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Updated: 6 weeks 3 days ago

Queen and Broadview to reopen early, more woes loom

2014/07/17(Thu) 13:16

toronto queen broadviewIt looks like relief is in sight for the businesses of Riverside. The TTC says it is planning to reopen the intersection of Queen and Broadview a week earlier than scheduled following streetcar track replacement work.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross attributes the rare good news to "a lot of really good timing and hard work by everybody involved to get things finished ahead of schedule."

"The big push for us was to reopen that intersection, to resume our service, to allow traffic to start flowing through there again," he says. "Queen East this spring and summer has really borne the brunt of a lot of important work that had to get done."

As in Leslieville with the closure of Queen and Leslie earlier this summer, businesses that rely on the 501 Queen streetcar complained of a precipitous drop in revenue. Michael Summerfield of the bar Prohibition estimated business had fallen by 30 to 35 per cent earlier this week. He said the business had considered temporarily closing down.

Ross says some sidewalk work still needs to be carried out but that it will be undertaken at a later date. The east-end streetcar headache isn't quite finished yet, however.

The Broadview streetcar tracks between Danforth and Broadview subway station are due to close for six weeks starting this Sunday for rail replacement and overhead wire upgrades, just hours after the reopening of Queen and Broadview.

As a result, the 504 King will divert up Parliament, travel east on Dundas, then south on Broadview to Queen, back to Parliament. The 505 Dundas will divert up Parliament to Gerrard, travel east to Broadview, turn south and rejoin Dundas (see graphic.)

Shuttle buses will complete the connection to Broadview subway station for both routes.

Queen and Broadview is due to open late on Saturday when the TTC completes a series of safety tests. There are no diversions planned on Queen for the remainder of the year.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the scope of the closure on Broadview. Although the planned construction work is north of the Danforth, streetcars will not be able to go north of Gerrard on Broadview. Shuttle buses will run between Dundas and Broadview station, stopping at Gerrard.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo by Steven Hoang

Road closures in Toronto: July 19-20

2014/07/17(Thu) 13:14

toronto road closuresRoad closures in Toronto for the weekend of July 19 and 20 rounds up the key transportation shut-downs affecting the city, including street and TTC closures.

KEY ROAD CLOSURES IN TORONTO

Strachan: Lake Shore--Fleet, Lake Shore: Strachan--British Columbia. The Honda Indy Weekend has closed portions of Lake Shore and Strachan. The roads will re-open Sunday, July 20 at 11:59 p.m. Access to Ontario Place via Lake Shore and Strachan.

Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival's Junior Parade and Festival Multiple road closures on Saturday, July 19 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate the parade route, which is as follows: 30 McLevin Avenue to Sewells Road, west on Sewells Road to Neilson Road, north on Neilson Road to Neilson Park Drive, and east on Neilson Park Drive to the entrance of Neilson Park.

Yonge: Edward--Queen. A portion of Yonge from just north of Dundas to Queen will be closed for the Live Green Toronto Festival, Saturday, July 27 from 6:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

St. Clair: Winona--Christie. Salsa on St. Clair requires the closure of the road from Saturday, July 19 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, July 20 at 11 p.m.

Dundas: Spadina--Beverley Street. Street closed from Saturday, July 19 at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday, July 20 at 11 p.m for the Chinatown Festival.

Bloor: Dufferin--Lansdowne. Closed in both directions from Saturday, July 19 at 9 a.m. to Sunday, July 20 at 9 p.m. for the Big on Bloor event.

Danforth: Broadview--Jackman. The Thrill of the Grill event means the Danforth will be closed from Broadview to Jackman in both directions from Saturday, July 19 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Yonge: Queen--Dundas. Yonge will be closed again between Dundas and Queen for a Youth Day event Sunday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

TTC CLOSURES

510 Spadina: Dundas. Water main replacement work (and later streetcar track replacement) means Spadina and Dundas is closed to all streetcar traffic until Aug. 11. The 505 Dundas streetcar will divert via McCaul, College, and Bathurst. The 510 Spadina is being replaced by bus until July 28.

Line 2 Bloor-Danforth: Islington--Kipling. The final western stretch of the Bloor-Danforth line will be closed this weekend for track replacement work. Shuttle buses from Islington station will cover the remainder of the route. Wheel-Trans vehicles will leave from Jane. Normal service resumes Monday, July 21 at 6 a.m.

504 King, 505 Dundas: Broadview. For six weeks starting Sunday, July 20, the 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcars will be unable to reach Broadview subway station due to construction on Broadview. The 504 will turn south at Dundas and Broadview and return to King via Queen and Parliament. The 505 will divert via Parliament, Gerrard and Broadview. Both routes will be completed by shuttle bus.

ONGOING CLOSURES

Over and above the special closures this weekend, construction projects across Toronto result in numerous other road restrictions across the city. For a comprehensive list of such closures, you can consult the official map maintained by the City of Toronto (also available as a PDF.)

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

New in Toronto real estate: YC Condos

2014/07/17(Thu) 13:10

yc condos torontoYC Condos at (surprise, surprise) Yonge and College is a dramatic development that while shorter than nearby Aura to the south, is far nicer looking. The two-toned rectangular sections nicely split up the 66-storey tower and the seven story podium retains a good relationship with the neighbouring Odd Fellows Hall (you know, where the Starbucks is on the northwest corner), which is the same height. Let's be clear, this is not on par with, say, Frank Gehry's designs for the Mirvish project on King West, but it's well above average for Toronto condo developments.

yc condosSPECS

Address: 460 Yonge St.
Storeys: 66
Number of units: 600
Unit types: 1 bedroom through to 3 bedroom PH suites
Unit sizes: TBD
Price: TBD
Architect: Graziani + Corazza Architects
Interior Designer: Burdifilek
Developer: Canderel

yc condosFEATURES

  • 24 hour concierge/security
  • Bicycle storage
  • Car sharing services
  • Fitness facility with exercise and aerobics/yoga room
  • Outdoor barbecue stations
  • 64th floor amenities include an infinity pool, bar area, fireplace, billiards table and dining area
  • Miele appliances

yc loungeTHE VERDICT

This is a winner in the aesthetics department. Yonge and College is also a place that can handle this type of density, given the proximity of basically every amenity you could ever hope for and the immediate subway access. There are only 156 parking spots to the 600 units in this condo, so that should give a sense of the degree to which the developer's are banking on the central location as a way to woo non-drivers. For many, I suspect, this will also prove something of a turn off, but it's good enough planning to me.

Amenities-wise, most of the predictable boxes are ticked off, and you can bet that the 66th floor lounge and pool will be a nice place to spend time. Miele appliances is a nice touch, as is the promise of a hefty dose of two bedrooms plus den units (still not sure on the exact number of these, though).

yc condosRead other posts in this series via our Toronto Condos and Lofts Pinterest board.

The best and worst hospitals in Toronto

2014/07/17(Thu) 10:19

hospitals torontoWhat are the best hospitals in Toronto? What are ones that could use some love? In a country with universal healthcare and hard working doctors, nurses and staff, it's sticky to call out a hospital for its old facilities or long wait times without considering all of the factors. Hospitals in busy downtown neighbourhoods often have higher traffic volumes and older buildings, and construction for necessary updating and streamlining, takes place in already tight quarters.

I'm personally very grateful I can walk into an emergency room and be treated without worrying about the bills that will follow, and I'm happy to pay the taxes and/or wait a little longer so that everyone can be taken care of.

In any work place there is often one bad apple spoiling the bunch. With hospitals an overworked or tired night nurse or doctor with gruff bedside manner, can make for a rotten experience in an otherwise stellar environment. But, as many have experienced, not all hospitals are created equal so take this post as simply a starting point to discuss some of the discrepancies.

UPDATE: As noted above, this article is meant simply as a discussion starter and is not meant to be interpreted as a definitive ranking of any kind. The list below was largely based on suggestions from our Twitter followers and is not based on any analytical or other comprehensive research.

BEST

SickKids
What can you say? It's clear everyone who works at SickKids wants to be there, and the number of non-medical services and care workers, plus the celebrity connections (Argos, Maple Leaf players) keep Sick Kids moneyed, high profile, and as close to a pleasure to visit as any hospital given the unfortunate circumstance that might land you there. Bonus points for an emergency room that's well-streamlined for kids.

Mount Sinai
The cafeteria ain't great, but the service is stellar. Mount Sinai is well known for quality of natal care, as well as having a wonderful broad community feel. Previously named one of the GTA's top employers (in 2010), the hospital is a major research facility thanks to the presence of Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, which employs over 600 staff.

Sunnybrook
Like Sick Kids, You can see that the staff enjoys their jobs. There is amazing all-round quality of care. Highlighted by the recently overhauled and gorgeous birthing unit, the hospital is one of the most up to date in the city (save for its power lines). Once part of Sunnybrook, Women's College also deserves major kudos and is getting a major overhaul.

Credit Valley
Currently ranked best hospital in outer Toronto in multiple reports, the Credit Valley Hospital is huge and sprawling. It was opened in 1985 so buildings are comparatively new, and are noted for fine natal care, responsive ER, and professional staff. It's crucial medical stats (including mortality and readmission rates) are some of the best in the GTA.

St. Mike's
Any downtown emergency is going to be swelled with patients, and St. Mike's is no exception, taking in a ton of traffic- increasing wait times and chaotic ambiance. But St. Mike's has a great reputation for men's health, amongst other care. While it's key clinical stats put it at national averages, patient care services are highly endorsed.

COULD USE AN UPGRADE?

Toronto East General
Aging buildings with a history of long wait times won't win you any favours (the average ER wait time is pegged at over six hours). There is an overarching tired, weary feeling which doesn't create the most welcoming energy in times of need. On the plus side, clinical stats have it as comparable with other hospitals of its size in Canada.

St. Joe's
People love to hate on St. Joe's. It's an old, rather confusing building that's in need of some updates, and the emergency can be slow (almost a six hour average wait). Good news is they have moved away from a paper-based filing system to an electronic one (see video here) so things are on the upswing. Also, we received many kudos directed toward St. Joe's nurses and doctors.

Toronto Western
A world-class brain and ortho treatment centre, facilities especially designated for artists, the open atrium and other perks can't deflect some of the criticism of the Toronto Western hospital. ER can be slow (over a six hour wait is average), the building a little confusing to navigate, and readmission rates are above the national average. That said, it's important to bear in mind that this is still a world class facility.

What do you think are the best hospitals in Toronto? What are the ones that could use a bit of an upgrade? Add your thoughts to the comments.