The pedestrian bridge across the rail lines at the west end of Wallace Ave has been an important link for the neighbourhoods that are being built up east of the tracks. The stairway on the east end of the bridge just reopened after intermittent closures over this past winter.
Here is a site map from the developer.
Nov 15: you can see some uprights for the new stairway.
Jan 14: the steel framing for the lowest section of stairs is in.
March 23: in the process of pouring concrete on a platform.
March 28: the first evening that the stairs are open.
April 1: they certainly didn’t waste any time taking down the old stairs.
It was important to maintain this vital link for the neighbourhood. Eventually, there will be a pedestrian underpass in the area as well, which will also greatly facilitate the transfer between the UP Express and the Dundas West subway station. Until that happens, this bridge will have to do.
Update: here is a link to the city staff report on this project, and here is an excerpt:
Wallace Street Pedestrian Bridge One of the consequences of putting a new public street through the site, was the need to realign the eastern staircase of the Wallace Street Pedestrian Bridge as the stairs in their existing location are located right where Sousa Mendes Street joins with Wallace Avenue.
The Wallace Street Pedestrian Bridge was constructed in 1907 and is on the City of Toronto list of heritage properties. The bridge is constructed of steel, concrete and wood and it is organized in 3 distinct sections. A single set of stairs at the east and west ends rise in two tiers and the stairs are illuminated with decorative iron brackets. The bridge is a rare example of a vintage pedestrian bridge in Toronto and it is a visual landmark and an important feature in the neighbourhood. It is very well used, as it provides the only connection over the railway between Bloor and Dupont.
The applicant will be replacing the eastern staircase with a new staircase that will be located within the West Toronto Railpath, moving northward, then scissoring back to land at the end of Wallace Avenue. See Attachment 7 for drawings of the proposed stairs.
Given the prominence of the bridge and its high level of use, planning staff, the local Councillor, the applicant and members of the community met two times on-site to review the proposed stair location, the stair design and how the realignment of the stair would impact the gathering space on the Railpath at the end of Wallace Avenue. The bridge will remain open during the construction on the bridge and both Heritage staff and Engineering and Construction Services staff have signed off on the bridge alterations.
Update 2: a few more pictures
The new view at the end of the bridge. Several people in the Junction Triangle Community Group on FB have mourned the ending of the former view, where the stairwell at this end of the bridge was basically invisible from mid span.
The bike rails are handy. No better or worse than before.
A view of the space where the old stairs were, from ground level.