Exhibition & Corktown ready for future Ontario Line construction

Metrolinx teams work to prepare key sites for future construction. Find out what’s been happening.

Ontario Line work is already well underway in some spots along the subway project’s 15.6-kilometre route, as crews have started to cross tasks off the list of important work to complete before major construction on things like stations and tunnels starts in 2023.  

Earlier this year, construction crews broke ground at Exhibition Station where a new station building will be built to serve both the Ontario Line subway and Lakeshore West GO services.  

Approximately 12,100 people are expected to pass through the future interchange during the busiest travel hour.  

Early upgrades at Exhibition station include updating the elevator on the south platform and building a new joint platform on the north side that both GO and Ontario Line trains will use. 

A new pedestrian bridge crossing the rail corridor will also be constructed, improving pedestrian flow and easing crowding in the existing tunnel during events in and around Exhibition Place.   

A previously built head house – otherwise known as a station entrance – has now been opened to allow for continued access to the existing station during construction.  

The opened entrance at Exhibition Station. (Metrolinx image)

A new station entrance is also being built along 1 Atlantic Avenue, where crews already finished clearing the site. 

“It’s important that we keep people moving safely though Exhibition Station during construction,“ says Jey Pillai, Metrolinx senior project manager.  

“The work we’re doing now will make that possible while also preparing the site for a bigger and better Exhibition Station in the future.” 

Cleared area for Exhibition Station at Atlantic Ave. (Metrolinx image)
A rendering of Exhibition Station. (Metrolinx image)

Heading east along the Ontario Line route into the Corktown neighbourhood sit two construction sites flanking Front Street between Parliament and Berkeley streets. This area will be the site of the future station serving Corktown, and where the Ontario Line tunnel boring machine shaft will be located.  

The station serving Corktown will put about 26,400 people within a short distance of a subway station and connect to popular surface routes such as the 504 King TTC Streetcar, 65 Parliament TTC bus and 172 Cherry Street TTC bus.  

Construction teams at Corktown have already finished with the demolition and removal of existing buildings and structures. This work will allow tunneling and station construction teams to move in and get to work once they take over the site in 2023.  

The ground has been cleared at what will be Corktown Station. (Metrolinx image)
Rendering of Corktown Station. (Metrolinx image)

Given the historical significance of this location, archeological teams are carrying out additional studies before major work begins.  

“We understand the historic importance of the site and are working closely with our licensed archaeologists, Indigenous monitors and our First Parliament Working Group partners, including the Ontario Heritage Trust, City of Toronto, Infrastructure Ontario and Indigenous Nations to make sure findings are documented and appropriately commemorated as part of the future station” says James Francis, Metrolinx senior manager, environmental programs and assessment. 

Early works construction for the Ontario Line will continue in the Lakeshore East Joint Corridor and the Lower Don Bridge/Don Yard area throughout the rest of 2022 and into 2023.  

Visit the Ontario Line subway webpage for more information on the project.  

Story by Sara Wilbur, Metrolinx communications senior advisor, subway program