TTC track replacement is closing the busy, downtown intersection of King Street and Spadina Avenue starting Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., adding to the city's already heavily restricted traffic flow thanks to heavy summertime construction.
Parts of the four-way intersection started being closed this morning, and after 10 a.m. all vehicle traffic will be diverted until Aug. 20.
Pedestrians will still have access to a secure walkway and businesses in the area.
Foot traffic will 'disappear,' says shop owner
But, local business owners are worried about the impact the track work will have on their bottom line.
"There will be no customers," a man who owns a shop in the area told CBC News. "The foot traffic is going to disappear."
Most of those shoppers come off streetcars, he said, which won't be running for 14 days.
He is also worried he won't be able to receive deliveries from his supplier because trucks won't be able to access his shop.
TTC officials say deliveries to storefronts will still be possible and can be co-ordinated with on-site staff.
Once the work is finished, the tracks will not need to be replaced again for another 25 years, say TTC officials.
Better communication needed
Many commuters were surprised to find the heavily used intersection closed Tuesday morning.
"I heard it this morning on the [subway] announcement," one man told CBC News. "But I don’t know how serious that’s going to be."
The city tried hard to get news of the closure out to citizens before Tuesday, said Stephen Buckley, the city's general manager of transportation services.
"We do issue press releases," he said. "But, depending on the news of any given day, that can be lost in much of the noise."
He said the city is working on creating a better system of communicating closures to commuters.
Mass Toronto street closures
The King-Spadina intersection is not the only strip of Toronto's roads to close August 6.
Starting Tuesday, the following closures are in place:
- Eglinton Avenue West at the East Mall: one eastbound and one westbound curb lane will be closed Aug. 6-9.
- The East Mall at West Deane Park Drive: closed Aug. 6-9.
- The East Mall at Gordon Park Drive: northbound and southbound curb lanes will be closed Aug. 6-9.
- Weston Road from Denison Road East to Victoria Street: two northbound lanes will be closed Aug. 6-7.
- Cummer Avenue from Yonge Street to Willowdale Avenue: closed Aug 6-30.
- Sheppard Avenue West from Chesswood Drive to Bakersfield Street: westbound curb lane closed Aug. 6-9.
- Eglinton Avenue East from Warden Avenue to Birchmount Road: westbound curb lane closed Aug 6-29.
- Ellesmere Road to McCowan Road: westbound and eastbound curb lanes of Ellesmere Road and southbound bus lane of McCowan Road closed Aug. 6-9.
- Rouge River Drive to Trailview Terrance: northbound curb lane at Rouge Driver Drive 30 metres south of Trailview Terrace closed Aug. 6-7.
- Bellefair Avenue to 2000 Queen Street East: southbound curb lane closed Aug. 6-7.
- Coxwell Avenue to Plains Road: southbound curb lane at 960 Coxwell Avenue will be closed Aug. 6.
- George Street from Henry Lane Terrace to Wilson Street: a curb lane in front of 50 George Street will be closed Aug. 6.
- 301 Front Street West to John Street: closed Aug. 6-9.
- Dunmurray Boulevard to Eaglestone Road: closed Aug. 6-20.
- Lisgar Street north of Sudbury Street: Aug. 6-8.