Construction management in our neighbourhood
At the March 3, 2021 AGM of the RRA, we made a presentation on one of the most important issues affecting our neighbourhood, that of Construction Management. With so many towers being built or proposed within a two-block radius, the community has been overwhelmed. Here is a summary of that presentation along with a proposal from the RRA about how construction can be managed.
We currently have two active construction sites on Roehampton Street and three active sites on Broadway Avenue between Yonge Street and Mt. Pleasant:
• 89 – 101 Roehampton (early-stage)
• 39 Roehampton (mid to late-stage)
• 117-127 Broadway (excavation stage)
• 91 Broadway (finishing stage)
• 99 Broadway (finishing stage)
Four additional sites have their construction plans approved or are about to be approved on Broadway Avenue (construction has not started yet):
• 55-65 Broadway
• 73/75 Broadway
• 55 Erskine (with access from Broadway Avenue)
• 100, 110-120 Broadway
One additional new proposal is in the mediation process for approval on Broadway Avenue:
• 40-44 Broadway (Saint Monica’s)
With only one exception, 117-127 Broadway Avenue, all other construction sites use approximately two meters of road for their operations and truck access.
Residents in our neighbourhood have reported multiple infractions related to:
• Traffic/parking violations
• Noise levels
• Hours of operation
• Air quality issues
• Site cleanliness
• Uncoordinated street closures
• Hazardous conditions on sidewalks and roads
• Impeded emergency vehicle access
Response and corrective actions have been limited and largely ineffective.
To the best of our knowledge, construction plans are reviewed individually without aggregate impact analysis or oversight. To complicate the situation even further, Broadway Avenue is a boundary between two City Wards (Ward 15 and Ward 12). As of today, and after multiple requests for information, we have not yet been provided with any success criteria related to the HUB coordination pilot program or construction site reports related to noise, vibration, air quality and any other site reporting requirements. From our perspective, there seems to be a shortage of qualified resources to manage the HUB program adequately and effectively.
We recently reviewed the 75 Broadway proposed construction plan. The data used here were extracted from their plan.
• During demolition and excavation phases the expectation is 50 trucks per day;
• For eight work hours per day this implies 6.25 trucks per hour or one truck every 9.6 minutes;
• Considering there is a potential overlap of five concurrent sites this could mean a truck every 2–3 minutes during demolition and excavation;
• Similarly, during construction this translates to one truck every 5-7 minutes;
• Access is also reduced by approximately two meters per side, thus becoming a single lane street;
• Considering there will be five simultaneous construction sites on the same street, concentrated on one half of a city block, this now becomes a bottleneck;
• Such a gridlock will have serious consequences on the safety and well-being for all stakeholders:
• Local businesses
• School children and parents
• Construction and other traffic violations in the area generate emergency vehicles access problems with the potential for a catastrophic safety situation;
• Construction-related traffic on Roehampton already exceeds reasonable limits;
• Construction-related traffic volume will increase exponentially in the next few months on Broadway Avenue;
• Road access will become a serious concern for the safety and well-being of residents, contractors, workers and students;
• Compliance with the construction plans is currently at best a reactive situation with limited enforcement and visibility.
Actions taken so far
• The RRA has requested an urgent meeting with Councillors Josh Matlow and Jaye Robinson on how to approach the situation with the City of Toronto and potentially the Province;
• We have also requested a meeting with the General Manager of City of Toronto Transportation Services Department that is responsible for the HUB coordination activities and resource allocation;
• We are asking the City to coordinate and manage all construction plans in aggregate rather than individual sites. It is important that all developments comply with a master coordinated construction plan.
• We are asking that City withhold approvals for all individual Construction Management Plans pending the outcome of our meeting with the Department of Transportation Services.