Bidding opens on Ontario Line contract for Exhibition Station early works

Early works at Exhibition Station will set the foundation for major construction that will start in 2023. Read on to learn how Metrolinx is getting ready to break ground on the Ontario Line.

Building a major new transit line without making some preparations beforehand would be like renovating your living room without moving your furniture out.

Sure, you could get the job done, but it would be much more time-consuming and tedious than it needs to be. The same is true for the work planned at Exhibition Station to prepare it for major Ontario Line upgrades.

Metrolinx announced today (June 3) that qualified companies can submit bids for early works that will get Exhibition Station ready for major Ontario Line construction.

This work, which is separate from the main construction contracts for South Civil, stations and tunnel and North Civil, stations and tunnel, will help make sure major upgrades needed at the station can be done quickly and safely while keeping existing GO customers moving.

“These pieces of work will make it much simpler and faster for crews to build the new station buildings and nearby portal for the Ontario Line,“ says Malcolm MacKay, Metrolinx project sponsor for the Ontario Line.

“Some of the most important pieces of this work involve putting solutions in place to ensure GO customers can continue to safely and easily use the station during major construction.”

Exhibition Station will be a vital transit hub that will serve both GO and Ontario Line customers with a shared concourse, making for seamless and quick transfers between the two services.

By creating another connection between GO train and subway services, this important transfer point will also help alleviate overcrowding at Union Station and open up more connections to the broader transit network. 

“With GO rail expansion work also planned in this area, carrying out these early works will help us coordinate Ontario Line and GO construction so we can stay on schedule and minimize disruption to existing services,” says Andre Marois, Metrolinx’s director of corridor infrastructure.

“One of the priorities for any group bidding on the early works package is to be able to schedule work with minimal impacts to GO services and customers using Exhibition Station.”

The early works at Exhibition Station will include:

  • Building a new station entrance and exit building to the north of the existing rail corridor that will serve both Ontario Line and GO customers
  • Removing the existing north platform to allow for a new Ontario Line platform to the north of the existing rail corridor in future works
  • Building a temporary pedestrian bridge over the existing tracks to give customers more ways to access GO platforms
  • Opening an unused station entrance building and portion of the existing passenger tunnel to allow for station access until the new entrance opens
  • Modernization of the elevators in the station
  • Temporarily shifting the GO platform to the east to allow for continued access to GO services during construction of the South Civil, stations and tunnel contract
  • Shifting two existing GO tracks to make room for a new GO center platform to support GO Expansion plans.
A map showing the Exhibition Station early works components. (Metrolinx image)

Exhibition Station early works construction is planned to start this September.

Visit the Ontario Line web page to learn more about the project and sign up for project updates.

Story by Sara Wilbur, Metrolinx senior advisor, subways