As the old adage goes, there are only two seasons in Canada – winter and construction! Now that Old Man Winter has gone into hibernation, brace yourself Ward 32, as we enter a very busy and disruptive construction season.
“No pain, no gain” will be our mantra as we tolerate the temporary disarray and look forward to new and improved streetcar tracks, pavement, street trees, sidewalks, benches and bike locking posts once the dust settles. Ward 32 will also get a new parkette, improved water infrastructure to help stop basement flooding and public art as a result of this construction work.
My office and I have been working closely with city staff to ensure that while construction is underway our neighbourhoods remain accessible and traffic disruptions are limited.
We would love your help as well! Help us reduce further potential construction problems by joining one of our construction liaison committees and share your knowledge of your street and community with engineers and contractors working in your area. And PLEASE continue to support your terrific local businesses. They need you now more than ever, so please don’t let the dust and noise of construction keep you away from our great shops and services!
Here is what is happening in our ward this summer:
Kingston Road reconstruction and TTC track replacement
The TTC tracks along Kingston road will be replaced this summer. While this work occurs, Kingston road will be reduced to one eastbound lane. We have worked closely with the Kingston Road Village Business Association on beautification plans for the street including new trees, decorative sidewalk pavers, benches, bike racks and signage. The TTC has also agreed to help promote our business community. Please spread the word to your neighbours that now more than ever your favourite local shops need YOU! Come out to our community open house tonight, May 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Kingston Road United Church to learn more about the project or sign up for the construction liaison committee. I have been promised that after this work, Kingston Road is not to be touched for a millennium!
Edgewood channel parkette
The small concrete island at the intersection of Dundas and Kingston Road will become a new parkette. Seating and greenery will be installed and the intersection will be redesigned with an eye to making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The community around Dundas, Kingston Road and Edgewood has been asking for beautification and safety improvements to this intersection for a long time and I am proud to say it will finally happen.
Gerrard Street improvements
Gerrard Street surrounding the intersection with Woodbine Avenue is getting new trees, sidewalks, benches and bike infrastructure thanks to the dynamic Beach Hill Neighbourhood Association’s efforts. Two sections of the street will also benefit from revitalization projects – one at the northwest corner of Gerrard and Woodbine and another on the north side of Gerrard west of Woodbine. Great grassroots initiative!
Eastern Avenue sidewalk
The north side of Eastern Avenue from Minto to Connaught is getting new streetcar tracks and a new sidewalk. The sidewalk and fence will protect pedestrians walking past the TTC yards, something that is long overdue! Toronto Water is taking this opportunity to install new infrastructure as part of their basement flooding mitigation measures. FINALLY, city departments coordinating construction!
A storage facility for Toronto’s new streetcars is currently under construction. You may remember that I fought against this facility and I am still not happy that Ward 32 will have 75 per cent of Toronto’s LRV fleet. However, I will not fight old battles. Instead I will work to ensure this enormous endeavour runs on time and on budget, and that we get the most benefit from this project possible! Please stay informed by attending regular community meetings, signing up for the Leslie Barns newsletters and checking the website www.lesliebarns.ttc.ca. Feel free to pop in to the TTC community liaison office at Hastings and Queen.
In addition to the Leslie Barns, Leslie Street will undergo major work. The sewer, street and sidewalks will be replaced and new streetcar tracks added. This project will also add greenery, improved streetscaping and public art to the street. Be prepared for a completely new and wonderful street!
I will continue to monitor all our construction projects closely and look forward to all the new streets, trees and infrastructure that will improve our community. We also have many park improvements scheduled for this summer. Visit our website at councillormcmahon.com for more details.
Mary-Margaret McMahon is a city councillor representing Ward 32, Beaches-East York