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Construction for London’s first flex street set to get underway

A rendering showing Dundas Place from Talbot Street to Rideout Street. .
A rendering showing Dundas Place from Talbot Street to Rideout Street. . City of London

The City of London’s project that promises to turn one of London’s busiest streets into its first flex street is set to begin.

Construction on the first phase of the two-year, $16-million Dundas Place project will begin on Tuesday. It will focus on the segment between Richmond and Ridout streets.

“When construction gets going, we will be fencing off the roadways from the sidewalks so you can access any of the businesses you want along Dundas,” said the city’s Urban Regeneration manager, Jim Yanchula.

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“It will get quite hectic on Dundas, as starting Tuesday, we are going to be opening up the roadbed, looking into utilities; really seeing what needs to be done,” he said.

Overall, the four-block stretch on Dundas, from Ridout to Wellington streets, will become known as Dundas Place.

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“We expect to see phase one finished by sometime this fall, and then we will begin construction closer to Wellington,” said Yanchula.

“When it’s all done, you’re going to see that entire stretch become one flat floor, almost like a plaza that cars can drive through.”

In turn, Yanchula tells 980 CFPL that the flex street will make outdoor events easier to host.

“When London hosts the Junos next year, we are going to be able to close the street down, and hold tons of different activities for everyone to enjoy,” said Yanchula.

A rendering showing Dundas Place from Talbot to Rideout during a winter festival.
A rendering showing Dundas Place from Talbot to Rideout during a winter festival. City of London

“We made it so that phase one will be done right in time for the Junos. We know this will be the perfect opportunity to show Londoners that Dundas Place is the ultimate people place,” he said.

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As for how traffic will be impacted?

“Permanent buses that currently run along Dundas will be moved to make way for the street,” said Yanchula.

“Those that go westbound will turn at Wellington and will go over to Queen, while those that head eastbound will divert to King Street.”

Vehicles won’t be able to access Dundas Street from Clarence Street westward because of the work planned for the intersection at Richmond Street.

Yanuchla said north-south routes on Richmond and Talbot will be maintained for the time being, but both sections will eventually be closed for a six-week and 16-week duration respectively during construction.

“Once Dundas Place is finished, you can expect to be able to drive normally along Dundas,” said Yanchula.

Yanchula said the city will soon have more information on where businesses load and get their deliveries and where customers can park.

“But I can assure you, we’ve taken all the necessary steps to come up with a proper and well thought-out plan,” he said.