FAQ Category: Lake Shore Boulevard East Project

What’s happening on Lake Shore Boulevard East and the Gardiner Expressway?

As of August 31, 2021, the Logan Ramps at the east end of the Gardiner were permanently closed. This work is part of a much larger project to reconfigure the Gardiner, make space for new communities, and improve Lake Shore Boulevard East and create flood protection for the Port Lands. Learn more about the Gardiner East project on the City of Toronto’s webpage.

Additional work to improve Lake Shore Boulevard East will start in February 2022 and is expected to last until 2024. During this phase, Lake Shore Boulevard East will remain open with lane restrictions. See more details about what to expect along Lake Shore on the construction page.

This work will create new space that will accommodate bike lanes, pedestrian paths and a new linear park, and allow for the re-design and naturalization of the Don River, which will be a critical element for future flood protection of the Port Lands.

Learn more about the Lake Shore Boulevard East project on the project webpage.

Why were the Gardiner/Logan ramps removed now?

Removal of the Gardiner/Logan ramp and rebuilding of Lake Shore Boulevard East was approved by City Council as part of the Gardiner East project in 2016. This design for the rehabilitated Gardiner Expressway was determined through an Environmental Assessment that included consultation with members of the public. You can learn more about the City’s Gardiner East project here: Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration – City of Toronto

Waterfront Toronto is implementing this work now as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection (PLFP) project, which is already under construction, because both the Gardiner East and PLFP projects require changes to the Lake Shore Bridge over the Don River. Combining the two projects:

  • speeds up the completion of new public spaces and cycling connections
  • reduces cost and risk
  • reduces the overall period of construction by two years

 

When will the ramps to/from the Gardiner be replaced?

The long-term plan is for the Gardiner on/off-ramps at Logan Avenue to be replaced with ramps east of Cherry Street as part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing Gardiner East Project.

The new Cherry Street ramps are already in design. Construction from Cherry Street to Don Roadway is planned to take place from 2026 to 2030. These dates are approximate. Both the new ramps and roadwork west of Don Roadway are being implemented by the City of Toronto as part of the Gardiner East Project. The Environmental Assessment that set the plans for this reconfiguration was approved by City Council in 2016.

You can learn more about the Gardiner East Project here: Webpage about the Gardiner East Project

Why weren’t new ramps built before removing the Gardiner/Logan ramp? Why can’t they be built sooner?

The new Cherry Street ramps will connect to a stretch of the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard that are being realigned under the Gardiner East project, so the construction of the realigned overhead Gardiner needs to be complete before the new ramps are built. This is the main reason why the ramps cannot be built sooner.

There are a number of regulatory and design steps that must be complete to ensure that the new ramps are built safely and will serve the needs of people who use them, and that work is underway.

The ramps will be built in an area currently undergoing a lot of change, and the planned construction is coordinated with other nearby projects to maintain as much traffic flow as possible.

The City of Toronto will share more information regarding ramp realignment and construction starting after the completion of this project as it becomes available. Those details will be available at the City of Toronto’s website. Webpage about the Gardiner East Project

What are you doing to reduce traffic congestion?

We understand the daily impact of increased congestion and traffic at certain locations is difficult. We’re working closely with the City of Toronto to keep traffic moving across a very large road network.

We have a Traffic Management Plan for the Lake Shore Boulevard East project that aims to address issues that come up as best we can. It is a live document that is being evaluated and revised as the project progresses. The project team has been soliciting feedback from the public and our Construction Liaison Committee made up of affected residents and businesses, as well as monitoring traffic in and around the construction zone. To address any significant impacts, we will continue to adjust the traffic signal timings and traffic signal coordination as required.

Some of the tools in our Traffic Management Plan are:

  • Coordinating with the City of Toronto and outside agencies such as Metrolinx and Toronto Hydro to identify their construction needs and avoid overlapping road closures
  • Changes to lane configuration and traffic signal timing
  • Reconstruction at certain intersections and ramps to the Gardiner Expressway to improve the flow of traffic during construction
  • Fully separated cycling facilities on all detour routes
  • Listening to your feedback and making changes wherever possible to keep improving our plans to minimize disruptions

 

It’s important to note that the traffic study that informed our Traffic Management Plan looked at a very large area of the city – because we know that construction on key traffic routes has impacts far beyond our construction zone. In fact, without any mitigations, this work could jam up the entire network. Our plan identified ways to keep traffic moving across this entire network. Even with our mitigations in place, we can expect congestion at some locations.

For more in-depth questions and answers about traffic and congestion, including on specific streets, please see the Q & A from the December 2021 Councillor’s Townhall.

How do I get on the Gardiner from the East End now?

The recommended route is to continue along Lake Shore Boulevard and get on at the Jarvis St. on-ramp.

We know that traffic getting to the Jarvis on-ramp has been frustrating, and we’re working with the City of Toronto to implement solutions. For example, traffic agents are stationed at the intersection and black and orange traffic cones have been added to help reduce the lane cutting.

Our Traffic Management Plan for the Lake Shore Boulevard East project aims to address issues like this as best we can. It is a live document that is being evaluated and revised as the project progresses.

The long-term plan is for the Logan on/off-ramps to be replaced with ramps east of Cherry Street as part of the City of Toronto’s ongoing Gardiner East Project. You can learn more about the Gardiner East Project here: Gardiner Expressway & Lake Shore Boulevard East Reconfiguration – City of Toronto.