The Ontario Line is a rapid transit line under construction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 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 will be developed at the existing Exhibition GO Station in the Lakeshore West line. The Ontario Line was revealed by the Government of Ontario on tenth April 2019. The cost of the 5.5-kilometre line was estimated to be around $10.9 billion and set to complete by 2027, which was later revised to 2030 in December 2020.
The City of Toronto has been constructing a rapid transit line, dubbed the “Relief Line South”, from Line 2 Bloor–Danforth , Pape station to Osgoode station on Line 1 Yonge–University. Ealier in 2019, the Ontario government revealed the intention to take over subway construction in the city. The Ontario Line, which at that moment appeared to contain most of the Relief Line routing and station locations. As opposed to the City design, the Ontario Line will be a “standalone” line, using lighter rolling stock and shorter trainsets compared to the existing Toronto Transit Commission’s subway lines.
The Ontario Line plan was prepared by Metrolinx in just three months based on a transit consultant Michael Schabas 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 the London’s Docklands Light Railway, the kind of vehicles are suitable for steeper grades and in elevated structures. The drafted plan was ready by January 31, 2019 which in 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 developed to offer continuous station access in 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 construction of the Ontario Line station, the new north platform’s western portion would form 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 station platforms and offer cross-corridor access for trips to Liberty Village and vice versa.
The early works in Corktown Station included removal of existing buildings and other structures, utilities asphalt, decommissioning, removal of soil and other required remediation and early works scheme projects.
On the existing rail bridge 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.
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, so as to pave way for construction of the Ontario Line especially the King-Bathurst, Queen-Spadina, Osgoode, Queen, and Corktown stations.
The downtown area road closures will affect frequently-traveled 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.
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 watermain, underground telecom, sewer, hydro and gas line system. Metrolinx will also be promoting TTC installation of additional streetcar tracks on York Street to offer a detour for the TTC Queen 501 streetcar during 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.