New agreement with City of Toronto helps bring new SmartTrack stations closer to reality

The province and City of Toronto have signed a revised agreement in principle for the SmartTrack Stations program, launching the procurement process for four new GO stations around Toronto. A fifth station, East Harbour will be delivered through a transit-oriented community process.

Today (Aug. 17), the province of Ontario and City of Toronto announced the signing of a revised agreement in principle (AIP), finalizing the scope and vision of the SmartTrack Stations program, and allowing Metrolinx to move forward with five new GO stations in the city.

The SmartTrack program is a collaboration between the province of Ontario, City of Toronto, and Metrolinx.

With funding from the City of Toronto and the federal government, the City will be able to make use of Metrolinx’s GO rail infrastructure in Toronto to remake the regional commuter service into an urban rapid transit network.

The five SmartTrack stations will join other new GO stations in Toronto including Park Lawn, Woodbine and Caledonia, as well as four new subway lines (Scarborough, Ontario Line, Yonge North, and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension), plus two new light rail transit lines (Finch West and the Eglinton Crosstown), to completely rewrite Toronto’s transit map, transforming how Torontonians move through the city.

The five new stations are expected to be built by 2026.

“As travel patterns change, we know how important it is for Torontonians to be able to use transit to get around their city. In collaboration with the province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, we are pleased to enable the use of GO Transit’s rail infrastructure to build stations that will further enhance this city’s transit network,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster.

“The signing of this AIP is a key step in ensuring people in Toronto get to where they need to go, better, faster, and easier.”

 Map showing the SmartTrack stations across the City of Toronto.
Map showing the SmartTrack stations across the City of Toronto. (Metrolinx image).

So, what does the signing of the AIP mean for Toronto residents?

Well, it means Torontonians will be able to add the following 5 new stations to their list of ways to access Toronto’s transit network:

Finch-Kennedy: Located on Finch Avenue East between Milliken Boulevard and Midland Avenue, the station will provide GO Stouffville corridor passengers with seamless access to frequent TTC bus connections on Finch. Canopies, and heated shelters will keep passengers warm and dry, while bike parking, and accessible drop-off areas will make it easy to get to the station

The new Finch-Kennedy GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change
The new Finch-Kennedy GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

East Harbour: Anticipated to be a major transit hub, this interchange station on the Lakeshore East GO line will provide seamless connectivity to more GO services and local transit, as well as the Ontario Line. This new GO Station will be in the Riverdale neighbourhood, immediately east of the Don Valley Parkway and south of Eastern Avenue, on the Lakeshore East GO line.

The new East Harbour GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change
The new East Harbour GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

King-Liberty: Located on the Kitchener GO line between Union and Bloor GO stations, this station will feature an enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting King Street and the High Line to the new platforms and a second pedestrian bridge connecting the new platforms to both Sudbury St and Joe Shuster Way providing increased connectivity between neighbourhoods.

 The new East Harbour GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change.
The new King Liberty GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

Bloor-Lansdowne: Situated on Bloor Street West between St. Helen’s Avenue on the Barrie GO line, the new station will feature bike parking, an entrance at Bloor Street (lower) level and at platform (upper) level, a plaza and landscaping at the platform level, one tunnel connecting East and West platforms and a multi-use path from the Davenport Diamond greenway north of Bloor Street to Dundas. This multi-use path will be routed adjacent to the Barrie GO Rail Corridor and will provide connection to the West Toronto Railpath.

The new Bloor-Lansdowne GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

St. Clair-Old Weston: This station is located on Union Street north of St. Clair Avenue West, between Bloor and Mount Dennis GO Stations on the Kitchener GO rail corridor. The station will feature two new station buildings providing connection points directly from Union Street, bike parking, two pedestrian tunnels connecting the east and west platforms, and connections to Gunns Road and St Clair Ave West will also be available.

The new St. Clair-Old Weston GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change.
The new St. Clair-Old Weston GO station. Artist’s rendering, final designs are subject to change. (Metrolinx image)

The four new SmartTrack stations will be built in Toronto along three different GO lines. Additionally, one new interchange SmartTrack station (East Harbour) will be added on the Lakeshore East corridor with connections to the Ontario Line subway and future TTC streetcars.

The finalization of this AIP is an important next step, after the initial proposal to use existing GO corridor infrastructure to provide connectivity and more frequent transit service within the City of Toronto was shared back in 2014.

What happens next?

Metrolinx is starting the procurement process for the Finch-Kennedy, St. Clair-Old Weston, King-Liberty and Bloor-Lansdowne SmartTrack stations. Each station will be managed as an individual procurement and contract, and requests for proposals are expected to be released this August and awarded in Fall 2021.

Your community and the SmartTrack Stations Program

Stay tuned to @GOExpansion and Metrolinx News to learn more about when SmartTrack consultations in your community will be happening. Live, virtual engagements with each SmartTrack community are coming soon and are the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about next steps.

By Rosie Hales, Metrolinx communications senior advisor