Steps of Constructing Crosstown's Stations


The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (The Crosstown) line will change how the people of Toronto travel around their city. The 19-kilometre Crosstown LRT runs right across the center of Toronto, from Kennedy Station in the east to Weston Road in the west. It’s anticipated that it will reduce commute times by up to 60%.

The Crosstown will have 15 underground stations and a 9-km surface section with 10 stops along its 19-km line. Since early 2016, Metrolinx’s constructor, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), has been working hard to prepare for and construct the Crosstown’s stations. By the end of 2016, most underground stations will be under construction.

The Crosstown stretches out along a long distance, which means each station is constructed in a variety of different types of neighbourhoods, environments and other local conditions. As a result, our constructors will apply different excavation and construction methodologies to accommodate the local conditions while building the stations along the line. There are three major construction methods that will be employed– cut-and-cover, mined and interchange – and even within the same method there are some minor variations. 

Needless to say, constructing the Crosstown’s new stations is a complex process that requires careful planning, thoughtful coordination and hard work.

Recognizing that each station is built in its own unique way, there are common steps across the station builds:

1) Preparatory Work

Before we begin construction, preparatory work is required so sites are ready for construction activities. As we are building the Crosstown along a well-established street in Toronto, there is existing infrastructure we need to accommodate and work around. Some of the preparatory work includes activities like noise and vibrations monitoring, soil condition and water level assessments, underground utilities marking, tree removal, street furniture removal and demolition.

2) Utilities Work/Shoring

The first official step of constructing the Crosstown is utilities work and shoring. There is a variety of critical utility infrastructure – both underground and overhead – within or near our construction sites. Verifying and in many cases relocating utilities to enable us to proceed is required at most sites. Once this step is complete, construction can move forward with site excavation. Shoring – also known as installation of support for excavation – is an important step to secure the site so excavation work can take place safely. For the cut-and-cover method, this process also includes the shallow excavation and road decking work. In some instances utility work will take place prior to shoring, and in other instances shoring may begin first and work will take place simultaneously.

3) Excavation

Once the shoring is installed, the crew is able to work under the roadway safely, excavating to a depth of 20-25 meters for the construction of the station box. This is where the rail tunnels, associated platforms and rail infrastructure will be housed. For the at-grade surface stops in the east the process is much the same, but excavation is much shallower. Additional supports will be installed as crews excavate to ensure safety. This part is more complicated, and thus takes longer to finish, at the Cedarvale, Eglinton and Kennedy Station sites where there are existing TTC subway stations. Dependent upon local conditions and existing constraints, excavation work can take anywhere between 17 months to 36 months to complete.

4) Construction

Once excavation work is complete, architectural and building work can begin. Station boxes will be constructed underground. At Cedarvale and Eglinton Stations, the station boxes will be constructed below the existing TTC subway tracks. At Kennedy Station, the current station will be reconfigured and the Kennedy Station will provide access to the TTC, Crosstown and GO Transit. At mined stations, the station entrances will be constructed once the mechanical, electrical and architectural work begins.

Removing Street Furniture

(Removing Street Furniture)



Shoring Work

(Shoring Work)

Utility Work

(Utility Work)


(Removing Street Furniture)