Is this really necessary?

At this time of year, my office usually fields a number of questions about road construction.

It can seem difficult to get almost anywhere in the city without running into at least one construction zone. People wonder, is this really necessary? Do we really need this annual exercise in patience?

The short answer is yes.

I’ll give you an example. Wellington St. is currently reduced to one lane from Gordon Street to Edinburgh Road. This is a major street – and a significant inconvenience. Why is it necessary?

It’s supporting two things. First is a development at the corner of Wellington and Gordon, which has sat vacant for many years. In order for that development to happen, we need to upgrade underground infrastructure such as the storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and watermain; the City is also installing on-street parking, street lighting, and sidewalks.

At the same time, the City is renewing major water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure along Wellington – including a new drinking water feedermain, improvements to the York Trunk Sanitary Sewer and upgrades to the stormwater system.

We need a new feedermain to provide drinking water to our growing population. We need to upgrade an aging sanitary sewer and storm sewer to provide reliable service to prevent flooding, particularly since we are seeing extreme weather become the norm.

Nobody likes the inconvenience of road closures and detours – but it sure beats the inconvenience of a flooded basement, or being unable to get clean drinking water out of the tap.

To help you navigate the city this construction season, there’s a new web page – – with information about detours, road closures, and Transit changes. There’s also an interactive map with information about each project.

As always, thank you for your patience and understanding!



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About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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