Motorists planning to use the Gardiner Expressway to get around the city this weekend will need to find another route as it will be closed for annual spring maintenance.

The highway will be closed in both directions from the Don Valley Parkway to Highway 427, starting at 11 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

"The full closure of the expressway for one weekend each year is an important and safe way for City road crews and contractors, engineers and other stakeholders to make improvements and keep the throughway in the best state of good repair," the city said in a news release.

Some of the maintenance work planned include 15 lane kilometres of milling and paving, 8,000 metres of crack repairs, 9,000 metres of line marking, 60 metres of guide rail repair and/or replacement, and pothole repairs.

The city is also advising travellers to plan ahead and expect delays as a number of roads will be closed to vehicles for the third weekend in a row as part of the city's ActiveTO program, which gives more space for pedestrians and cyclists to practice physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday until 11 p.m. Sunday, the following roads will be closed:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue)
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue

"This weekend presents a unique scenario where we balance important expressway maintenance and accelerated construction projects while following through on a commitment to provide space for people to get outside and be active while respecting physical distancing," Mayor John Tory said in a news release.

"City staff will be working to actively manage our roads as much as possible, and I encourage those who are making essential trips this weekend to also plan ahead."

Meanwhile, the intersection of Richmond Street East and Church Street will remain closed to all vehicle traffic for construction.