The City of Toronto is bracing for a blitz of new work starting imminently as Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) continue to move aggressively on construction of the Ontario Line.
On Dec. 16 Toronto City Council approved a plan to deal with eight years of construction disruptions in the city. The plan offers new details of the multi-layered projects associated with the build and insights into how Metrolinx, IO and the project teams plan to stage construction.
Early work on the Ontario Line (OL) Queen Station is scheduled to begin this month. Utilities requiring relocating at the station site include watermain, sewer, underground telecom, hydro and gas line infrastructure. Metrolinx will also be facilitating TTC installation of additional streetcar tracks on York Street to provide a detour for the TTC Queen 501 streetcar during construction of the Queen station.
Those early works are expected to continue to May 2023.
“We know we have lots of transit construction ahead of us — overall that is a very good thing for the future of our city,” stated Mayor John Tory after the long-term traffic plan was approved.
“You can’t advocate for major transit investments and expansion without acknowledging that it will lead to major transit construction.”
Plans for the OL were announced by Premier Doug Ford in April 2019. Commissioning for the estimated $10.9-billion, 15.5-kilometre system is now targeted for 2030.
P3 procurement is currently underway to hire a team for the rolling stock, systems, operations and maintenance and the southern civil, stations and tunnel contracts. The southern civil contract covers the OL segment from Exhibition Place to the Don Yard Portal, with a financial close expected in early 2022.
Procurement for the remaining northeast segment is expected to start this year.
Metrolinx has completed constructability assessments for the King-Bathurst, Queen-Spadina, Osgoode, Queen, Moss Park and Corktown stations, the city report stated.
The OL will consist of 15 stations connected by a combination of elevated, on-ground and underground sections.
The first of two tunnels, through the downtown from west of the King-Bathurst station, will feature access to stations at Queen/Spadina, Osgoode, Queen, Moss Park and Corktown before emerging above ground west of the East Harbour station.
The second tunnel section starts just past the Gerrard station heading north with stops at Pape and Cosburn. Midway to the Thorncliffe Park station the line emerges above ground and continues on elevated tracks through the Flemington Park station before reaching the Science Centre terminus.
Early works for the OL King-Bathurst Station will include utility relocations involving Enbridge, Toronto Hydro and Rogers infrastructure.
The OL tunnel will pass diagonally under the intersection of King Street West and Bathurst Street. The tunnelling and most of the station construction will employ mining techniques.
Major construction activities at the King-Bathurst station will include site setup, preparatory utility relocation and enabling, July 2022 to June 2023; station excavation, July 2023 to March 2026; below-grade concrete work, March 2026 to September 2027; exterior station works, fall 2026 to fall 2027; interior station structure, mechanical, electrical and plumbing work, June 2027 to September 2028; and station fitout and testing, March 2028 to March 2029.
For the Queen-Spadina station, the OL tracks will pass east-west under Queen Street West at Spadina Avenue. As part of early works, Enbridge gas infrastructure will be relocated.
Utility relocation and site setup starts in July and ends in February 2023, with enabling works starting in January 2023. Mining techniques will be used. The station fitout including testing of elevators and escalators is anticipated to wrap up by March 2029.
Work on the Osgoode station will get underway shortly, with utilities relocation to start in March.
The station will provide a direct connection to the TTC Line 1 Yonge-University. The station will be located directly below the existing Line 1 Osgoode Station with station access to be provided through two new entrances.
Metrolinx will complete utility relocation work including Enbridge and Rogers infrastructure at the Osgoode station before the P3 Project Co. begins station construction. Mining-style digging will be employed.
Station fitout and testing is scheduled to be completed by May 2029.
Next, heading eastward, the OL Queen Station will be located directly under the existing TTC Line 1 Queen Station at Queen and Yonge Streets. The station will connect with the TTC Line 1 and station access will be provided through existing TTC subway entrances with retrofits.
The proposed method of constructing the station box is tunnelling through the bedrock with excavation to a depth of approximately 45 metres from street level to form the station cavern and link with the existing station.
Station box construction is scheduled to start in May 2023. Queen Street will be reinstated with new pavement over a projected seven-month period in 2027 with station works continuing underground until commissioning in March 2029.
The Moss Park Station will be located in Moss Park in the northwest quadrant of Queen Street East and Sherbourne Street. The OL tunnel will pass under the southern edge of the park and the station box will be constructed above the tunnel location.
There is no utilities relocation anticipated and the first works are targeted to launch in July 2023 with cut and cover excavation. Main concrete work is projected to start in November 2025 with station fitout expected by February 2029.
Preliminary work has already begun on the Corktown station at King Street East at Berkeley with building demolitions underway until next December. Relocation of Enbridge utilities is scheduled to begin in July.
The OL tracks at Corktown Station will be tunnelled with the cut and cover method employed. The job will span over two city blocks.
The Corktown station fitout and testing is targeted to wrap in February 2029, with the rest of that year required for reopening of lanes and the public right of way.
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