Science Centre provides unique portal of discovery for Crosstown station

In the latest stop in our ongoing Crosstown Progress tour – visiting every major feature along Toronto’s future Eglinton light rail transit (LRT) system – we’re looking at the tech and effort used for the Science Centre Station.

A lot of sophisticated know-how takes place to be able to build a major light rail transit system in the middle of – and under – the nation’s largest city.

A view looking down into the construction site, walled with concrete, metal and a heavy wood wall.

Views over the excavation at Science Centre Station – The box tunnel visible here will connect pedestrians from the main entrance on the southeast corner to the platform area.

But perhaps nowhere along the Eglinton Crosstown project is there a better symbol than the connection with the Ontario Science Centre. The centre is constantly listed as one of Toronto’s top destinations of things to do – a feat considering the major attractions the region offers.

Getting to this destination of curiosity and discovery will soon be easier than ever. A portal will guide vehicles from the surface stop down into the station. And while the portal might seem like a journey into another dimension, we promise we’re only taking you a few metres below the Eglinton roadway to your next station.

A worker is dwarfed by the huge size inside the expanse of the platform area.

There’s still a bit of work to go, but this box area directly under the Eglinton-Don Mills intersection will house the platform for Science Centre Station.

Science Centre Station is the 15th underground station going east on the Crosstown Progress tour. Located at the intersection of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East, Science Centre Station will be a mobility hub, linking passengers to a bus terminal that will include seven bus bays for TTC bus connections.

The station will have 30 outdoor and 30 indoor bicycle parking spaces and retail space in the underground concourse level.

Construction for Science Centre Station began in 2016 with piling and utility relocations. The station is being constructed using the cut-and-cover method, meaning that excavation occurs below the roadway while traffic flows overtop.

An artist rendering shows a light rail transit vehicle exiting an underground station.

An artist concept of the west portal of the LRT at the Science Centre Station.

Two portals, about 400 metres long, will sit at either side of the station allowing the light rail vehicles to travel in and out of the underground station, keeping them away from the busy intersection above. Road widening is currently being done in the area to support these portals and will continue into much of 2019.

In March, Don Mills and Eglinton saw its final temporary traffic flip. The current traffic configuration will remain in place until the end of the project.

An artist concept shows customers walking in and out of an entrance to the new station. A TTC bus sits nearby.

A vision on what an entrance to the Science Centre Station may look like.

All excavation was completed at Science Centre Station in April. Construction continues, and the concrete work for the pedestrian tunnel and bus terminal is expected to be completed later this year in 2019.

The future Science Centre Station will be your stop into a world of discovery, and not just because of its proximity to the Ontario Science Centre. New transit also comes with its share exciting wonders that we hope you’ll discover on your first trip of the Crosstown LRT in 2021.

Want to continue the tour, and see how we tap into world culture along the way? Click here.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.