The city’s traffic operations department has some advice for Leafs fans headed to the Air Canada Centre for playoff action next week—Don’t drive.
The already jam-packed area is going to be even more difficult to navigate with the closure of the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to York, Bay and Yonge streets.
“We are hoping people will utilize alternative options to get into the city,” Ann Kahn, the manager of Traffic Operations in the Toronto-East district, told CP24.com Monday.
The ramp is scheduled to close on Monday, which also happens to coincide with the Leafs’ first home game in their playoff matchup against the Washington Capitals.
Kahn said for the past few months, the city has been working with key stakeholders, including the Air Canada Centre, to get the word out about the closure.
“We have been actively engaging them to make sure they are aware,” she added.
The city has also put up variable message signs and static signs to keep drivers in the loop.
“We recognize that it is not going to be an easy drive into the city but we are doing our best,” Kahn said.
The Raptors are also expected to begin their playoff run at the Air Canada Centre this weekend.
Those who will be driving to the ACC are advised to take the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue or Jarvis Street ramp to get into the downtown core.
Starting today, drivers can now access eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp at Spadina Avenue.
The York-Bay-Yonge ramp, which needs to be demolished and rebuilt, is not expected to reopen until January 2018.
“Unfortunately there is no easy solution,” Kahn said.
“It’s not like we can miraculously build a new ramp.”
Kahn called construction season a “necessary evil” for a prosperous city.
“Nobody likes to be stuck in construction,” she said.
“We are doing our best to try and provide alternatives.”