Just northwest of the intersection of Lansdowne Avenue and Dupont Street here in Toronto, there is something known as the Davenport Diamond. It refers to the intersection of two rail lines. Going north-south is the Barrie GO corridor (regional rail service). And going east-west is a set of Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. The problem with this Diamond is that it is one of the busiest train intersections in North America and these two corridors meet at grade. So it is a problem for service levels on this corridor.
To address this bottleneck, Metrolinx has been working on a project called the Davenport Diamond Guideway and Greenway. First and foremost, what it will do is elevate the Barrie GO corridor between Bloor Street in the south and Davenport Road in the north, allowing trains to pass over the CP tracks (rail over rail), as well as over streets like Wallace Avenue (rail over road). Metrolinx expects to have this guideway complete by spring 2023 and it will be a good thing for rail service levels across this region. Construction activity is already happening.
But the other thing this guideway does is open up the ground (literally) for a new greenway. Metrolinx is calling this the public realm component of the project, and it expects to procure this work separately, as well as complete it only after the guideway is operational. The ETA for this is 2024. However, a design was completed for the greenway back in 2018. It was completed by gh3 — one of my favorite architecture firms in the city. And it is my understanding that this original design will be the foundation for the public realm design. Or at least, I hope it will.
If you haven’t yet seen gh3’s design, you can check it out over here.