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Martin Goodman Trail: The Fences Are Coming Down

Jun 12, 2015

Line painting on the new Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay West.

This Saturday, crews will begin to open sections of the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay, starting at Bay and moving west.

By Mira Shenker

The Martin Goodman Trail will open in about a week from Bay to just west of Spadina at Yo-Yo Ma Lane. Paving is scheduled to be fully complete by the end of next week, and line painting has already started.

Because this is a long stretch of trail, it will take several days to complete line painting and take down the fences – we’ll be doing it section by section, starting at Bay and working west. As each section opens, cyclists are free to ride on the completed trail, but there will be signs asking you to dismount as you approach a section that’s still closed. At that point, you can walk along the promenade, or cross the street and either join on-street traffic or head north to the detour.

It will take about six days to fully open the trail. Here’s the current schedule:

  • Saturday, June 13 – Bay to York
  • Monday, June 15 – York to Simcoe
  • Tuesday, June 16 – Simcoe to Rees
  • Wednesday, June 17 – Rees to Peter Slip Bridge / 401
  • Thursday, June 18 – Peter Slip Bridge / 401 to Yo-Yo Ma

A note of caution: crews will be finishing other works at the edges of the Martin Goodman Trail in certain spots next week.

What you’ve been waiting for

It may be hard to remember how Queens Quay looked before this project started.

Where the Martin Goodman Trail ended at Stadium road, eastbound cyclists merged into an on-street bike lane until they approached Spadina, at which point that lane disappeared, forcing them to merge with motor vehicle traffic until the on-street lane started at Yonge street (we’ve since moved that section of the Martin Goodman Trail off the street).

On a high-traffic stretch of Queens Quay, merging with cars, trucks and tour buses was less than ideal for cyclists. This street view from 2009  gives you a sense of what cyclists were facing.

By extending the Martin Goodman Trail through the busiest stretch of Queens Quay, we’re closing a gap in cycling infrastructure. 

All about the new Martin Goodman Trail

  • The bi-directional trail is 3.5 metres wide.
  • The asphalt path has green and blue painted lines down the middle and a maple leaf pattern that lets you know when you’re approaching driveways, intersections and other pedestrian crossings.
  • The blue bicycle box also lets you know you’re approaching a “mixing zone” – where pedestrians and cars are passing through.
  • Your bicycle signals are coordinated with the flow of east-west traffic on the street. South turning vehicles have a dedicated signal, which means that when your light is green, there should be no cars turning into the intersection or driveway ahead of you.
  • The Martin Goodman Trail is marked by  “elephant feet” – those white dotted lines – to guide you across intersections and driveways
  • Along the bike path, a buffer of four rows of rough cobble separate the trail from the pedestrian promenade. Light poles, benches and trees line the southern edge of the trail – an informal barrier between the public sidewalk and the trail.
  • To the north of the trail a rough cobble “landscape buffer” separates the trail from the TTC right-of-way. 

Thanks for your patience during this final stretch. Soon, the trail will be fully open.

We’re also working on the Martin Goodman Trail East and West

On the right: Before - how the sidewalk looked just west of Parliament Street before the interim improvements. On the left: After: How the Martin Goodman Trail and sidewalk will look after the interim improvements are complete.

Left: Before - This is how the Martin Goodman Trail and sidewalk on Queens Quay East just west of Parliament looked before interim improvements. Right: After - This is how the same area will look when these improvements are complete.

On top of the work we’re doing to extend the Martin Goodman Trail from Bay to Yo-Yo Ma Lane, we’re working with the City of Toronto to extend the trail past Yo-Yo Ma to Stadium Road, connecting with the existing trail at Coronation Park. Queens Quay is being reconfigured with new line painting in order to move the bike lanes to the south side of the street. While the bicycle lanes in this stretch will still be on-street, they will be separated from vehicular traffic by flexi-post barriers. This work is ahead of schedule and will be done by June 19.

We’re also extending the Martin Goodman Trail east from Lower Jarvis and building a new, wider concrete sidewalk for pedestrians east to Parliament Street (see images above). The Martin Goodman Trail on this section of Queens Quay will be off-street, separated from the sidewalk by a landscaped median. Work at the Merchants' Wharf intersection and the south side sidewalk is scheduled to be completed by mid-July, at which point the Martin Goodman Trail will be fully accessible, the road will be re-painted and the on-street bike lanes removed. 

post contributor

  • Mira Shenker

    Mira Shenker is a senior communications manager at Waterfront Toronto. She has previously worked as a journalist and executive editor at industry and business publications.