Some west end commuters may have trouble finding spots for their cars now that hydro construction projects have closed sections of three parking lots near Kipling and Islington TTC stations.
The projects, which are collaborations between Hydro One and Toronto Hydro, have restricted parking in the Kipling South, Islington and Lomond lots from Sunday until Nov. 5.
Jay Armitage, director of communications for Hydro One, said Monday that the work involves upgrading transmission lines and strengthening steel hydro towers that are located beside the parking lots. The work involves new wiring, she said.
"This is necessary infrastructure work and it needs to happen," Armitage said. "During this time, during the next four to six weeks, we would recommend that people look for alternatives, whether it be car pooling, different public transit options, cycling and so on."
Roughly a third of parking spots have been closed in each lot: 115 spots out of 829 are closed at Kipling South, 200 spots out of 534 are closed at Islington, and 75 spots out of 283 are closed at Lomond.
Hydro One and Toronto Hydro, through the Twitter handle @powerwestTO, will be tweeting daily when the lots are full.
Armitage said the work is also necessary to ensure there will be sufficient power for the new Eglinton Crosstown LRT in 2019.
"This is a really significant infrastructure upgrade. There is work being done along 10 kilometres of the high voltage power lines in the west end," she said.
"It will directly benefit thousands of residents and businesses in Toronto's west end. And it will also help to electrify the Eglinton Crosstown. But with construction, we know it can be really disruptive."
Crews to work from dawn until dusk
Hydro One, which is doing the actual construction work, has closed the sections of the three parking lots out of public safety concerns. Armitage said there needs to be space between parked vehicles and the construction work.
"We want to do this quickly, but we want to do it as safely as possible," she said.
New entrances and exits to the lots have been created to ease traffic flow, she added.
She said Hydro One is using as many crews as it can to complete the work and has extended their work hours from dawn until dusk.
Motorists have already been informed of the closures through flyers and signage, she added.
The closures are part of a larger infrastructure project that will be completed over 18 months. It is expected to come to an end sometime in 2018.