The off-ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay and Yonge Streets is now closed as crews demolish it and start work to build its replacement.

At 5 a.m. Monday, the ramp will close and its replacement is not expected to be complete until Jan. 2018.

Commuters are urged to use the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps as alternates. The Spadina off-ramp was also temporarily closed Sunday night.

City officials say the existing ramp is more than 50 years old and must be replaced.

Monday’s closure comes as the nearby Air Canada Centre is set to host Game 3 of the Toronto Maple Leafs playoff series against the Washington Capitals, an event that is sure to generate extra traffic in the vicinity.

Officials say the timing on traffic signals in the area have been adjusted to help with congestion.

The new ramp will be shorter and will connect the Gardiner to Lower Simcoe Street. As part of the project, Harbour Street will be widened between Lower Simcoe and Bay streets.