As part of the development of the West Don Lands, there will be changes to the King-Queen-River-Bayview intersection that forms the eastern gateway into Corktown. The Bayview Avenue ramp, a mainstay in the community since the construction of the Queen Street Viaduct in 1911, will be closing and the first three streets in the West Don Lands will be opening:
- Bayview Avenue will extend south to ultimately connect with Mill Street (but will only open to Lawren Harris Square in the short-term);
- River Street will extend south from King Street as Lower River Street; and
- Lawren Harris Square, which will form the southern terminus of Lower River Street and provide a connection to Bayview Avenue. (see report recommending the naming of the new streets here [PDF])
The closure of the Bayview Avenue ramp is necessary to complete the Don River Flood Protection Landform. As part of the changes, there will be also be a need to reconfigure River Street between King Street and Queen Street to align with Lower River Street at King Street. The alterations to River Street were considered by the Toronto and East York Community Council at its meeting this past Wednesday, November 2nd (Item 2011.TE11.49: Road Alterations -River Street Between Queen Street East and King Street East).
The alterations include the removal of the ramp to Bayview Avenue and the curving River Street to the east to properly meet with Lower River Street at King Street. Traffic signals will be added at the King and River intersection. The CRBA requested for the improvement of the public realm on the west side of River Street to reflect the prominence of the intersection as a gateway into Corktown, the West Don Lands and Downtown Toronto. As a result, an amendment was moved and approved, which added the following to the motion:
1. City Council direct the Public Realm Section, Transportation Services. to work with the Corktown Residents and Business Association and its development committee to identify future public realm opportunities including a signature gateway feature into Corktown, the West Don Lands and Downtown Toronto on River Street in the vicinity of Queen Street East and King Street East.
The CRBA is looking forward to working with the City to ensure that we take advantage of this opportunity to improve our neighbourhood.