A GO train makes a run along tracks during an early morning commute.

East Harbour procurement means full steam ahead for SmartTrack GO Stations

Metrolinx, the City of Toronto, and the Province of Ontario are making strides towards breaking ground on five new SmartTrack GO stations across the city, with the launch of the procurement process for East Harbour Transit Hub.

The start of construction for the East Harbour Transit Hub is getting closer to reality with the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The first of two steps in the RFP process for the East Harbour Transit Hub is underway, marking the start of procurement. Procurement is the process Metrolinx, and its partners, undergo to find a suitable team to design and build the new stations.

The first step in the procurement process for the East Harbour Transit Hub is the release of an RFP, which will invite teams to submit proposals for the project.

Once the RFP has been submitted, Metrolinx will create a shortlist of teams and invite them to take part in the second step of the procurement process.

Then, Metrolinx will award the project to the organization who demonstrates the best understanding of the project.

When a team has been awarded, construction can get underway.

Remind me again, what is the SmartTrack Stations program?

The SmartTrack Stations Program is a partnership between the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario, and Metrolinx to deliver five new GO stations by leveraging roughly 40 km of Metrolinx’s pre-existing rail corridors in different neighbourhoods in Toronto.

One of the goals of the SmartTrack program is to assist in transforming GO Transit from a commuter rail service to a connected urban transit network that Torontonians can use to get around the city and beyond.

ite plan of the East Harbour Transit Hub. Conceptual plan, subject to change.
Site plan of the East Harbour Transit Hub. Conceptual plan, subject to change.  (Metrolinx image).

“The launch of the procurement process for East Harbour Transit Hub marks an exciting and important step forward in delivering a multi-modal transit station that will provide seamless connectivity to the new Ontario Line subway, GO Transit, and TTC services – and offer new ways for customers to connect to locations in the city,” said Phil Verster, Metrolinx President & CEO.

“Metrolinx is looking forward to moving ahead in this procurement process and determining the best proponent for this vital transit project,” said Verster.

More about East Harbour Transit Hub

The East Harbour Transit Hub will serve the Lakeshore East and Stouffville GO Lines as a new GO station located between Union Station and Danforth GO Station.

This interchange station will provide seamless connectivity to GO service and the future Ontario Line subway project, as well as protecting for connectivity with future TTC streetcars.

Based on preliminary analysis, the East Harbour Transit Hub is expected to bring about 100,000 daily riders, with an approximately even split between East Harbour customers using the Ontario Line and SmartTrack GO Station (numbers are subject to change based on updated service levels).

Here’s what’s included in the East Harbour Transit Hub project:

  • Concourse area with customer amenities and accessible drop off
  • Connections to the future Broadview Avenue extension
  • GO platforms for local and express train service, complete with elevators
  • Track re-alignment for 3 GO tracks, and associated track and signal works, and grading for the future fourth GO track
  • Access to GO trains, the future Ontario Line subway and future TTC light rail transit in one location
  • Eastern Avenue Bridge reconstruction to support both GO transit and the new Ontario Line subway
  • A multi-use path and trail bridge and landings over the Don River
  • Convenient single train connection to Pickering, Whitby, and Oshawa, as well as destinations such as Mississauga, Oakville, and Hamilton

The East Harbour Transit Hub will be in Toronto’s Riverdale neighbourhood, immediately east of the Don Valley Parkway and south of Eastern Avenue.

The hub will be built immediately north of the East Harbour development. The East Harbour development is being delivered through Ontario’s Transit-Oriented Communities program.

Next steps

Now that procurement has been launched, submissions for the initial step of the RFP are anticipated to close in June 2022, with a shortlist of teams being determined and invited to participate in the second step of the RFP beginning in July 2022.

Construction for the East Harbour Transit Hub is anticipated to begin in Fall 2022, with the station estimated to open between late 2027 and early 2028.  

If you’d like to learn more about the SmartTrack Stations Program, please visit metrolinx.com/smarttrack.

Story by Rosie Hales-Wilson, Metrolinx senior communications advisor