Spring means peak construction in Leaside

It used to be said that Toronto has two seasons: winter – and construction. This year, although winter has been less predictable, construction has been reliably predictable and more non-stop than ever.

As for spring, one sure sign of its arrival is the number of road repairs underway, on both residential and arterial streets. The City is sending out pre-construction notices to homes all across Leaside, warning drivers of delays. Most will affect only short stretches of local streets, but one upcoming Hydro project is more major, involving the area bounded by Wicksteed Ave., Millwood Rd., and the intersection with Southvale Dr. at Leaside Memorial Gardens. It’s part of the larger Beth Nealson-Pat Moore project, to relocate the underground electrical system, in order to accommodate the Metrolinx Ontario Line subway. This last is still only in the planning stage. Stay tuned for more details, when they become available.

More traffic issues

In other traffic-related matters, you may be aware that the Leaside Residents Association sits on the Leaside & Laird Crosstown Committee, which meets online every two months with representatives from Metrolinx and Crosstown to discuss issues and ask questions related to construction at and around those two LRT stations. At our most recent meeting, committee members expressed concern about the location of the LRT signal at the Eglinton Avenue and Leslie Street intersection.

Some eastbound drivers on Eglinton who wish to turn left (north) onto Leslie have been observed confusing the LRT signal with the traffic light intended for automobiles. They thus turn left against the traffic light. We speculated that the height of the LRT signal may account for much of this confusion, since the design of some cars cuts off full visibility of the intersection. I wrote to Metrolinx to report this, urging priority be given to moving their light higher, so that it will be visible to the LRT driver but NOT to road users.

We have been informed that Metrolinx is investigating the safety situation on Eglinton at Leslie (and at other LRT/traffic intersections also at grade level). We have been promised a follow-up briefing on what Metrolinx has found and plans to do.

Safer crossings?

Finally, there is no real update on the much-raised issue of creating a safer crossing environment at Bayview Avenue and Sutherland Drive for pedestrians and cyclists, not to mention improved turning access for the TTC 88 bus. The LRA and local residents had expected new proposals to be presented at the April meeting of the North York Community Council, but there will be a delay while Toronto Transportation Services studies alternatives to their original recommendation. We are optimistic that a suitable solution will be found which works, and meets with public approval.

What are you doing on the evening of Wed., May 1st? The LRA board will be meeting at 7:30 p.m., as we do on the first Wednesday of each month, at the Trace Manes building on Rumsey, just south of the Leaside Library. Why not join us?

At any time you can also reach us online, via leasideresidents.ca (press the Contact Us button), or at leasideresidents.ca/contact-us

About Carol Burtin Fripp 138 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.