Crosstown Progress: A tour from west to east

Toronto, we’ve asked you to walk in the mud. We’ve created unwanted workouts by shuffling you from one side of the street to the other.

And we’ve had you stuck in traffic when you were so close to home, you could almost see your driveway – when all you’ve wanted was to get home to catch up on Game of Thrones.

During the early phases of construction on the $5.3-billion Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, we’ve been asking a lot of you. Now we want to show you what your patience has led to.

crosstown-map

“This is one of the biggest transit projects in North America and its going to be an iconic part of the city for decades to come,” says Jamie Robinson, Metrolinx’s chief communications and public affairs officer (A). “The progress being made is truly amazing. I can’t wait to see LRVs rolling underneath and across Eglinton Avenue in 2021, filled with transit riders.”

Throughout our month-long series of ‘Crosstown Progress’ stories on Metrolinx News, we are going to show you the outstanding station-by-station development, with photos from today and exciting glimpses of the future.

Large beams line up over a large passage below the road.

Work is moving along at a good clip at the Kennedy portal, where the LRV will go underground.

Eglinton Crosstown is no longer just some holes in the ground. It’s stations. Escalators. Completed buildings. Tracks in tunnels. Tracks on street level. And vehicles on tracks.

Starting today, we are going to take you on a journey along Eglinton from west to east to show you just how far we’ve come.

At Mount Dennis Station we’ll get in the tunnels and show you the newly installed tracks. We’ll get our hands dirty at Keelesdale Station where crews excavated enough soil to fill 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Moving east, we descend into a world 32 metres beneath the city at Avenue Station – the deepest station on the line, finally we’ll wrap up at Kennedy Station  – the eastern terminus – which features vital GO Train and TTC subway connections.

Tractors work beneath ground-level in this shot looking at work on Eglinton Station.

Eglinton Station begins to take shape – even far below what most people see.

Speaking of patience, lane closures have been getting on the nerves of mid-town residents for a while now. But traffic is going to get better. Talented tradespeople are working their butts off 24/7 so that 2019 will mark the beginning of construction moving back off the road, particularly on the west side of the Crosstown route.

Once completed, the Crosstown will become the backbone of Canada’s largest metropolis. 19-kilometres of rapid transit that will transform the way people move across the city for generations.

In case you aren’t familiar with the project, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will run underground for more than 10-kilometres, from Keele Street to Laird Avenue, then at surface level for nine more kilometres to Kennedy Station, while dipping underground again briefly at Don Mills Road.

KEY FACTS 

  • Route length: 19 km
  • Number of stations/stops: 25
  • Ridership: 5,500 passengers per hour in the peak direction by 2031
  • Target in-service date: Late 2021
  • Single Vehicle Capacity: 15,000 passengers per hour per direction; cars can be removed or added easily
  • Time savings: Up to 60 per cent faster travel than bus service today

You’ve been patient Toronto. Like a loyal fan waiting for that elusive final season of Game of Thrones. Now it’s almost here and just like your favourite Netflix show, it’s time to binge on the Crosstown.

Story by Scott Money, Metrolinx advisor, social media and media relations.

Next stop: Mount Dennis – read it here