May 17, 2024

Kingsway Koffee & Finch West LRT Spotting

While I was originally going to do a longer ride today for my day off work, the rain in this afternoon’s forecast prompted a change in plans. Even so, I got an almost 42-kilometre ride in this morning by The Kingsway and the Finch West LRT line which led to some unexpected surprises.

While riding along Bloor, I noticed the east leg entrance of Mossom Road next to South Kingsway is now closed off as was called for during the public consultations.

I then pulled over to Café Rouge in The Kingsway for a cortado and a chocolate croissant. Usually, Community Bikeways’ “We Belong on Bloor” campaign hosts “Koffee on the Kingsway” meetups every Friday morning, but I didn’t see them there. Arguably one of the best tasting croissants in town. 😊

However, I did see Albert Koehl’s bike near Hot Oven Bakery where I saw him, former TDSB Trustee Pam Gough, Ruth, Bill, and Lin. A good excuse to pick up a loaf of bread.

During that meetup, I was informed pavement markings have been put in place west of Aberfoyle Crescent ahead of installation which is expected to start right after the long weekend. Albert and I opted to check it out and he was pretty happy to see this progress along Bloor.

Here’s a photo Albert took of Bill and I riding that same stretch.

The markings appeared to go at least to Islington Avenue where we turned around.

I then took Royal York Road towards the Humber River Trail. If there’s one thing that annoys me more than the narrow bike lanes, it’s the highway style interchange at Dundas. Not a safe place to bike.

When passing Edenbridge, I noticed one short block had a raised cycle track going northbound. You couldn’t see the bicycle symbol clearly, but here’s a Google Street View image from 2009. Guess Sherbourne wasn’t the first on-street protected bike lane in Toronto?

While on the West Humber River Trail, I came across my biggest pet peeve which is the lack of wayfinding at Albion Road and Arcot Boulevard.

It also doesn’t help that you only have a sidewalk until the trail resumes. The City of Toronto should seriously widen the sidewalk into a multi-use path and add a cross-ride so cyclists know how to continue along the West Humber Trail.

It’s always nice to ride next to the Humber River!

Approaching Humber College. You can get there by turning right from the trail once you pass a pond.

A short, paved trail can be found leading to the parking lot, but I hope some wayfinding improvements can be made to lead people to the multi-use path next to Highway 27 and on to Finch Avenue.

Here’s Humber College Station. One thing not pictured here is this station will have bicycle lockers!

The multi-use path next to Highway 27 is a lot greener than the last time I saw it.

Separate crosswalks and cross-rides will be in place on the east side of the Highway 27 and Finch intersection.

The first part of Finch has a raised cycle track, but the approach at the bus stop could have been made smoother.

Finch Avenue West is mostly in its final configuration, but the bike lanes still need that final layer of asphalt along most of the corridor while curbs are needed in a few places. No wonder why the City of Toronto opted not to count Finch as completed in 2023. I already removed it from my tracking except for the paths next to Highway 27 and under Highway 400 which were completed last fall.

One odd thing I noticed is there are two different kinds of fare vending machines used at the LRT stops.

Looking south towards Lindylou Park which acts as a connection to the Humber River Trail.

At Weston Road, I heard somewhere there was a temporary bike lane. This photo shows one going westbound, but I felt a lot safer using the sidewalk.

Looking back westbound, there hasn’t been much progress with the multi-use path construction underneath the CP Rail corridor.

While this photo is blurry, it confirms a multi-use path has been paved next to Norfinch Avenue. However, the path is not paved once it turns right from Norfinch.

Just east of Jane, I finally got to see a light rail vehicle testing along the Finch West LRT corridor!

Overall, I found the bike lanes along the Jane to Keele stretch to be the furthest along, but even then there were still some imperfections that need to be fixed.

At least the cycle track form is visible all the way to Keele Street now.

And one final look at the LRT station on the southeast corner.

While the Finch West LRT corridor gets closer to completion, I don’t recommend biking on Finch until the final paving has been completed. Fingers crossed this gets done by the time the LRT opens later this year, while I look forward to seeing Phase 2 of the Bloor West Complete Street Extension get installed soon.

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