Short-list of names released in Toronto subway tunnel boring machines contest

The names are in. Now you’ll have the chance to vote for your favourite from a shortlist of names for the tunnel boring machines for the Scarborough Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension that are on their way to Canada. Keep reading to find out how to get involved.

Metrolinx is asking residents to help name a big part of Toronto transit history.

What’s so big about? How about thousands of tonnes of tunnel digging power.

After a successful launch, the transit agency is kicking-off the next phase of the tunnel boring machine contest and inviting the community to vote on a shortlist of names picked by the contests’ judging panels.

Before we get to that, here’s a quick recap on how the first phase of the naming contest went.

Last month, communities along the Scarborough Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension were invited to submit names for the newest members of the Metrolinx tunnel boring machine family.

Over 340 submissions were received for both projects during the first phase of the contest, which closed on Nov. 19.

The shortlists

The entries were judged based on originality, connection to the community and relevance to the project.

Shortlist for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension tunnel boring machines

  1. Scarlett and Ren
  2. Squirrel and Beaver
  3. Tobi & Sauga
  4. Rexy and Renny
  5. Richie and Rosie

To vote for your favourite Eglinton Crosstown West Extension entry, visit MetrolinxEngage.com/ECWE-TBM.

Shortlist for the Scarborough Subway Extension tunnel boring machine

  1. Diggy Scardust
  2. Scar-burrow
  3. Scarbie SX
  4. Rouge
  5. Elizabeth

To submit a vote for your favourite Scarborough Subway Extension entry, visit MetrolinxEngage.com/SSE-TBM.

“It’s really amazing to see the response from the community – not just how many people took the time to submit their ideas, but also how thoughtful the submissions are and how many of the names were so connected to their respective communities in Scarborough, Etobicoke and Mississauga,” said David Jang, Chief Communications Officer at Metrolinx.

TBM in the German factory
One of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension TBMs during factory testing in Germany in September (West End Connectors photo)

“It just shows how important transit is to these communities. Of course, there were a few variations of Borey McBoreface and Tunnel McTunnelface submitted, so it’s good to see that people were also having some fun with the contests as well.”

Voting is open until Dec. 22, 2021.

Where are they now?

When we last saw these giant machines, they were undergoing testing at the factory in Germany. Fun fact: the tunnel boring machines for the Scarborough Subway Extension and Eglinton Crosstown West Extension were built at the same factory.

But in order to ship them across the Atlantic Ocean, they need to be disassembled into pieces and then rebuilt once they arrive at the tunnel launch sites. All three TBMs have left Europe and have started their voyages to their respective launch shaft sites.

Pieces of a TBM being loaded on a boat
Scarborough Subway Extension’s TBM being loaded onto a massive cargo ship called Jumbo Vision in the Netherlands (Strabag photo)

One massive tunnel boring machine will be arriving for Scarborough’s single tunnel subway and two machines will be arriving to dig the twin tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

To track the Scarborough Subway Extension TBM as it makes its journey across the Atlantic visit MetrolinxEngage.com/SSE-TBM.

To track the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension TBMs visit MetrolinxEngage.com/ECWE-TBM.

And a reminder that voting is open until Dec. 22, 2021 – so get voting. 

For the latest information about the Scarborough Subway Extension, visit metrolinx.com/ScarboroughSubway

For the latest Eglinton Crosstown West Extension updates, visit metrolinx.com/EglintonWest

Story by Joshua Patel and Kimberly Murphy, Metrolinx communications senior advisors, subways