Detour ahead Toronto, as Bloor Street West rail bridge prepares to be demolished

Bloor Street West will be closed for two nights this weekend for the partial demolition of the Bloor bridge between Lansdowne and Symington. All train trips on the Barrie Line will be cancelled on November 28 and 29 to accommodate construction for improvements along the Barrie corridor, including the work on the Davenport Diamond Guideway. 

The Bloor Street West bridge will be getting a facelift – or half a facelift for now.

Image shows a bridge over a busy street.
The Bloor bridge as it stands today, looking west (Metrolinx image).

The bridge will be demolished in two parts. The first is this weekend (Nov. 28 and 29) with the demolition of the west half of the bridge and then at a future date, when the west half is reconstructed, the east half will be taken down.

What is this work for?

It’s for the Davenport Diamond Guideway project. When complete, this transit project will make it easier for cars, pedestrians and cyclists to move through the area. A new grade separation will also allow GO trains to travel above freight traffic for more reliable service.

The closures will be in place Saturday and Sunday night, and no one will be allowed to travel on Bloor Street under the bridge. This work supports Barrie GO Expansion in providing future two-way, all-day train service on the corridor.

Since Metrolinx is building new infrastructure to support future service increases on the Barrie GO line, the reconstruction of the Bloor bridge is an important part of the project.

Image is a map of the area.

Here are the details:

  • Bloor Street West will be closed overnight between St. Helens Ave. and Ruttan St.
  • Saturday, November 28 (6 p.m.) to Sunday, November 29 (6 a.m.)
  • Sunday, November 29 (6 p.m.) to Monday, November 30 (6 a.m.)

The important thing here is that through-traffic of any kind under the bridge will not be allowed. That means cars, cyclists and pedestrians will not be allowed under the bridge either.

Everyone will be detoured via Lansdowne Ave. and Symington Ave. going north/south, and across Wallace Ave. going east/west. Detour signage will be in place to guide commuters. And of course, people are welcome to go across Dupont St. as well.

All train trips on the Barrie Line will be cancelled on November 28 and 29 to allow for improvements along the Barrie corridor required to support increased capacity, improved communications and service reliability. Cancelling train service also allows for crews to perform the bridge demolition work safely. By coordinating multiple blocks of work into a single weekend, it helps reduce the inconvenience to customers and residents. GO buses will replace train service for all stops except Downsview Park. Downsview Park customers can take the TTC as an alternate.

For more information and to schedules, visit gotransit.com or use triplinx.ca to plan trips.

There is also other work happening in the area by TTC and Toronto Hydro and considerable coordination efforts are underway to ensure that there is comprehensive traffic re-routing and signage plans in effect for the area prior to and during the closure. Please visit TTC and Toronto Hydro websites for updates.

Metrolinx knows the road closure and train cancellations are an inconvenience, but this temporary adjustment helps crews perform the works safety. Those impacted are being encouraged to take extra time to plan their route this weekend and to find alternate routes where possible.

Why not demolish the entire bridge at once?

Demolishing the first half of the bridge only requires a temporary weekend suspension of GO train service. After this weekend, GO trains will run on the east side of the bridge. Once crews rebuild the west half, install new track, and move the trains over, they can work on the rest of the bridge. By the end of the project, the Bloor bridge will be completely reconstructed.

Experts will be working all weekend long, starting on Friday night and wrapping up on Sunday evening. In addition to the overnight closures, alternating lane and sidewalk closures will be in place during the day.

The temporary pain will be worth it in the end. Traveling through the area will be easier with new and improved infrastructure providing seamless access.

For more information on the Davenport Diamond Guideway project and to get the latest updates, sign up for our Toronto West weekly e-blast here or follow us @GOExpansion.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx communications senior advisor.