Drilling in, Toronto – Station construction now underway on Finch West LRT

From utility relocation, to drilling and excavations, progress is being made on the latest transit project coming to Toronto West. In this series of photo features, residents and future transit customers get a glimpse of the work happening in their community. Here, we drill into supports now being installed, as well as explain about an upcoming virtual open house. 

Eglinton Avenue isn’t the only hotspot for transit building in Toronto.

If you look a little further north, you’ll see work is underway on station construction at Finch Avenue West and Keele Street – the eastern edge of the Finch West light rail transit (LRT) route.

The new underground LRT station is being built right above the existing Finch West TTC subway station while subway trains continue to travel below. When completed, the Finch West LRT will bring 11 kilometres of new rapid transit along Finch Avenue West starting at Keele Street and extending to Humber College at Humber College Blvd. and Highway 27.

What’s happening right now? 

Crews are drilling holes to install steel piles (large steel beams) to support the excavation of the entrances to the Finch West station pedestrian tunnel which will connect both the LRT and subway stations, emergency exits for the main station box, and portal located below Finch Avenue West.

Construction workers using a large drill rig to drill holes in the ground near Finch and Keele

Construction crews drilling holes near Finch Avenue and Keele Street, part of work to install supports for the future Finch West LRT station that will be located underground (Metrolinx photo)

A bit deeper on how the supports are being installed

Over a 12-month period, crews will twist steel casing pipes into the ground by drilling up to 500 holes using an auger – a giant-like screw attached to a rig. They will drill into the ground, remove the soil and then install steel beams into the holes. From there, they’ll fill them with concrete. The last step is removing the steel casing and leaving a strong concrete column underground.

Construction machinery like excavators work on a Finch West LRT work site

When completed, The Finch West LRT will run across Northwest Toronto connecting residents to important places like Humber College and offer connections to GO, MiWay, YRT, and Züm. (Metrolinx photo)

This work is happening behind fences installed at the Finch West station’s work sites and in the roadway. In order to keep the public and workers safe, there will be some lane closures and lane reductions in the area. Some TTC bus stops may also be moved.

Pedestrians will still be able to pass through the area.

Construction fencing installed in one lane of traffic as construction happens in the roadway

To keep everyone safe, fences have been installed while construction work on Finch West station takes place in the roadway, on boulevards and open lots. (Metrolinx photo)

 Want to learn more or get involved with this project? 

Anyone interested in this transit project is encouraged to join the upcoming Finch West LRT virtual open house that will be running completely online from May 13- 20.  Participants will be able to ask questions, and watch new informational presentations. To take part, click here.

And to keep up with the latest construction updates and other important information about the Finch West LRT, community members can sign up Metrolinx’s Toronto West online newsletter by clicking here.

Story by: Scott Money, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor