GO Expansion update – Progress continues on Lakeshore East Line to help bring faster and more frequent GO train service

Metrolinx continues to build and expand along the Lakeshore East Line to improve GO train service. Take a look at what’s been happening along the line and the work coming up.

The Lakeshore East Line is no stranger to construction activity, and work continues to bring quieter, faster, and more efficient service in the future.

Each construction project along the GO train tracks is like a puzzle piece, and collectively will bring much deserved transit improvements to the City of Toronto and beyond.

Right now, projects underway along the Lakeshore East Line include building new stations, upgrading existing ones and important bridge work.

Let’s take a look at the work that’s been taking place and what’s to come.

Eglinton GO Station

At Eglinton GO, work on accessibility upgrades to the station is well underway.

The site team has been working to dig out areas in the southwest and southeast parts of the station in preparation for concrete foundation work for the new stair and elevator structures.

Shoring work (which ensures that buildings are supported during construction) is also continuing with tieback installation nearly complete. Tiebacks are horizontal wires or rods that reinforce retaining walls for stability.

If you’re in the neighbourhood, you’ll see continued site preparation, including clearing (removing surface material) and grubbing (removing vegetation) on the north side of the project.

Excavation work at Eglinton GO is well underway as teams dig out areas to prepare for foundation work for the new stair and elevator structures.
Excavation work at Eglinton GO is well underway as teams dig out areas to prepare for foundation work for the new stair and elevator structures. (Metrolinx image)

East Harbour

The new East Harbour GO Station is being developed to support local transit needs and vital connections for customers.

Anticipated to be a major transit hub, this proposed interchange station on the Lakeshore East GO Line will provide seamless connectivity to more GO services, including the SmartTrack Stations Program, more GO services and local transit, as well as the Ontario Line subway.

This new GO station will be in the Riverdale neighbourhood, immediately east of the Don Valley Parkway and south of Eastern Avenue.

A site plan showing the future East Harbour GO Station.
A site plan showing the future East Harbour GO Station. (Metrolinx image)

Rouge River Bridge Rehabilitation

At the Rouge River Bridge, preparations are underway for the commencement of structural steel coating.

Adding a coating on top of the structural steel helps extend the life of the steel by protecting it from the weather. Structural steel repairs on the bridge are also ongoing.

Structural steel repairs on the bridge are underway, and the steel is being coated to help protect it from the elements
Structural steel repairs on the bridge are underway, and the steel is being coated to help protect it from the elements. (Metrolinx image)

Toronto Lakeshore East Rail Corridor

The Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project in Toronto will enable the future addition of a fourth track and electrification on the Lakeshore East line.

The improvements to the tracks, signals, and bridges today will help bring communities even more GO service in the years to come.

On Warden Avenue, widening the Metrolinx overpass bridge continues to make progress. Work on the bridge pier is the first step towards widening the bridge, which will make space for the future fourth track.

Work commenced on the construction of the pier footing and column. Currently in the final stages, reinforced steel bars at the pier footing and column are being installed.

Next, the concrete for the pier cap will be completed to support the new widened bridge deck.

Steel bar installation at the bridge footing prior to completing the concrete for the pier column
Steel bar installation at the bridge footing prior to completing the concrete for the pier column. (Metrolinx photo)

Work to widen the Danforth overpass bridge is ongoing, as well. Like the Warden Bridge, work on the Danforth bridge started with work on the bridge piers.

On this bridge, crews are working to extend the piers from both the north and south side of the bridge. Excavation of the pier footing was required first, then followed by formwork and reinforced steel bar installation in preparation for the concrete pour.

All of this work including additional bridge piers will allow crews to expand the bridge deck.

Danforth bridge footing excavation.
Danforth bridge footing excavation. (Metrolinx photo)
Danforth bridge footing formwork and rebar installation is completed to stabilize the area prior to pouring concrete.
Danforth bridge footing formwork and rebar installation is completed to stabilize the area prior to pouring concrete. (Metrolinx photo)

Construction of Retaining Walls from Wolcott Avenue to Warden Avenue

Vegetation clearing and grubbing continues between Kimridge Avenue and Wolcott Avenue.

Next, crews will begin grading within the Metrolinx rail corridor to gain access for the installation of two retaining walls on the north side.

Retaining walls hold back the earth and maintain soil stability to protect nearby structures and properties from erosion and flooding. A construction notice for this work was sent to nearby homes in early February.

Retaining walls identified in red are located on the north side of the track between Wolcott Avenue and Warden Avenue. Work zone is highlighted in yellow. (Metrolinx image)

Retaining Wall Piling Work from Main Street to Victoria Park Avenue

Work has progressed with the installation of the retaining wall located between Main Street and Victoria Park Avenue, on the south side of the GO tracks.

Crews have started drilling for the installation of steel piles which are then backfilled with concrete at ground level. These steel piles hold the pre-cast concrete panels of the retaining wall in place. 

Drill rig machine and concrete delivery truck on site for pile installation. (Metrolinx photo)

Small’s Creek

Work in the Small’s Creek area has commenced.

Crews have started vegetation and tree clearing to make way for the installation of a new retaining wall within Metrolinx’s property line.

The new retaining wall will maintain soil stability and minimizes the extent of the slope needed.

The retaining wall will safely support the weight and increased frequency of trains that will travel on the future fourth track, as well as the new electrification infrastructure.

This work will bring quieter, cleaner, and more frequent electrified service – giving people more flexibility for commuting between Toronto and Oshawa.

Metrolinx has been working with local residents throughout the last year and appreciate their support for expanding transit in the city.

A stock image of the Small's Creek Ravine in winter
A stock image of the Small’s Creek Ravine in winter. (Metrolinx photo)

Community input is an integral part of shaping transit projects, and the community’s engagement through monthly construction meetings, site walks, and town halls has made a positive difference.

By responding to community feedback, Metrolinx has been able to reduce the number of trees being removed and committed to restoring the ravine by planting up to 2,000 locally sourced native trees and shrubs. This exceeds the City of Toronto’s own compensation ratios and providing shade cover and habitat.

As a result of conversations with local residents, Metrolinx has taken positive actions to ensure Small’s Creek ravine continues to flourish – see Metrolinx President and CEO, Phil Verster’s open letter here.

Stay informed about Metrolinx projects in your area by registering for e-newsletters at metrolinx.com/subscribe. Also, follow progress updates on Twitter @GOExpansion

Story by Teresa Ko and Rosie Hales, Metrolinx communications senior advisors