Crews look up to see a crane lowering a large tractor to their work area.

A transit hero rises – Keelesdale station is already a super-cool build

In the third part in our continuing Crosstown Progress tour from west to east – taking you inside the current state and future promise of Toronto’s historic Eglinton LRT project – we look at the mighty station that kicked off this heroic transit build.

Far below the intersection of Eglinton Avenue West and Trethewey Drive lies what some might consider a superhero’s – so far – hidden headquarters.

And Toronto drivers rumbling overhead can only imagine what is taking shape below.

We call it Keelesdale Station, and 2300m² of wooden decking – or about five basketball courts – covers the construction site to allow traffic to flow over top of the future station while work takes place.

Crews look up to see a crane lowering a large tractor to their work area.
Looking up – A crane lowers a tractor into the Keelesdale tunnel area.

Keelesdale Station was the first station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project to start construction back in March 2016, and a lot of work has been done since. To date, both tunnels are now complete and concrete pours are working their way up to street level, starting to form the concourse level of the station.

Crews work on concrete flooring inside the large tunnel area.
Steel and reinforced concrete create a protective shell for Keelesdale. Note the wood far above, which is a barrier for traffic still moving.

This April, crews started construction of the station roof and streetscape works started taking place. Asphalt pours will be ongoing for the next few months to restore the road – and remove all those pesky potholes – which will allow the team to start beautifying the roadway with things like landscaping, brand new sidewalks and furniture.

An interior shot showing a large, below-ground work area where LRTs will flow.
Deep work – Workers seem small while toiling inside Keelesdale, including the tunnel and track area, to the lower right.
Two workers put large supports in place on a floor.
Crews add supports in this image of recent work.

Light Rail Vehicle testing will make its way east starting from the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility into Keelesdale before the station’s estimated completion in 2020.

In addition to the three separate entrances that will provide access in and out of the station, Keelesdale will include an off-street bus loop to serve TTC buses, 60 outdoor bicycle parking spots and a new station plaza that will function as an area for people to meet, gather or relax while waiting for their ride.

In an artist's rendering, the Keelesdale station is largely white, and build with a great deal of glass.
An artist’s impression on how the final Keelesdale Station will look.

But for now, the super part of the Crosstown project is quietly going about its transformation, in a not-so-secret, subterranean command post. Until, soon enough, it’ll rise up to begin its Herculean work for the city.

A long mural dpeicts an LRT, as well as street schenes and children.
Titled That’s How We Roll, the mural located at the Keelesdale Station site was painted by grade 11 art students from the nearby York Memorial Collegiate Institute. The mural depicts the concept of ‘travel’ as it has evolved over time, while telling the story of the Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.