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Ontario Line

Ontario Line

Metrolinx has been  sharing improved plans for the Ontario Line in Toronto, as teams learn more about the geography and infrastructure, both above ground and below the surface as well as looking at the communities the new route will serve. Metrolinx has been adjusting plans in response to public input and new information gained as planners look at the geography of the route in increasingly fine detail.  

First and second posts of a four-part series have been posted on the Ontario Line Metrolinx Engage website, where members of the public can share comments and suggestions on the modifications.  

West Segment: from Exhibition Grounds to Spadina Avenue  

At the Exhibition GO Station the Ontario Line tracks will be at surface level, along the existing GO Train corridor. Subway trains will go underground through a portal, opening west of the Strachan Avenue bridge, leading into a tunnel under the future location of Ordnance Park, on the east side of that street, just north of the Fort York National Historic Site. 

Looking at the geology under the city, this is the best possible spot for TBMs  to enter Toronto’s underground. The downtown tunnels will have to go through soft soil and bedrock. At Ordnance Park, the alignment is fully within bedrock, and that will reduce tunnelling risks by removing the soil interface the TBMs would otherwise have to go through. 

The Ordnance Park site will be needed to support tunnel construction. After construction is finished, and the equipment is gone, an opportunity to create a new park above the tunnel will be available for City of Toronto programming, in keeping with their existing plans for the site. For more details click here (English) or here (French). 


Downtown segment: from University Avenue to Don River 

The second post involves the reviewed plan of the Ontario Line’s Downtown segment, taking advantage of an underground cavern below Queen Street that was built during construction of the first section of the Yonge Street subway/Line 1. The expectation was that an east-west streetcar line would be added soon after the north-south subway opened in 1954. 

Over the years, various plans to run streetcars through the downtown core under Queen have come and gone. Some of the space was used to run utility lines and underpass corridors. This means that the Ontario Line will have to be drilled out of rock deeper below the PATH, but the plans unveiled today will still make use of the tunnelled sections below the TTC’s Queen subway station. The new plan puts the Queen and Osgoode stations directly below and perpendicular to (or straddling) TTC Line 1, saving customers an average of at least one minute per trip when transferring between the two lines. 

After crossing Yonge, the Ontario Line will continue under Queen Street East to a new station in the Moss Park area, by the armoury, arena and park at George Street, a block west of Sherbourne Street. This will help relieve pressure from the Queen streetcar and provide better subway access for students attending George Brown College and visitors to Corktown and the historic Distillery District.  

At King and Berkeley, a new station will provide easy access to the vibrant and growing Corktown community as well as the historic Distillery District.  The updated alignment is marginally east of what was originally studied. For more details click here (English) or here (French). 

Draft Environmental Conditions Report Open for Public Review 

Click here for the Environmental Conditions Report (ECR) draft released last week and opened for public review until 17/10/2020. The ECR documents current details about archaeology, noise and vibration, heritage, natural environment and traffic in areas along the route, to help the project team make informed decisions, as they continue to design the Ontario Line.  

Investigative Drilling Continues 

Geotechnical drilling and surveying continue at several points along the Ontario Line route, aiming to gather more information on ground conditions to support the creation of foundation designs and other structural plans.   

For updated project information visit  https://www.metrolinxengage.com and https://blog.metrolinx.com/.  Click  here and ca/41 for tunnelbuilder archive. 39/20.