Crews work on large sections of reinforced steel.

How LEGO toys play into building major Toronto transit stop

During this latest stop in our ongoing series exploring the progress at each of the Crosstown LRT stations, we look at the historic way builders are handling construction at Mount Pleasant, as well as explaining why you can bank on the entrance being something to remember.

If you design and build big things – such as Toronto’s Crosstown project – you tend to think big.

But there are times when details of the process can resemble something small enough to fit into your childhood.

Iron piping creates a bed of support, that's helped by large wooden beams crossing a section of a construction site.
The wooden planks are being used to support existing utility pipes.

During our ongoing, station by station series on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, we’ve seen complicated construction tackled in many ways. But here’s how the work at the Mount Pleasant Station is like using LEGO.

Located at the intersection of Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East, it’s the 11th station on our Crosstown Progress tour.

Protecting Toronto’s heritage is important, as we learned with Chaplin Station. Mount Pleasant Station is also doing its part to keep Toronto’s history. Teams will be reconstructing the station’s main entrance’s façade by piecing together original bricks that were used to build what was the old Imperial Bank building from 90 years ago. A little trivia to talk to coworkers about over a morning brew, following its use as a bank, the building was a Second Cup location.

When construction began in 2016, hundreds of bricks from the building were removed, catalogued, and stored off-site. Upon the station’s completion in 2021, the bricks will be reattached in the same order they originally stood and will outfit the station’s new retail space.

Bricks are seen with numbers on each one for easy tracking.
Each brick is labeled and will be reattached in the same order they originally stood.

The future station will also have 30 outdoor bicycle parking spots and on-street connections to TTC buses.

The team won’t be using this LEGO-like approach to construct the entire station.

Cars drive over a temporary bridge.
A traffic bridge has been created so traffic can flow while work is being done below

The rest of Mount Pleasant Station is being built using a top-down, cut-and-cover method, meaning that ongoing excavation work will be covered by concrete roof slabs for traffic to flow on top while work continues underneath.

An artist rendering of the station, featuring a front created from old bank bricks.
Mount Pleasant Station will merge the old and the new.

Excavation is ongoing with the station’s roof construction currently taking place. Excavation will continue into 2020 but expect some relief as traffic lanes will reopen while crews will be digging deep and piecing together the station – in places, a brick at a time.

In an artist rendering, customers wait for an arriving light rail trandit vehicle.
A rendering of what the inside of the Mount Pleasant station may look like once finished.

Sounds like child’s play? LEGO that silly idea Toronto.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.