour Street will:

  • Continue to accommodate high volumes of traffic flow between the Gardiner Expressway, the downtown core and the waterfront.
  • Create an enhanced public realm for the increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists living and working in the area.
  • Improve public safety by including well-signalized, well-lit intersections and better signage for all users
  • Create new park space (within York Street ramp site) to help revitalize waterfront lands

Improvements will help support all modes of travel.

ExpandWhat Road Closures/Lane Restrictions can be expected?

York/Bay/Yonge Ramp will be CLOSED starting Monday, April 17 to January 2018

Efforts have been made to manage traffic in the area for the safety of workers, road users and residents. Advanced notice about major road closures or restrictions will be communicated to stakeholders, the surrounding community and other road user groups.

  • Motorists will still have full access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue, Jarvis Street.
  • Motorists exiting the Gardiner Expressway at Spadina Avenue will be able to access Lake Shore Boulevard to travel eastbound. A locked gate along the ramp exit will be opened to allow motorists to move onto Lake Shore Boulevard. Bollards will be placed on Lake Shore Blvd ahead of the locked gate to provide a lane of traffic for motorists to move into. (Northbound/left turn lane at Spadina Avenue will remain open).

Green arrows indicates eastbound traffic movement from Spadina Avenue off-ramp onto Lake Shore Blvd.

  • Traffic signal times will be adjusted to reduce congestion.
  • Full access to all westbound Gardiner ramps from Lake Shore Blvd West will be maintained.
  • Orange and black advance traffic advisory signage will be placed at key locations.
  • Road closures and restrictions will be managed in coordination with local events.
  • Laneways and driveways that serve businesses will remain accessible for deliveries or service.
  • Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times.

During Demolition: April to July

  • Eastbound on-ramp at Rees Street will be closed Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  from April 17- May 31, to allow demolition to take place during the day and reduce overnight demolition work.
  • Eastbound Harbour Street between Lower Simcoe to Bay Street will be reduced to 2 lanes.
  • On weekdays between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. from May 1 to June 15 the contractor will intermittently use the centre lane on Harbour Street - to permit demolition of the existing ramp which will reduce traffic to one eastbound lane. 
  • Intersections along Harbour Street at Lower Simcoe and York Streets will be closed on select weekends to safely remove the overhead spans of the York/Bay/Yonge ramps (dates to be confirmed).

Follow us on Twitter for updates @TO_Gardiner_LS



ExpandProject Background

An Environmental Assessment study was completed in 2013 recommending the reconfiguration of the eastbound off-ramp from the F.G. Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay and Yonge Streets.The City is now moving forward with the reconfiguration. 

The study recommended the removal of the existing long elevated ramp that leads from the F.G. Gardiner Expressway to Bay Street and removing the ramp at York Street.  They will be replaced with a shorter, wider ramp to Harbour Street at Lower Simcoe Street. A new park will be created at York Street following the looped ramp removal that will further enhance the waterfront area.

Harbour Street will be widened from three to four lanes from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street. Streetscape improvements will be made along Harbour Street and will include the addition of sidewalks decorative pavers and planters. 

The study was completed in a manner that best addressed the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan, the first principle of which is to remove barriers and reconnect the City with Lake Ontario.  Other policies of the Plan explain that Waterfront streets are to be remade as "places" with high quality amenities for pedestrians and cyclists, and that parks are to be designated to enrich waterfront communities.