Ontario Line subway project breaks ground at Exhibition Station – see the new renderings released

Upgrades now underway at Exhibition Station mark the start of Ontario Line construction and will pave the way for major work down the road. Find out why today is an important date for the route, get the latest on the project and see new station concept images that show how the Ontario Line will take shape.

As the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx officially get shovels into the ground on Toronto’s biggest subway project in decades, they are also sharing a glimpse into what the future holds with the first batch of renderings for Ontario Line stations.

Today (Mar. 27), Metrolinx is marking the start of construction on the Ontario Line subway project, beginning with upgrades at Exhibition Station.

Exhibition Station is significant because it will be one of the Ontario Line’s most popular transit hubs with connections to GO trains and TTC services.

Malcolm MacKay, Metrolinx sponsor for the project, says at the peak of rush hour, about 6,300 people will transfer between the Ontario Line, GO trains and TTC at Exhibition Station.  

Artist's rendering showing an aerial view of Ontario Line’s Exhibition Station
Artist’s rendering showing an aerial view of Ontario Line’s Exhibition Station on Toronto’s west side. (Metrolinx image)

MacKay says when it’s done, Exhibition Station will be completely enclosed, bringing GO and Ontario Line services under one roof. It will also have fully accessible paths between the different lines and platforms, making it quick and easy to transfer between trains. 

“The exciting work starting now is all about upgrading the existing Exhibition Station to keep people moving during major construction,” MacKay adds.

“Providing continued access to GO train services through new features like a temporary pedestrian bridge, new platforms, and new station entrances is critical for us.”

The temporary pedestrian bridge over the existing GO tracks will give people another way to access trains and to move between Liberty Village and Exhibition Place.

Artist's rendering of Ontario Line’s Exhibition Station, with the Gardiner traffic passing by
Artist’s rendering of Ontario Line’s Exhibition Station, with the Gardiner traffic passing by. (Metrolinx image)

“This is great news for everyone that lives nearby and for people across the region looking to enjoy a Toronto FC game, concerts, the Canadian National Exhibition, and other events in and around the Exhibition grounds,” MacKay said.

All of these upgrades (known as early works) will be completed before major construction begins next year for the new station, tracks and platforms that will accommodate both Ontario Line and GO train services. 

To learn more about the upgrades happening at Exhibition Station, visit metrolinxengage.com/ontarioline

Artist’s rendering of Ontario Line’s Queen Station, located on northeast corner of Queen and Yonge, making use of existing TTC station entrance building. (Metrolinx image)

A glimpse into the future

For some people, a transit station is simply the doorway to their daily commute; for others, it’s a representation of their neighbourhood and community history, and an opportunity to preserve and strengthen the urban landscape.

Artist's rendering of the above ground station in Corktown at King Street
Artist’s rendering of the above ground station in Corktown at southeast corner of King Street and Berkeley Street. (Metrolinx image)

Ontario Line stations will be designed to be the latter.

These initial station renderings show how planning and design teams are proposing to fit the project into the many communities it will serve. Whether it’s through high-quality station designs or carefully plotted out construction plans, communities are at the centre of decision making.

Artist’s rendering of the Ontario Line station in the Moss Park neighbourhood of Toronto. (Metrolinx image)

“We’ve been working hard on developing these early renderings because we know communities are excited to learn more about our plans, and we know a picture is worth a thousand words” says MacKay.

“These designs are early concepts – a starting point – that the future project partners will work from while following our design principles. They’ll help guide our conversations with communities about what’s possible from a design perspective as we advance plans.”

Artist’s rendering of the Osgoode Station entrance at northeast corner of Queen Street and University Avenue. (Metrolinx image)

“The Ontario Line is being carefully designed with communities in mind – to benefit them and the City of Toronto in the long run,” says Phil Verster, Metrolinx President and CEO. 

“Now more than ever, we need some hope and some optimism about the future – and the Ontario Line is going to give us a lot to look forward to.”

To stay up-to-date on Ontario Line plans, visit Metrolinx.com/OntarioLine, sign up for the project’s e-newsletter, or follow the Ontario Line on Facebook or Twitter.

Scroll through this gallery to see the whole collection of station renderings:

Story by Sara Wilbur, Metrolinx communications senior advisor, subway program, and Scott Money, Metrolinx News editorial team