John Counter Boulevard

Rendering of completed John Counter Boulevard overpass.

About the Project

John Counter Boulevard is a major east-west arterial route that passes across the top of Kingston from the Cataraqui River to Princess Street. It is an important and growing employment and shopping area and acts as a link to four of Kingston's main thoroughfares: Montreal Street, Division Street, Princess Street and Taylor-Kidd Boulevard. More than 20,000 vehicles and 50 trains pass through this crossing on John Counter Boulevard each day.

As part of this project, the City is proposing to:

  • Improve safety for all road users with better traffic flow and the addition of a new bridge over the CN Rail line
  • Improve comfort and accessibility for people walking and cycling on John Counter Boulevard with the creation of new pedestrian and cycling facilities
  • Easy access into VIA train station from John Counter Boulevard
  • Accommodate the needs of nearby businesses and institutions


Project Phases

The project is broken up into five distinct construction phases which include the widening from Division Street to Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.

Map of project phases

Current Phase - Underway

Phase 5 is the final phase of the John Counter Blvd project and is expected to take about two years to complete. It is broken into two phases: 5a and 5b.

Phase 5a: September 2018 until 2019

Crews are currently finishing up the sidewalk installations, multi-use paths, landscaping and the final layer of asphalt. 

This phase includes:

  • re-alignment of Portsmouth Avenue road onto John Counter Boulevard
  • construction of a landscaped berm on the existing William Hackett Park to help with noise deflection and visual beautification during construction for neighbours of the site.
  • In 2009 the Reconfiguration of Markers Acres Park to include a full-sized soccer field was completed in preparation for the loss of the soccer field at William Hackett Park due to the realignment of Portsmouth. The soccer field was an intricate part of the revitalization of the Markers Acres Park and was part of  the $8.3 million project implementation budget approved by council in 2006.
  • relocation of William Hackett Park to the west of the realigned Portsmouth Avenue. The park will include a level green space and a parking area. To help facilitate the needs of the community, a new playground structure will be completed in the park area east of Portsmouth Avenue.

Phase 5a & 5b Map

Phase 5b: 2019 to 2021

The remaining phase stretching from Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard to Princess Street involves the re-alignment and widening of John Counter and the construction of the bridge over the rail line. The bridge and new roadway will provide for a full urban street, including new pedestrian and cycling facilities, a new entrance to the VIA Rail station, and further intersection improvements along this corridor. The improvements include two new sets of traffic signals: one traffic signal at the intersection of Old Mill Road/John Counter Boulevard; and one as the new Portsmouth Avenue/John Counter Boulevard.

The contract for construction work related to Phase 5b has been awarded to R.W. Tomlinson Ltd.  The work on Phase 5b began in July 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2021.

Completed Phases

Phase 1 and 2 involved road widening from Division Street to Sir John A MacDonald Blvd and was completed in 2013.The work included the installation of storm sewers and storm water  quality structures,  as well widening the two lane road to four lanes  and grade adjustments  to have the road surface drainage improved. The road was brought up to an urban profile with curbs, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Phase 3  involved land clearing, grubbing and preloading of embankment areas for the future bridge abutments. The work also included wetland and floodplain compensation which involves the creation of new flood storage and wetland areas to offset the losses associated with the embankment construction. This work was completed in 2018.

Phase 4  widening John Counter to four lanes between Sir John A. Macdonald and Indian Road and was completed in late 2018. The work included the installation of storm sewers and storm water quality pond as well widening the two lane road to four lanes  and grade adjustments  to have the road surface drainage improved.

How this project links to Transportation Master Plan

The 2015-2018 Transportation Master Plan identified the widening of John Counter Boulevard as part of the Recommended Transportation Network Improvements. Completing this project will help us  accommodate the forecast growth of the City.


Project News