FAQs

 

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Construction began in the summer of 2011. The first tunnel boring machine began tunnelling from Keelesdale Park (at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue) in the summer of 2013, working eastwards towards Avenue Road.

The Crosstown is a significant project with a long timeline, and works are completed in phases and in “rolling waves.” That is, we will focus on a section at a time. For example, there might be road closures and traffic diversions between Caledonia Road and Dufferin Street for several months while we construct headwalls in that area, but then we will move on to the next section. The entire project takes several years to complete, but we will not be occupying the same section for the entire time.

Generally, on the west side, we started tunnelling and station construction at Black Creek Drive, and we will work our way east. On the east side, we started at Brentcliffe Road and will work our way west, until the two meet at Yonge Street.

Currently (as of April 2014): 

  • The first pair of tunnel boring machines continues to tunnel eastward towards Yonge Street. Progress can be tracked on our TBM tracker.
  • Headwall construction is completed for the future Keele and Caledonia underground stations, and is underway for the future Dufferin and Oakwood underground stations. 
  • Crews are preparing to install a jet grout plant at Chaplin, to prepare for headwall construction for the future Eglinton West, Bathurst and Chaplin underground stations.
  • Crews are mobilizing east of Brentcliffe Road for the east tunnel launch shaft construction that will take place over 2014. 
  • Construction is beginning now on the extraction and launch shafts at Allen Road, near Eglinton West Station. 
Assembly of Tunnel Boring Machines
The west launch site at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue where the first two tunnel boring machines begin tunnelling.

The Crosstown will bring fast, reliable and convenient transit service to passengers across Toronto. It will carry many more passengers and move up to 60 percent faster than the existing bus service on Eglinton Avenue. See LRT infographic.

In addition to moving people across the city more quickly, reliably and conveniently, the Crosstown will ease traffic and congestion by providing an excellent travel alternative.

The Crosstown project will create tens of thousands of jobs and provide lasting economic benefits for the entire region.

The Crosstown line will be partially underground. The line will run along Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. This 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive.

The rest of the line will run at surface on dedicated right of way transit lanes separate from regular traffic.

Crosstown map

In order to assist with keeping transit building projects on time and on budget, a special by-law was passed for major Toronto transit projects in 2010. The hours of work as permitted by the City by-law are between 7a.m. and 11p.m., 7 days a week. Some overnight work may be required and permitted. The contractor will not always work during the extended hours, but may do so at its discretion. These permitted hours of work will assist contractors to operate a double shift to keep construction moving. We recognize that this means lots of construction activities will take place, but noise and vibration monitoring equipment is in place to monitor levels and ensure that they are within acceptable legal limits.

Eventually, once the tunnelling machines are in the ground, underground tunnelling and associated work may continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For the current phase of work in the coming three months (May, June, July 2014) the contractor does not anticipate adding an evening shift and most works should take place between 7am and 7pm.  

The Crosstown is a large infrastructure project that requires long-term construction along Eglinton. While one section may seem to take longer, another section might take less time than expected. The scale and complexity of the project mean that many portions of work are linked and cannot necessarily happen at the same time. For example, completion of utility relocation work on one side of an intersection might depend on the construction timeframe of the adjacent side. Work is done in waves and round-the-clock work is not always appropriate. 

The contractor works with various subcontractors to complete the project and it is within their control to choose the method and schedule for successful delivery based on their resources. The project requires ongoing coordination of sub-contractors and obtaining a variety of separate permits through the City mandated process. Much of this type of construction work and coordination occur behind the scenes. As with other road works, the road remains occupied with fencing and equipment which may continue to shift through different phases of the project.

Beam removal on Eglinton Avenue

Utility relocation is a common occurrence in Toronto. Depending on site conditions, gas, hydro, watermain and sewer, cable, fibre and telephone lines may need to be diverted away to ensure safe excavation. Trucks and excavators will be visible, and some side streets may be closed.

Excavator at construction site

Metrolinx, through the Government of Ontario, is responsible for funding and overseeing the design and build of the Crosstown. Metrolinx approves the scope of the project, its schedule and budget. Metrolinx also approves all the contracts associated with the development of the Crosstown, as well as all the community relations and communications for the project.

Once the Crosstown is complete in 2020, the TTC will be responsible for its operations. Since the beginning of the project, Metrolinx and the TTC have worked in close collaboration to ensure the effectiveness of the project – and will continue to do so.

Light rail transit (LRT) provides fast, reliable and convenient service by carrying passengers in dedicated transit lanes separate from regular traffic. LRT is electrically powered, with near zero emissions. The LRT vehicles are manufactured by Bombardier in Thunder Bay, Ontario. See our LRT infographic to learn more.

Unlike the common TTC streetcar, light rail transit (LRT) runs in dedicated transit lanes and have priority signalling at intersections. These two components ensure that LRTs are reliable and that travel times are more certain.

Since LRTs pick up passengers in their own lanes, they do not delay other road traffic in the way streetcars do. LRTs also have their own platforms, multiple entrances and low floors to ensure fast and accessible boarding.

Furthermore, LRTs can carry many more passengers:  the capacity of an LRT is 490 passengers whereas the capacity of a streetcar is 74. See LRT infographic

light rail transit vehicle

The Crosstown is an enormous infrastructure project – currently the biggest project in North America and the most significant transit undertaking in the history of the region.

There will be disruptions, but we are committed to providing the most up-to-date information. Traffic disruptions will be communicated via eblast (sign up on our email list), twitter (follow us) and construction notices mailed to local residents. Check our construction map for the latest road disruption updates and budget extra travel time.

Works are completed in phases and in “rolling waves.” That is, we will focus on a section at a time. For example, there might be road closures and traffic diversions between Caledonia Road and Dufferin Street for several months while we construct headwalls in the area, but then we will move on to the next section. The entire project takes several years to complete, but we will not be occupying the same section for the entire time.

Construction on Eglinton Avenue

The Crosstown is a significant project with a long timeline, and works are completed in phases and in “rolling waves.” That is, we will focus on a section at a time. For example, there might be road closures and traffic diversions between Caledonia Road and Dufferin Street for several months while we construct headwalls in the area, but then we will move on to the next section. The entire project takes several years to complete, but we will not be occupying the same section for the entire time.

In active construction zones, some traffic lanes might be closed. Please see our construction map for the latest updates and plan your route accordingly. 

Bus routes may be diverted. Refer to the TTC website for the latest updates.

You will see a lot of activity and equipment in active construction zones, such as:  augers to install foundation support walls, jet grout plants, excavation trucks, traffic cones, signage, and fencing. 

Construction of extraction and launch shafts along Eglinton Avenue at Allen Road began in February which has resulted in significant congestion along Eglinton. Options to alleviate the situation, including the closure of the Allen Road northbound, have been considered.

Metrolinx was asked by local Councillors to consider options that would allow Crosstown construction to continue on schedule, alleviate some of the traffic congestion and ensure the safety of pedestrians along Eglinton Avenue West. And, City Transportation asked Metrolinx to conduct a traffic analysis of the alternatives for closure of the Allen Road and to address the benefits of the potential closure to the City, the local community and the project.

That study has been completed and based on the results, the closure of Allen Road will not be pursued. Traffic volumes have decreased significantly along Eglinton at the Allen Road, by to 60%, since construction began. As well, next year  the City is planning to resurface Dufferin Street from Eglinton to Highway 401 and also to resurface Lawrence Avenue from Dufferin to Allen Road. Those projects would pose a challenge in terms of accommodating more volume displaced from Eglinton.

Metrolinx will continue to work very closely with the City of Toronto Traffic Services, the TTC, local Councillors and police to monitor the situation along Eglinton at Allen Road and to make modifications to approved plans, where required.

Rendering of Allen Road during construction

Road occupancy is coordinated with the City of Toronto transportation. Motorists are expected to choose appropriate alternate routes and obey local traffic restrictions. Metrolinx will work with Toronto transportation to monitor the situation.

We will do our best to keep you informed and share information as it becomes available. 

Please visit our website often for construction notices, sign up on our email list for frequent updates, and visit our community office.

It might be necessary to close the Eglinton West station when it is time to connect the Crosstown to the TTC University subway line. Eglinton West station will be a very busy interchange station, and it will be a large undertaking involving many factors. This however would occur in the latter phases of the Crosstown project, when both the west and east tunnels are close to completion.

In the meantime, bus access to Eglinton West station remains open. TTC stops in the affected area may be located east or west of their usual location for the safety of transit riders. Riders should budget extra travel time and look for posted signs that indicate the adjusted locations. Please see the TTC rerouting information page

In the meantime, bus access to Eglinton West station remains open. TTC stops in the affected area may be located east or west of their usual location for the safety of transit riders. Riders should budget extra travel time and look for posted signs that indicate the adjusted locations. Please see the TTC rerouting information page.

As with all construction projects, there will be some dust and noise. Eglinton Avenue is busy with high traffic volumes and ambient noise levels. Dust, noise and vibration will be closely monitored to ensure that they remain within the acceptable levels.

Parking restrictions on local roads will be enforced to discourage long-term parking and will be monitored by Toronto Police Services Parking Enforcement, and there will be various short and long-term road closures.

Metrolinx community relations staff will work hard to ensure that communities and the public are informed about the works while construction is underway.

Please visit our website often for construction notices, sign up on our email list for frequent updates, and visit our community office. We understand that construction can be disruptive and we will do our best to mitigate the inconveniences when possible.

In order to assist with keeping transit building projects on time and on budget, a special by-law was passed for major Toronto transit projects in 2010. The hours of work as permitted by the City by-law are between 7a.m. and 11p.m., 7 days a week. 

Some overnight work may be required and permitted. The contractor will not always work during the extended hours, but may do so at its discretion. These permitted hours of work will assist contractors to operate a double shift to keep construction moving. 

We recognize that this means lots of construction activities will take place, but noise and vibration monitoring equipment is in place to monitor levels and ensure that they are within acceptable legal limits.

Once the tunnelling machines are in the ground, underground tunnelling and associated work may continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For the current phase of work in the coming three months, the contractor does not anticipate adding an evening shift and most works should take place between 7am and 7pm.

The Crosstown is a significant project with significant impacts. There will be road closures and traffic disruptions.

We do not prevent people from driving on public streets, and we do not provide detour suggestions. 

If the cars are going at unsafe speeds, please contact us and we will contact the City of Toronto traffic bylaw officers.

Please be patient and know that all traffic disruptions are temporary and will not last throughout the duration of the project.

There may be temporary closures of sections of the sidewalks. Where necessary, crossings will be available at traffic signals. Pedestrian walkways will remain open and directional signage will be in place to help pedestrian and traffic flow.

Construction on Eglinton Avenue

In the construction zone, 1.5 metre sidewalk widths will be maintained wherever possible. Fencing and barriers will be in place to safely separate the work zone from pedestrian access areas.

Metrolinx community relations staff will work hard to provide comprehensive and timely information about the construction progress. Dedicated community liaisons are available to communicate with businesses day-to-day.

Please visit our website often for construction notices, sign up on our email list for frequent updates, and visit our community office. We understand that construction can be disruptive and we will do our best to mitigate the inconveniences when possible.

Like with other public infrastructure building projects in the GTA, Metrolinx does not provide direct business assistance through tax breaks or operating subsidies. 

Compensation is not provided in advance of construction. Any claim for loss of income that is directly related to construction must be submitted by the property owner to the Property Acquisition Unit within one year of sustaining the damage. 

We have a plan in place to manage these kinds of claims. Metrolinx’s legal staff will assess the claim in accordance with the law and will attempt to address the matter quickly.

Businesses impacted by construction on Eglinton Avenue