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Ontario Line Project in Toronto, Canada

The Latest on the Ontario Line Project

In Jul 2023, Metrolinx announced that work on Ontario Line was well underway in the Lakeshore East rail corridor, bringing transit upgrades to neighbourhoods surrounding the sites of the future East Harbour, Riverside-Leslieville and Gerrard stations.

The scope of work includes the construction of new rail bridges as well as new retaining walls and noise walls around the rail corridor in this “vibrant” part of Toronto. The rail bridges are being built at Eastern Avenue, Queen Street, Dundas Street and Logan Avenue, next to GO rail bridges. The retaining walls and noise barriers on the other hand extend from Eastern Avenue to east of Pape.

Ontario Line Project Overview

The Ontario Line is a rapid transit line under construction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It is 15.6-kilometre long, starting from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, and culminating at the Ontario Science Centre. The line’s northern terminus will be located at Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road, at Science Centre station, for its proper connection with Line 5 Eglinton. The southern terminus on the other hand will be developed at the existing Exhibition GO Station on the Lakeshore West line.

Plans for the construction of the Ontario Line were revealed by the Government of Ontario on the tenth of April 2019. At the time, its construction cost was estimated to be around $10.9 billion and it was set to be completed by 2027. However, the cost of the project was revised in 2022 upwards to $19 billion and its completion in 2031.

The start of construction and scope of the Ontario Line project

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 2022 to officially mark the start of the construction of the Ontario Line.  Over half of the 15.6-kilometre line is set to run underground through new tunnels. The remainder will run along elevated and at-grade rail corridor sections.

A total of fifteen stations are proposed, with numerous connections to the broader transit network. The network includes GO Transit rail services, the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway Lines 1 and 2 and the future Line 5 (Eglinton Crosstown LRT). Numerous bus and streetcar routes will also be a part of the network.

Once operational, Ontario Line will make it faster and easier to travel within Toronto and beyond. It will also give people more time back in their days. This is because a trip from one end to the other will take less than 30 minutes via the line compared to the 70 minutes it takes in transit. Additionally, there will also be significant relief from crowding throughout the existing transit network thanks to proposed connections to more than 40 other travel options along the way.

Ontario Line Project Timeline

The Ontario Line plan was prepared by Metrolinx in just three months based on transit consultant Michael Schabas’s proposal. In 2018 December, Metrolinx hired Schabas to lead a team for the Relief Line plans transformation into the Ontario Line. Schabas was an advocate of using lighter metro vehicles like the ones used in London’s Docklands Light Railway, the kind of vehicles are suitable for steeper grades and elevated structures.

The drafted plan was ready by January 31, 2019, which on February 26 was approved by Doug Ford after a presentation. Metrolinx kept the scheme a secret until April 10 when the government chose to reveal it.


The existing out-of-service passenger extended tunnel and station entrance was opened. The existing passenger tunnel was to be extended north and the new north entrance was developed to offer continuous station access during the whole construction period, future Ontario Line work included. The new north platform was to service GO trains temporarily running on the shifted GO Track 1.

After the construction of the Ontario Line station, the new north platform’s western portion would form a section of the joint GO-Ontario Line platform, removing the eastern portion. A temporary pedestrian bridge installation spanning the rail corridor which would provide more access capacity to arrive at station platforms and offer cross-corridor access for trips to Liberty Village and vice versa.

Corktown Station early works site
2021 May

The early works in Corktown Station included removal of existing buildings and other structures, utility asphalt, decommissioning, removal of soil, and other required remediation and early works scheme projects.

August 2021

On the existing rail bridge, a new bridge is on construction on the Lower Don River that will have the Ontario Line tracks. GO tracks are being shifted in the nearby rail corridor and Don Yard to accommodate Ontario Line infrastructure. The existing rail bridge modifications to give allowance for GO track shifts and Ontario Line infrastructure.

December 2021

Metrolinx chose American engineering firm, Bechtel, as the delivery partner for its Ontario Line in Toronto. Bechtel, along with sub-vendors Bantrel and Comtech Group, will offer resources and expertise to support the construction of the 15.6km rapid transit route.

In mid-December, Toronto City Council approved a plan to close major roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes in the Downtown area for seven years, starting from fall 2022 to fall 2029, to pave the way for the construction of the Ontario Line, especially the King-Bathurst, Queen-Spadina, Osgoode, Queen, and Corktown stations.

The downtown area road closures will affect frequently-travelled Toronto throughways like Queen Street West, Bathurst Street, King Street East, Spadina Avenue, University Avenue, King Street West, and Queen Street East. A complete shutdown of Queen Street between Bay and Victoria will begin in 2023 and last for four years.

January 2022

Preparatory work on the Ontario Line (OL) Queen Station is set to start this month. The utilities needing relocating at the Queen station site comprise the water main, underground telecom, sewer, hydro, and gas line system. Metrolinx will also be promoting the TTC installation of additional streetcar tracks on York Street to offer a detour for the TTC Queen 501 streetcar during the building of the Queen station.

Early works for the OL King-Bathurst Station will comprise utility relocations incorporating Enbridge, Toronto Hydro, and Rogers infrastructure. The early works are set to continue until May 2023.

Sep 2022

Preferred “proponent teams” for two Ontario Line project contracts announced

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have revealed the preferred “proponent teams” for two contracts on the 15.6km Ontario Line. The project would connect the Ontario Exhibition Place station in downtown Toronto to the Ontario Science Centre station.

The Ontario Transit Group has been chosen for the design-build-finance contract for the civil, station, and tunnel work on the Ontario Line South. The new line’s 6.7km southern segment will necessitate the construction of 6km worth of tunnels. Thus, seven stations total—six underground—will be constructed along the route. It is anticipated that work on this segment will start next year and take seven years to finish.

“The Ontario Line South Civil contract will be Ferrovial Construction‘s largest contract to be executed and delivered worldwide,” said Ignacio Gastón, CEO of Ferrovial Construction. The fact that a project of this magnitude and scope is a part of our company’s portfolio says a lot about the knowledge and value we contribute to some of the world’s most complicated and visible infrastructure projects.

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The Ontario Line South project team

The chosen Connect 6ix team, led by Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group, and Transdev Canada, won the second contract, which covers the operations, maintenance, rolling stock, and systems for the Ontario Line. Thus, Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx will continue to negotiate contract terms with these teams. Furthermore, they anticipate awarding both contracts later this year.

The Ontario Line is being delivered through several contracts. These are which were obtained through conventional and public-private partnerships. Following will be enabling work for the bridge, railway, and other preliminary tasks. Also included are procurements for the major civil works in the north.

Portions of already-existing rail lines owned by Metrolinx will be used for the construction of the Ontario Line. This is in the western and eastern portions of the route. According to Metrolinx, it is reducing the quantity of tunnelling and excavation required. It is also reducing the complexity and duration of construction.

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