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Waterfront Toronto officially breaks ground on the Queens Quay

It’s finally happening! Can’t wait for new separated bikeways on Queens Quay!

Highlights of the new Queens Quay include a pedestrian promenade with a of mosaic of 2.5 million red and grey pieces of Canadian granite, a canopy of more than 200 trees, and improved traffic lanes. Cyclists will also be elated with the addition of separated bike lanes connecting to waterfront to the Martin Goodman trail.

“(The Waterfront) is not just a tourist destination it’s a place making destination.” said TTC Chair Karen Stintz, who on hand representing the city of Toronto. “We need to celebrate what this means to public space and to the city.”

Read the full post: “Waterfront Toronto officially breaks ground on the Queens Quay” on Spacing Toronto .

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Part of Queens Quay is closing to become Bike, Pedestrian and Transit Friendly

This is a loooong time coming.  I remember the “trial” for this happening way back in 2006. Looking forward to this amazing new infrastructure!

Queens Quay West between Bay Street and Spadina Avenue will become a one-way, westbound street starting on Monday, November 5 and ending at some point in spring 2013. That’s the bad news. On the other hand, it’s all part of an ongoing revitalization project being spearheaded by Waterfront Toronto. So at least, when all is said and done, this stretch of Queens Quay will be a tree-lined, granite-sidewalked boulevard, complete with a totally rebuilt streetcar lane and a new section for the existing Martin Goodman bike trail. The project is expected to be completed, trees and all, in 2015.

Read the full post: “Part of Queens Quay West to Become a One-Way Street, Starting Monday” on Torontoist .

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Should Cyclists Worry about Queens Quay?

Way back in 2006 Toronto saw a test-run of a cyclist and pedestrian-friendly Queens Quay… a re-imagination of the street that closed the eastbound lanes to cars and turned them over to pedestrians and cyclists and landscaping.

2006 Trial - "Quay to the City"

It was an amazing 10 days when the street was like this … fully physically separate bikelanes along the central (and most important part of) the waterfront.

The wheels of municipal bureaucracy have been turning in the almost 5 years since this test run was done in August 2006, and Waterfront Toronto has been slowly but surely getting our waterfront up to world-class standards, with projects like Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, and the tons of work being done with land adjacent to the Don River.

Questions have been raised during the last week about if this project will actually happen due to the Toronto Transit Commission essentially issuing a “show us the money” statement to Waterfront Toronto.  The TTC has to re-build the Queens Quay streetcar tracks next year and wants to make sure the pedestrian and cyclist-friendly design being planned has funding in place as the TTC has to re-align the tracks slightly to fit them into the new plan.

It sounds like this may just be a breakdown in communication, as Waterfront Toronto and the TTC have been discussing this project (and others for years).  It looks like all Waterfront Toronto has to do is “move around some money” amongst it’s many projects to ensure that this one has enough money to satisfy the TTC.  This money moving needs City approval to be done.

However, if the City does NOT approve this money movement… the TTC will re-build the tracks in the same place they are in now, which will mean Waterfront Toronto will have to pay extra to have the tracks moved in the future OR there will have to be a whole new plan formulated to accomodate cars on the north side (westbound) of the tracks.

Cyclists SHOULD be worried about another delay in getting this project done (it was originally scheduled to be done in 2008).  This is the centerpiece of our Waterfront – and will be immensely popular with Torontonians AND tourists.

If more news comes out about this, we’ll let you know.

Some Past BikingToronto Posts on Queens Quay:

 

 

 

 

 

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Waterfront Toronto Unveils Queens Quay Plan


Waterfront Toronto has just released plans for the new people-friendly” Queens Quay that we got a taste of back in 2006 with “Quay to the City” (photos at the end of this post). This of course includes the “connection” of the east and west portions of the Martin-Goodman Trail with a physically seperate two-way cycling path on the southern portion of the street (a good idea of how this will work is in the photos at the end of this post):

Waterfront Toronto yesterday unveiled its lofty $192-million plan, which seeks to overhaul the lake-side road between Bathurst and Parliament streets. The transformation would turn Queens Quay into a European-style boulevard, with wide, tree-lined pedestrian walking lanes, an extended waterfront boardwalk, increased green space, more expedient public transit and a widened cycling trail.

The proposed renovations would eliminate two traffic lanes south of the dedicated streetcar lane currently in place, allowing for increased walking room framed by two rows of trees next to the waterfront. The remaining two lanes north of the streetcar lane, both of which currently run westbound, will either be reduced to a single westbound lane with dedicated parking or converted into one lane flowing in each direction.

Chris Glaisek, Waterfront Toronto’s vice-president of planning and design, said the goal is to make Queens Quay more “Main Street” than main thoroughfare.

“It should be local. It should be a retail destination. It should be the heart of a neighbourhood,” he said…

“It should be a place that you say, ‘I want to go to Barcelona because I want to see the Ramblas,’ or ‘I want to go to Paris because I want to see the Champs d’Elysee,’ or ‘I want to go to Toronto because I want to see Queens Quay.’ “

 

 

Photos from 2006′s Quay to the City:

 

Quay to the City, Aug. 11-20, 2006

Quay to the City, Aug. 11-20, 2006

Quay to the City, Aug. 11-20, 2006

News Articles about this:

National Post: Waterfront “grand gateway” proposed
Toronto Star: Lakefront plan gives pedestrians top priority
Globe and Mail: Group plans a facelift fit for Queens Quay
Toronto Sun: Facelift for Queen’s Quay

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Queens Quay Bikelanes in Jeopardy

Last summer, the temporary installation of Quay to the City on Queens Quay felt (to me anyways) like a small “tipping point” in Toronto’s way to being a truly bike-friendly city. Cyclists loved it, pedestrians loved it. Drivers may not have liked losing half of the street, but having what I like to call “intermodal balance” (dedicated space for cars, transit, bikes and pedestrians) is something that is sorely lacking in Toronto (so far).

That was a trial-run for the permanent installation that was supposed to start construction this fall (if my memory is correct), but BikeLaneDiary is reporting that area businesses are putting up a stink (somehow believing that transit users, cyclists and pedestrians don’t shop or spend money) about them and that WaterfronToronto is doing another EA (Envrionmental acessment) of that stretch before committing to development plans.

Let them know you want these physically seperate bikelanes on Queens Quay. That Queens Quay NEEDS them for this section of the waterfront to have any sustainable future at all.

Contact info:

Andrea Kelemen
Communications + Marketing
Waterfront Toronto
20 Bay Street Suite 1310
Toronto ON M5J 2N8
Tel: (416) 214 1344 x248
central@waterfrontoronto.ca

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