Busy Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to close for repairs

Get ready for more traffic headaches in Toronto.

The westbound Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp of the Gardiner Expressway will be closed from July 15 to September 16 to allow for road resurfacing and the replacement of concrete barrier walls.

“It’ll be 24/7 construction so we can get that work completed as quickly as possible,” said Michael D’Andrea, the city’s chief engineer.

Meanwhile, the westbound on-ramp at Jarvis Street will also be closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m. from July 16 to July 31.

“The reason is because that particular ramp lies immediately beneath the westbound Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp, so with all the concrete work, we have to shut down it down as well.”

All of the construction is part of the city’s 10-year, $2.3-billion plan to rehabilitate the aging Gardiner. The first phase involves revamping the expressway between Jarvis and Cherry streets. A newly rebuilt eastbound Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp opened in January 2018.

D’Andrea said based on the city’s analysis, that stretch “is of the highest priority because it’s nearing the end of its service life, so work needs to be done now.”

Drivers be warned

The latest ramp closures will only add to the frustration felt by many drivers in Toronto during the summer construction season.

Traffic is already being impacted by lane closures along the Don Valley Parkway. Two lanes between Don Mills and Lawrence will be closed in both directions until October, as the city repairs four bridges that span the highway.

Ian Whelan lives right by the Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp.

“It’s going to be horrible because I actually live right there. So that means I’m going to have get off over at Lake Shore or something. It’s going to take forever to get over there now,” he said.

D’Andrea said “it’s unfortunate in terms of the timing” but “public safety is paramount and this is necessary work.”

Drivers should seriously consider leaving earlier than usual and using alternate routes, he said.

“If you’re here coming westbound on the Gardiner, consider Sherbourne Street or Spadina to the west. If you’re coming off the DVP, consider Richmond Street or the lakeshore,” he advised.

More construction in the fall

While D’Andrea said he doesn’t foresee any delays with the latest construction project, drivers shouldn’t expect much relief come the fall.

The next stage of construction will include work on the Gardiner itself, between Jarvis and Cherry streets. That is expected to begin immediately after upgrades to the Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp are complete.

“There will be more details to follow once we get closer to that date. But suffice to say, we will begin in earnest just as quickly as we can,” D’Andrea said.

All of the rehabilitation work to the Gardiner is scheduled to be completed some time in 2026.

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