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Streetcars return to Queen East (briefly),
starting June 22

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The TTC is resuming streetcar service on Queen Street East between Coxwell and Broadview Avenues along the 301 Queen overnight and 501 Queen routes at 4:30 a.m. this Sunday, June 22.

The cars will cross over the brand new rails, curves and switches of a new streetcar track junction at Queen Street East and Leslie Street.

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The junction is a major component of the City of Toronto and TTC project to upgrade the street and install streetcar tracks on Leslie Street. They’re building new tracks to connect the future Leslie Barns streetcar maintenance and storage facility to the tracks on Queen Street East.

Even though the intersection is open, passengers from the Beach, Leslieville, Riverside and other east-end neighbourhoods shouldn’t get too comfortable with through streetcar service on Queen East. At 4:30 a.m. Monday, June 30, the TTC will start another project to replace the rails, curves and switches and replace the junction at Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue, again requiring it to divert the cars.

In the meantime, buses continue to replace streetcar service along the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Rd routes, Mondays to Fridays from about 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. The buses operate between Bingham Loop, near Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue, and downtown Toronto. At all other times of the week, the TTC continues to operate buses to supplement streetcar service between Woodbine Loop, near Kingston Road and Queen Street East, and downtown.

All buses start and end their trips on Victoria Street south of Queen East, looping along Church Street and Richmond Street West. From Victoria, passengers only have to walk a short block west to Queen and Yonge Street to board the 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway at Queen Station.

The TTC continues to provide extra service along the 31 Greenwood, 72 Pape, 83 Jones and 143 Beach / Downtown express routes to provide local passengers with alternatives during the construction projects. It continues to provide extra stops both ways on Eastern Avenue at Leslie Street for express buses operating along the 143 route. It also continues to detour buses operating along the 31B Greenwood and 83 Jones route as work on the project continues on Leslie south of Queen.

While the intersection was closed, crews

  • replaced the 80-year-old watermain and seven 100-year-old water valves;
  • installed a new high-capacity storm sewer;
  • installed and upgraded the Bell Canada telecommunications chamber to avoid impacts to transit during future utility work; and
  • installed most of the new tracks at the intersection.

In July, crews start replacing the sidewalks and installing foundations for poles to support overhead catenary wiring to power streetcars on the new section of track on Leslie. They have to complete this work after they’ve reopened the intersection — since they had no no room to complete it while maintaining pedestrian access to homes and businesses during the current closure.