Gardiner Expressway Lower Simcoe Ramp Removal

Project Overview

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. Construction of the off ramp 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.

ExpandOctober 6th-10th Intersection Closure Harbour St.and Bay St

ROAD CLOSURE on Harbour Street (York St to Bay St)
Gardiner Expressway Ramp Reconstruction

Street Closes: 9:00 P.M. Friday, October 6, 2017
Street Opens: 5:00 A.M. Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Construction activity continues along Harbour Street as we work to rebuild the roadway from three to four lanes. Starting on Friday, October 6 at 9:00 P.M. the intersection at Bay Street will be closed for reconstruction until Tuesday, October 10 at 5:00 A.M. Traffic along Harbour Street will be diverted at York Street to go north and southbound

On Saturday, October 7 from 9:00 P.M. to 12:01 A.M. one lane on Harbour Street will be temporarily opened to allow vehicle traffic to access the Bay Street on-ramp to the eastbound Gardiner Expressway. This is will help move the large volumes of vehicles expected after the Toronto Maple Leafs home opener.


Traffic Management:  

Access along Harbour Street will be affected as follows:

  • Full closure of the intersection at Bay Street and Harbour Street with no through-traffic.
  • Eastbound traffic will be diverted at York Street to go north or south bound, and then eastbound on Front or Queens Quay, respectively.
  • The eastbound Rees Street on-ramp will be open at all times.
  • Westbound lanes on Lake Shore Boulevard West will remain open.  
  • Through eastbound traffic to downtown is encouraged to take Gardiner Expressway to Jarvis Street and enter downtown from Jarvis during this closure.

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.

Overnight Work Hours:

Work will take place 24-hours a day for the entire weekend.  The contractor will use extended work hours to minimize traffic disruption and congestion.
Be advised, that overnight work will involve loud noise, such as concrete saw cutting, concrete grinding and concrete removal (e.g. tools and machinery), placing concrete into trucks (banging) and beeping trucks backing-up.  This type of work can be expected the first half of the weekend.  This noise will not be as disruptive as the ramp demolition work that was delivered this past spring. 

There will be periods when very little activity is taking place due to freshly poured concrete curing in the roadway. 

TTC Service:
This closure will affect the 6 Bay route.
visit for detour information and see pole cards on affected stops.

Pedestrian Access:
Due to the nature of the work and for safety reasons, pedestrians will not be able to use the sidewalks within the construction area. Signage will be placed ahead of the intersection to notify pedestrians to use adjacent streets to move north and south.

Alternate Cycle Routes: 
The cycle tracks on Bay Street will be closed through the intersection.  Signage will be posted ahead of the closure to alert cyclists to use alternate routes on Lower Simcoe and Queens Quay. 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.

Road, Sidewalk and Driveway Access: 
In order to complete the work in a safe manner, there will be road and sidewalk restrictions within the construction area. 

Driveway and Laneway Access: 
Laneways that serve businesses and residences in the area will remain accessible for access, deliveries and service. 

Residents that require accommodation must contact the Project Information Line to arrange for access during construction.


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.

ExpandPublic Consultation

Public Drop-In Event - Feb 28th

On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 the City hosted a public drop-in event where the public could speak directly with project staff about the upcoming construction. 

Below are the event display boards

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.

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