The Design Drafts – Future Development


The Design Drafts is a series of articles focusing on the design of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (ECLRT). This month, the focus is on potential future development in station design.

When a new transit station is built, residential and commercial development in the neighbourhood often follows. When designing rapid transit lines, the development potential around each station is evaluated and planned for. In areas where it is likely, designs account for future underground connections and potential  development over top of the station (build-overs).

Underground Connections

At many existing TTC stations, underground connections to nearby condominiums and office towers are available directly from the station. Likewise, the ECLRT was designed with these connections in mind; if it is determined that future development near an ECLRT station may benefit from an underground connection, designs are changed to include the building of knock-out panels.

A knock-out panel is a section of wall without any rebar, and without utilities running through or behind. When a future condominium, office tower, or other development requires a connection, the developer can simply break down the panel and excavate without having to reinforce the station’s structure or relocate utilities. Many Crosstown stations include knockout panels, including Science Centre, Fairbank and Avenue stations.


Theoretical build-overs on entrances at Leaside and Eglinton stations. *Note – renderings are illustrative, not reflective of actual plans


At stations in denser areas where high-rise development is common, design is adjusted to account for the potential of tower construction directly over top.

Planning for build-overs is complex. Columns and supporting walls need to be thicker and reinforced for the additional weight of a new building. In addition, the entire layout of the station is adjusted so re-orientation of existing station features is not necessary in the future, and that construction above will not interfere with station access for customers below.

“With build-overs, maintaining customer access is a big priority,” said Charlie Hoang, Lead Architect with IBI Group. “In the case of Leaside Station, we coordinated directly with the future condominium developer to guarantee continuity of building operations.”

Potential build-overs have been identified and accounted for at a handful of ECLRT stations, including Leaside Station and Eglinton Station, although a developer at Eglinton Station has not yet been confirmed.