Mount Dennis Station promises a future built on the past

Crosstown Progress – This is the second feature in a behind the scenes series, exploring the station-by-station, stop-by-stop progress of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project – as well as the many benefits to come.

Picture this – a transit hub that’s being built on the past, with all the benefits of the future for Canada’s largest metropolis.

Our first progress tour stop along Crosstown – as we take you from west to east – is the Mount Dennis Station. And yes, as you’ll see, things are moving quickly, and hinting at the countless treks to soon come.

TThe front of a Light Rail Vehicle is shown inside a maintenance facility, with crews inspecting the outside.

Waiting to go – An LRV is inspected. the vehicles will soon be a common sight on the Crosstown line.

Even if you don’t live or work near this vital link on the LRT line, you may know it for the sake of how we gingerly preserved – and moved around – an iconic Toronto landmark building, to keep a promise to the local community.

Things started to pick up back in 2016 near Weston Road when we moved the famous ‘Kodak Building 9’ – a 3,000 tonne building – 200 feet from its original location. Don’t worry, we put it back about a year later. Kodak Building 9 will be integrated into a centre-piece for the future Mount Dennis Station. This is just one of the many engineering feats Metrolinx and its constructor, Crosslinx Transit Solutions, have made happen in order to deliver your new 19 kilometre light rail transit line.

Two workers work on a tuke floor, next to escalators.

Workers install tiles inside the Mount Dennis terminal.

Located at the intersection of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West, Mount Dennis Station will be a mobility hub, connecting passengers to planned all-day, two-way service of GO Transit’s Kitchener Line, UP Express and an off-street TTC Bus Terminal.

This will mean quicker transitions when you’re making connections, and getting you home and away with less hustle and hassle.

Mount Dennis will be accessible and easy to navigate. Train platforms will be accessible from the underground connection between the main entrance and 3500 Eglinton Avenue West. The Eglinton Crosstown line will open as the TTC’s Line 5 Eglinton and will offer accessible service at every station and stop, from Mount Dennis to Kennedy. The new bus terminal will include 15 bus bays for TTC buses and will have an underground, accessible connection to the 3500 Eglinton Avenue West building.

Did we mention the retail space?

Grass is seen growing on the environmentally friendly green roof of the EMSF.

Environmentally friendly green roof – When complete, the maintenance and storage facility main building will have LEED®Silver certification. Environmental features include high energy & water efficiency, green roofs, solar-reflective paving, glazing to minimize bird collisions, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Take a look around – excuse a bit of construction dust – as escalators, tactile flooring and the station’s glass windows have already been installed.

Walls are still bare but tracks sit and wait for the first arrival.

There’s a busy excitement in the air, as work crews, in their bright orange safety vests, work to get it ready for customers.

You can almost see your bike parked in the planned 120 bike parking spaces – including 80 indoor spots.

While not yet fully prepared for guests and travellers, with a well-lit interior and easy access points, it’s starting to look like the active community axle it will soon become.

In fact, by the end of this year, Mount Dennis Station may be the first completed station.

Now come this way for a moment. This is something important that you may not even be aware of, even after the LRT line is helping to get you where you need to go.

The EMSF facility sits with rail tracks running around it.

The EMSF facility already looks like a transit hub.

Adjacent to Mount Dennis Station is the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (EMSF). This building will be home to the Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) where they will be inspected, cleaned and maintained when they’re not busy transporting people across Eglinton Avenue. There will also be office space and facilities for employees and transit operators.

In what looks like a car wash for trains, large blue brushes sit on both sides of tracks in an inside facility.

Not your regular drive-through wash. Brushes and cleaning bays for LRVs sit ready to keep the Crosstown vehicles clean

The EMSF, which sits on 20,000 square metres – or four NFL football fields – already reached substantial completion this past October. With a few more things to finish up, including some track work, the green roof and platform completion, the facility will be ready for the vehicles to begin testing later this spring.

Inside, the facility already looks like a garage on steroids. Bay and different levels will allow crews to work on every angle of the vehicle – including from below.

In one entrance, new blue brushes wait to wash the first LRV.

It’s all amazing progress. And will, when the line is open in an expected completion date of 2021, add up to be a new community hub and one stop on an amazing Toronto journey.

A photo of inside a multi-tier facility. It's brightly lit with many levels to service LRVs.

The multi-levels of the EMSF are fast taking shape, allowing for servicing of vehicles from every angle.

Until then, be sure to follow the Eglinton Crosstown on social media to see how you can gain access to an exclusive sneak peek into this facility!

Next stop on this tour will be Keelesdale Station. Check back for that exclusive look to come.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.

To continue Crosstown Progress tour and see inside the work at Keelesdale, click here.