The east end of the Danforth from Woodbine to Victoria Park will be under construction for most of the summer.
The City of Toronto will be replacing sections of water main, the road and sidewalks, as well as sprucing up the streetscape with flowers and benches. The hope is to bring more traffic to the area and increase local business.
Ward 31 councillor Janet Davis said residents want to see a more vibrant and walkable public space.
“It will improve and beautify this part of the Danforth. It is very exciting to see that East Danforth is going to have as beautiful a streetscape as other parts of Bloor and Danforth,” she said.
Davis said there is a mutual benefit for both businesses and local residents.
“We all know that successful business districts are those that have neighbourhoods that support their local businesses. Making the public realm accessible and beautiful with trees and shade attracts and encourages residents to come down and shop locally.”
Susan Samuel is a project engineer manager with transportation services.
“Basically at the end of the day we will have a brand new road from Woodbine to Barrington. There will be a new line painted and the sidewalk will also be brand new except certain sections,” she said.
She explained that even though construction might not always be visible, underground work can take time. Water mains must be disinfected and chlorinated when replaced. Pipes are pumped with water and then tested. This process has to be repeated until the water is deemed safe to drink.
Samuel said the work should start in June and is planned to be completed by August. Some work will be done in stages as water mains, then sewers, and finally sidewalks are replaced.
Funding for the project comes from the transportation and water departments’ capital budgets, as well as from the Danforth Mosaic and Danforth Village Business Improvement Areas.
Work will take place between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Some Sunday work will be done as required.
Although construction can be frustrating, some local residents are enthusiastic about the new look coming to their neighbourhood.
Orla Kipling said she is excited to see the changes to the Danforth.
“I think it will be really pedestrian-friendly and very pretty and shady,” she said. “It will no longer be a sauna when walking to stores. I think it will be really nice.”
Meg De Bassecourt, who also attended an April 16 open house to discuss the project, was positive about what she saw. She believes the new look to the street will encourage new businesses to come in but it will also make it more family friendly.
“You will want to go out with your family and shop locally. I walk that strip all the time and after Main it gets really scary as you go east. It is not an amazing stretch so, it will be nice to go for a walk and not feel like I need to keep my children both in the stroller,” she said. “It would be great to have a place you want to linger and spend your time as oppose to rushing to Target and not stopping anywhere else.”
The road will at no point be completely closed off, and shops will remain open throughout construction.