Media spotlight shines on Toronto’s Science Centre Station – So you’re on the tour as well

Select press given a chance to see the progress at the underground light rail transit station that will soon be a vital mobility hub for a busy part of the city.

Steps away from Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre, where visitors explore interactive experiences, the media had the chance to discover a whole new world underground.

Beneath the intersection of Don Mills and Eglinton Avenue East, are two long light rail transit (LRT) portals – each 400 metres long – that will guide trains in-and-out of what will soon be Science Centre Station.

It’s one of the 25 stops on the 19-kilometre route of Line 5 – or simply, the Eglinton Crosstown.

Media were given the chance today to see the significant progress of the station. Work began in 2016 and excavation for the station concourse, platform, and entrances are now all complete.

A man rides a bike through the intersection.

A current look of the intersection of Don Mills and Eglinton. (Photo by Nitish Bissonauth)

According to Nick Britten, the Superintendent from Crosslinx Transit Solution, in charge of the construction of Science Centre Station, the biggest challenge for him and his crew has been dealing with construction – Don Mills and Eglinton is one of the busiest intersections in the city.

“The traffic has been switched over from one side of the road to the other eight times due to shoring and excavation,” Britten said.

A cameraman walks in front of Science Centre Station.

The steel structure of the Science Centre Station is up. The finished structure will be entirely covered in glass. The first sheets go up in November. (Photo by Nitish Bissonauth)

Despite the traffic woes, there has been lots of progress thanks to a unique construction technique. The Science Centre Station is being constructed using the cut-and-cover method. That means the excavation was started, and then covered with wooden decking, allowing vehicles to travel above on the decking while excavation and construction continues underneath.

A van drives over the construction site.

On the surface, cars pass through the busy intersections of Don Mills and Eglinton while crews continue to work underground (Photo by Nitish Bissonauth)

“The cut and cover method allows for work to happen in multiple areas – to have an opening from the top, makes it easier to feed material in and out,” said Britten.

The graphic shows the digging system used for Science Centre Station.

The main entrance will be adjacent to the Ontario Science Centre and will have access from both the north and south sides of the building.

Once complete, the station will include an off-street bus terminal with seven bus bays for TTC buses with on-street bus connections.

Nick Britten is interviewed by a reporter.

Nick Britten, Superintendent from Crosslinx Transit Solution, explaining to media where the bus depot will be. (Photo by Nitish Bissonauth)

A pedestrian tunnel will allow future transit riders to seamlessly connect from the bus terminal to the Science Centre Station without having to step outside. Track installation for the LRV starts in December.

Britten points at the construction site.

Nick Britten showing the media how easy it will be to connect from a bus to the LRV.

“When I see the pictures of where we were at this time last year and where we are now, it’s leaps and bounds,” said Britten, who adds the construction for Science Centre Station is on schedule.

The Eglinton Crosstown is expected to be completed by September 2021

Want to get a better idea of what the station will look like once complete? Check out this virtual tour:

Want to learn more about Science Centre Station? Click here.

Story by Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx Bilingual Spokesperson, Media Relations and Issues Specialist.