> Yonge North Subway Extension LIVE - April 7, 2021 | Metrolinx Engage

Yonge North Subway Extension

Yonge North Subway Extension LIVE - April 7, 2021

On April 7, 2021, Metrolinx hosted a presentation and live question-and-answer session with members of the Yonge North Subway Extension project team focused on the city of Markham and the Royal Orchard community of Thornhill. During the event, we answered the top-voted questions that had been submitted by participants through Slido, our interactive online platform. Our team answered questions about the latest plans for the project, including the updated route, tunneling and the Metrolinx business case process.

You can find written answers to these questions and others we didn’t get to below. If you weren’t able to join us, the video recording is available for you to watch any time.



Virtual Open House – April 7, 2021 Outstanding Questions

Why did Metrolinx not consult on the preference for Option 3 prior to the release of the Initial Business Case?

We complete business cases to put projects on the right path from the start. The Initial Business Case is the first step in this process. Expert transit planners and engineers work together to prepare business cases. They balance factors like the number of stations that can be built, how much travel time could be saved and how many connections could be made to other transit lines with how quickly and efficiently the project could be completed, how effectively any local impacts could be managed, and how to ensure the best possible use of taxpayer dollars.

Every approach has pros and cons, but we only choose options that we know will bring significant benefits to the communities they serve, with impacts we know we can avoid or manage to a very large extent.

The initial plans that come from the IBC and supplementary analysis give us a road map for the project so we can reach out to the community to get insights that will help move the project forward in the best way possible.

There is still significant work to be done, with many opportunities for you to share your input and engage with us. This is just the first opportunity of many.

Has the Option 3 routing been decided?

The plans released in March are moving forward for further analysis through the Preliminary Design Business Case. The exact alignment of the Yonge North Subway Extension will evolve as planning work continues and community input is gathered. Your feedback is vital in helping us move the project forward in the best way possible and there will be many opportunities along the way for you to share your ideas and insight with us.

Why were Options 1 and 2 not acceptable?

Through our analysis, we found that Option 1 could be delivered with up to three stations at Steeles, Richmond Hill Centre, and Langstaff within the $5.6 billion announced funding envelope. Option 2 could also accommodate up to three stations in roughly the same areas.

The refined Option 3 alignment has the benefit of allowing for a fourth station, since it minimizes the amount of costly tunneling required for the project. Metrolinx is working with municipal partners to evaluate and determine the best location for the fourth station as planning work continues.

Why is the project is proceeding at a cost benefit ratio below 1.0?

It is important to recognize that there are a wider range of factors that are considered as part of the final decision-making process. The Metrolinx business case is just one of several factors that is used in making a final decision.

Our approach in preparing business cases is to err on the side of caution, so this analysis represents a purposefully modest baseline that we will aim to improve over time.

Extending subway service through Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill will bring a world-class level of convenience and a better quality of life to the communities it serves. It will provide faster, easier access to downtown Toronto, York Region and all points in between.

We know that higher-order transit like this is transformative in so many ways. The Yonge North Subway Extension will expand travel options along York Region’s VIVA bus rapid transit lines and provide more Line 1 subway riders with a seamless journey. These benefits will also provide better access to jobs and offset traffic congestion as drivers get out from behind the wheel in favour of using the subway.

We use the data from our business cases to ensure we make decisions that maximize benefits and control costs throughout the full course of a project. We update the business case at key stages to ensure these benefits are realized.

Does Metrolinx have guaranteed funding from all levels of government?

The 2019 provincial budget estimates capital costs for the Yonge North Subway Extension to be $5.6 billion. Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are moving the project forward under the Subway Program, which includes three other rapid transit expansions that will get the region moving — the Ontario Line, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, and the Scarborough Subway Extension.

The provincial government has committed $11.2 billion toward the total estimated $28.5 billion construction cost of Subway Program. York Region has agreed to contribute funding to the capital construction costs of the project through a preliminary agreement with the provincial government. The Government of Ontario and York Region are also seeking contributions from the federal government.

Why is the funding envelope the main consideration for Option 3?

Metrolinx is committed to building the most benefits possible into the project within the announced $5.6 billion funding envelope. One of the unique ways the Option 3 proposal does this is through the location of Bridge Station, which will give riders convenient access to local and regional transit services that will open up new travel options across the region. Located at surface level with the existing CN Railway corridor, Bridge Station will make it faster and easier for riders to use the subway and better for supporting growth and curbing local traffic congestion. Option 3 also protects for further extension of the line in the future by positioning the northern end of the project along the existing railway corridor.

Why is it economical to run under Yonge Street from Finch Station but it’s unfeasible at Royal Orchard?

The Yonge North Subway Extension uses innovative solutions to ensure the project can be built quickly and serve key growth areas while delivering the most possible benefits within the initial funding envelope of $5.6 billion. Our planners considered a range of factors to make the Yonge North Subway Extension as easy as possible to access, for a wide number of people.

Adjusting the route of the line in the northern section will better position the project to serve the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway urban growth centres, while avoiding the sensitivities to tunneling under a cemetery and protecting the Royal Orchard community. Creating stronger connections here will mean better connections to transit and less traffic congestion as communities grow.

Running the extension at ground level along the existing CN railway corridor means we can finish the project sooner and reduces the need for complex, time-consuming, and costly construction of tunnels and underground stations.

Compared to the original routing on Yonge, Option 3 only slightly reduces tunneling and significantly extends the route with surface track. How is this a cost saving?

There are significant cost savings that come from building Bridge and High Tech stations at surface level, instead of underground. This reduces station construction costs by roughly 40 per cent. The previous proposal also called for an underground train storage facility near the end of the extension, along with a bus terminal at Steeles station that was planned be built below the ground. Our design and planning teams determined that placing these facilities at ground level will significantly reduce costs while maintaining important benefits of the project. The subway tracks required for the train storage facility will extend approximately one kilometre north of High Tech Station.

Why can’t you turn the tracks to the east, north of our residential community?

We studied the possibility of curving the alignment north of the Royal Orchard community as part of our work. Our analysis showed that the curves this alignment would require would be too sharp to meet the minimum requirements for operational safety.

That said, the subway is proposed to be built at a depth where there would be no direct impact on the homes above – the exact details of the depth will be determined through further study, but early studies suggest the bottom of the tunnels will be at least 20 metres below the surface in your community.

The precise alignment of the Yonge North Subway Extension will evolve as planning work continues. We expect to have more detailed information in the coming months as further design work is refined and we move forward with environmental assessments, but our goal will be to minimize impacts to communities as much as possible as we deliver major transit benefits to them. We’re committed to sharing the latest updates of our plans with the community, and that includes how we’ll help manage any impacts during construction and beyond

There are stations downtown (St George, Spadina, Dupont) that make tight turns. Why can’t this be done here?

The standards for designing underground rapid transit have come a long way since the downtown portion of Line 1 was built in the 1950s. The latest design standards for subway tunnels have been developed to make the ride smoother and more comfortable for customers by avoiding sharp turns, which reduces wear on the trains and track, and minimizes noise and vibration. Our objective is to meet or exceed the most up-to-date regulations and design standards.

Will the subway cross the Don River (south of Royal Orchard) above ground, or will the tunnel go under the river?

The subway will be tunneled below the East Don River. The environmental assessment completed in 2009 proposed to have the subway cross over the East Don River on a two-level bridge with vehicle traffic on the upper level and the subway on the lower level.

Our planning and design teams determined that running the subway below the East Don River in a continuous tunnel would eliminate the need for a costly and time-consuming effort to stop, move, and restart the tunnel boring machines on either side of a bridge. This approach also limits the need for traffic closures on Yonge Street and eliminates the need to build a four-lane detour into the river valley.

Building a bridge over the river would also mean potential noise and vibration impacts for the Royal Orchard community, as this would place the potential Royal Orchard Station at a shallow depth that would reduce the distance from the ground surface to the subway tunnel.

Why is tunnelling under a cemetery more difficult than tunnelling under homes?

We considered a route for the extension that tunneled under Holy Cross Cemetery but we did not include it in our detailed analysis because early investigations showed that the depth the tunnels would have been needed to be built at below Pomona Mills Creek would have not have allowed the route to reach the location of Bridge Station before rising to the surface within the CN Railway corridor.

What will the tunnel depth be under homes in our community? What impact will tunnel depth have on the foundations of our homes?

The subway is proposed to be built at a depth where there would be no direct impact on the homes above – the exact details of the depth will be determined through further study, but early studies suggest the bottom of the tunnels will be at least 20 metres below the surface in your community.

On top of that, we’re also looking at a wide array of proven noise and vibration solutions for the project, including resilient fasteners and ballast mats to help cushion the tracks and reduce vibration. Rail dampers can also be used to help reduce the noise from passing trains.

We will have more specific details about the exact solutions we’ll be introducing in the coming months once we conduct and consult on environmental assessments, but our goal is to ensure no significant different in noise and vibration levels compared to today.

What does tunneling in a residential neighborhood look like?

Tunneling below the Royal Orchard neighbourhood will have no direct impacts on the surface.

The machines that dig the tunnels will be entirely below ground and all work on the tunnel will be accessed from the launch shaft in the Langstaff Gateway area.

During construction, engineers and construction crews will be in the community to monitor progress and ensure there are no impacts at the surface.

Depending on the location of emergency exit buildings that are required for the project, some construction at surface level may be necessary. We will share the location of the emergency exit buildings with the community when those details are confirmed and discuss ways to minimize any possible disruptions.

How many access points will you need and how large an area will they cover?

Emergency exit buildings will be needed at various points between stations and are only used in the unlikely event of an emergency in the tunnel that would require people to safely get to the surface. Our design team is working to determine the number of emergency exit buildings needed along the entire route of the subway, with a specific focus to reduce the number needed in residential areas. Emergency exit buildings are single storey structures that are much smaller than a house and can be designed is a variety of ways to fit the look and feel of the area around them.

Why is Metrolinx pursuing tunnel boring when cut and cover is potentially a cheaper option?

Modern tunneling technology has been proven around the world to be an efficient way to build underground subways. The subway extension to Vaughan was recently completed using tunnel boring machines for most of the route. Tunneling allows the subway to be built deeper below the surface, which is not practical with cut-and-cover methods. Being able to build the subway deeper underground means there will be no direct impacts to the homes, buildings and roads at the surface. Subway stations are typically built using cut-and-cover methods because they are significantly larger and have entrances that need to be built at surface-level.

Where will the tunnel boring machines be staged and assembled?

The tunnel boring machines will be assembled and lowered into the ground from the Langstaff Gateway area, south of Highway 407 and west of the CN Railway corridor. This area was selected because it is far away from homes and businesses and will limit the need for construction vehicles to travel through residential areas. The tunnel boring machines will remain underground until they reach just south of Cummer Avenue, where they will be removed and taken away.

Will residents above the subway tunnel experience noise and vibration during construction and operation?

Metrolinx is committed to addressing noise and vibration due to construction and operation of the extension. Our aim is to make sure there is no significant difference between the levels of noise and vibration in your community today compared to what those levels are in the future. We will work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of solutions are in place to keep things peaceful and quiet when the extension is up and running.

Your presentation mentioned proven technology will limit noise and vibration. Where was this proven and can you quantify the limits in terms of actual noise and vibration levels?

We’re looking at a wide array of proven noise and vibration solutions for the project, including resilient fasteners, floating slab and ballast mats to help cushion the tracks and reduce noise and vibration. Rail dampers can also be used to help reduce the noise from passing trains. These types of solutions have been used around the world, including on the recently compelted Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. We will have more detailed information about the solutions we’ll be putting in place in the coming months as further design work is refined and we conduct and consult on environmental assessments.

I live nearby the CN railway and it is already noisy. How will noise and vibration levels compare to the existing CN railway?

We are working on environmental studies that will look at the existing noise and vibration levels along the CN Railway corridor and how those levels may change when the subway goes into service.

It is important to note that TTC subway trains are considerably quieter and lighter than freight trains. The subway will also run on dedicated tracks that will use modern technology to limit noise and vibration. We will work with communities to ensure a comprehensive array of solutions are in place to address and concerns about noise and vibration when the extension is up and running.

What makes this subway different for noise and vibration than the existing Bloor-Danforth line?

Many aspects of subway technology have evolved and improved since the construction of Line 2, which opened in the mid-1960s. One of the most important differences as it relates to keeping neighbourhoods quiet and peaceful is that Line 2 was built at a shallower depth than is proposed along the Yonge North Subway Extension, which will use modern tunneling methods to carefully dig tunnels deep below the surface and use the latest technology to limit noise and vibration from trains passing over the rails.

What are the standards you use for acceptable levels of noise and vibration?

Metrolinx uses provincial guidelines to monitor and assess the noise and vibration associated with the operation of new transit lines, as well as facilities that support them like bus terminals, station entrance buildings, and train storage facilities.

Metrolinx has also adopted the vibration standards from the Federal Transit Administration in the US. These standards are used extensively throughout the United States and Canada for transit projects. If noise and vibration levels are predicted to exceed these guidelines while the extension is in service, a wide array of solutions are available for Metrolinx to include in the design of the project to limit those impacts.

What commitment will be made for effective maintenance on noise and vibration mitigation technology?

Metrolinx is committed to high maintenance standards that will keep subway service along the extension reliable while limiting noise and vibration.

We will design the project using modern technology that will limit the daily wear on the trains and track. Through regular inspections and maintenance, flat spots on train wheels and rails will be repaired to keep them smooth, preventing noise and vibration.

We are committed to addressing noise and vibration due to construction and operation of the extension. Our aim is to make sure there is no significant difference between the levels of noise and vibration in your community today compared to what those levels are in the future.

Will Metrolinx have liability insurance for damages from construction and operations?

The depth of the subway tunnels has not yet been confirmed, but our early analysis states the subway tunnels will be deep enough that there will be no direct impacts on the homes above during construction and operation.

Metrolinx has a claims process in the event of potential damages as a result of our construction. Before construction begins, Metrolinx offers a pre-condition survey to property owners within a project’s area to assess and document its current condition. This survey is an industry standard used to set baseline conditions of properties located near a construction site. If you submit to Metrolinx a claim for damage to your property as a result of our construction, the pre-construction survey would demonstrate your property’s original state.

When along Yonge Street, will the tunnel be located directly under Yonge Street or off to the east or west?

The tunnel will travel below Yonge Street from Finch Station to Centre Street. It will curve to the west of Yonge, crossing below the East Don River before curving east of Yonge Street, toward the CN Railway corridor.

How will surface traffic on and around Yonge be maintained?

We will work with municipalities and other stakeholders to determine the best way to maintain access for vehicles and pedestrians to Yonge Street and the surrounding streets and minimize disruption to residents and businesses.

Will a parking lot be included or assessed in new stations? What happened to creating a parking lot under the hydro corridor at Longbridge?

The next stage in planning for the Yonge North Subway Extension includes the release of the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC), which will further refine the project's design, alignment, and benefits. Parking will be evaluated in more depth through the PDBC.

The Yonge North Subway Extension has been designed to support vibrant urban development along the alignment that creates faster, easier connections to rapid transit so that people can get out from behind the wheel. Those connections include local transit routes, TTC bus service, York Region local and VIVA express bus service, Richmond Hill GO service, Highway 407 GO bus service, access with PRESTO (which automatically applies transfers and gives the user the lowest cost of a ride), as well as active transportation like walking and cycling.

Please describe the environmental assessment process and the factors and decision criteria to be considered in comparing the 2009 EA approved route and your proposed alignment.

We are preparing an addendum to the existing environmental assessment (EA) that will cover off any changes to existing conditions since that EA was completed and evaluate the updated route. This involves studying things like noise and vibration, soil and groundwater quality, the natural environment, and land use, and will build off the work done on previous environmental studies. Crews are already undertaking field studies along the route to inform this work. We expect to issue a draft environmental report this fall. In the meantime, we’ll be reaching out to the community to gather input and insights that will support our work and help us deliver the best project possible.

Why are you completing an EA addendum rather than a full environmental assessment?

The Environmental Project Report for the Yonge North Subway Extension was completed in 2009 under the environmental assessment process for transit projects in Ontario – the Transit Project Assessment Process. The addendum we are preparing builds off this work, as well as an addendum previously completed in 2014. The new addendum will evaluate the updated route and cover off any changes to the existing conditions since the previous environmental assessment was completed.

Are environmental impacts and specifically our local parks taken into consideration in your analysis?

As part of our environmental assessment we are completing a comprehensive study of potential changes to the natural environment, and how these potential changes can be minimized, if necessary. The results of the study will be shared for review and comment as part of the environmental assessment once they are available.

How deep will you be when you’re crossing the Royal Orchard Park?

The subway tunnels will be a minimum of 20 metres below homes in the Royal Orchard community, measured from the surface of the ground to the bottom of the tunnel. Where the subway crosses Pomona Mill Creek, the tunnels will be a minimum of 16 metres from the lowest point of the channel to the bottom of the subway tunnel.

What is the need for Bridge Station given its close to proximity to High Tech?

Bridge Station and High Tech Station are placed the way they are to serve the areas that will be the most dense in the future, making it faster and easier for riders to use the subway, and to better support growth while curbing local traffic congestion.

Since the areas surrounding these two stations are planned to support significant growth, Bridge and High Tech will contribute a large portion of the riders that will use the extension, especially those who transfer to the subway from a bus.

Bridge Station will connect with GO trains, GO buses, and local transit services, including VIVA BRT, while High Tech station will put more than half of the Richmond Hill Centre area within walking distance of the subway by 2041. These two stations will work in tandem to bring more transit benefits to more people.

The Bridge Station diagram shows bus terminal access from Highway 7. How will bus routes from the south and the 407 GO Bus access the terminal?

Bus routes from the south will access the Bridge Station bus terminal by using the regional and municipal road network. Metrolinx is working with our municipal partners to study the existing and future road network to determine the best route for buses to take.

Several options are being studied to provide easy access to Bridge Station to GO buses that travel along Highway 407, including routes that would leave the highway at Yonge Street or Bayview Avenue and use regional and municipal roads to access the bus terminal. We are also studying options that would directly connect Highway 407 to the bus terminal. We will have more details to share about this aspect of the project through the Preliminary Design Business Case.

Planning for both the Langstaff Gateway and Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plans designate land uses complimentary to the Option 1 alignment. Why change the approach?

Our analysis shows the location of Langstaff Station at the western boundary of the Langstaff Gateway urban growth centre serves a very small portion of the people who will live in the area in the years to come and supports little to no growth potential west and south of the station. The Initial Business Case also shows that the location of Bridge Station provides people who will live in the Langstaff Gateway area convenient access to bus and subway services while also serving the future community of Richmond Hill Centre.

Why are you connecting the subway with the Langstaff GO when it only operates at peak hours?

Richmond Hill GO train riders can benefit from connecting to the subway in order to access shopping, employment, and educational opportunities located in areas that are not directly served by the Richmond Hill GO line, such as North York Centre, mid-town Toronto, and many areas between Oriole GO and Union Station. Riders will have convenient travel options at Bridge Station that will make it easier for them to get around the entire region.

Why are you concentrating on stations within walking distance of undeveloped communities instead of existing communities?

The planning and design work being done on stations is focused on how to bring the most benefits to the greatest number of people. Providing easy access to the subway for tens of thousands of new residents who will make their home along the Yonge Street corridor in the years to come will help manage traffic congestion as these communities grow, as people choose to take transit instead of driving.

The two stations along the surface-level section, Bridge and High Tech, are located close to thousands of homes and jobs that York Region and the cities of Markham and Richmond Hill have been planning for more than a decade. The location of Bridge Station will also give riders convenient access to local and regional transit services that will open up new travel options across the region. Steeles Station will provide fast and easy connections to bus and subway services along Steeles Avenue and routes serving southern Markham and Vaughan. Steeles Station is also being planned to have a direct connection from the future bus rapid transit service being considered for Steeles Avenue.

Metrolinx is working with our municipal partners to determine the best location for the fourth station as planning work continues. The locations planners are looking at are in line with the previously proposed Cummer, Clark, and Royal Orchard stations.

Why is a station at Cummer being considered in this proposal?

Cummer Station would support the growth planned in Toronto’s North York Centre area and would connect riders with shopping, employment, and education opportunities that are nearby. Our analysis also shows that including the Cummer Station in the project will lead to cost savings by reducing the length of bus routes that serve that section of the Yonge Street corridor. These findings will inform the work we’re doing with our municipal partners to evaluate which potential fourth station will bring the most benefits to the project. The locations planners are looking at are in line with the previously proposed Cummer, Clark, and Royal Orchard stations.

Why is a station at Royal Orchard not confirmed?

Metrolinx is working with our municipal partners to determine the best location for the fourth station as planning work continues. The locations planners are looking at are in line with the previously proposed Cummer, Clark, and Royal Orchard stations.

Why was Clark selected as a station over other options such as Centre Street or John Street?

Clark Station is part of our analysis because it provides easy connections to local and express York Region bus services that serve south-eastern Vaughan, including the Promenade Mall redevelopment area. Our analysis shows there is lower potential for growth near Centre Street and John Street compared to the other potential stations because they located within the boundaries of heritage conservation districts in Markham and Vaughan.

Metrolinx is working with our municipal partners to determine the best location for the fourth station as planning work continues. The locations planners are looking at are in line with the previously proposed Cummer, Clark, and Royal Orchard stations.

Why not have private developers pay for the stations?

Metrolinx will explore innovative funding solutions and partnerships that could enhance the benefits of the project as the analysis is refined. Further discussions would be pursued with regional, municipal and development stakeholders to explore innovative funding solutions to enhance the final project scope.

Which homes in Royal Orchard will have their property impacted?

The precise alignment of the Yonge North Subway Extension will evolve throughout the design and procurement process as teams gather more information, including details on ground conditions, community and environmental impacts, and potential for partnering with third parties.

The properties requirements will be confirmed when detailed planning and design work for the alignment and stations is completed.

Metrolinx will work to identify which properties would be required and would only acquire properties that are necessary to get transit built.

We expect to have more detailed information to share in the coming months, as further design work is refined.

How and when do we find out if the subway will impact my property?

We understand that you want those details and we will reach out to impacted property owners as soon as possible. If Metrolinx confirms that your property is needed to support construction or operation of the project, we will contact you directly.

Metrolinx will arrange one-on-one meetings with owners to answer questions, including how much property is needed and why, how the acquisition process works, and expected timelines. Multiple meetings will take place throughout this process to ensure you have all the information and support you need.

Metrolinx strives to communicate with property owners early and often so that there is ample time to work through solutions. We will know more about precise environmental and community impacts as the project moves through further design stages, which are currently underway.

In cases where Metrolinx requires temporary access to your property to support construction project, Metrolinx ensures it is restored to its pre-construction state or better before it is returned to owner.

Even when expropriation is initiated, Metrolinx continues to negotiate with owners in the hope of reaching an agreement.

You spoke of compensating at a Fair Market Value price. If the subway will be built under homes, the value will decrease. How will you compensate for this?

Our preferred approach is to have direct negotiations with owners, with the goal of reaching amicable agreements.

Fair market value represents the value of the property based on the market conditions at that time. A third-party appraisal will be completed to estimate the fair market value.

Property owners may also complete their own appraisal to determine or confirm the fair market value. In some cases, other kinds of third-party experts may be asked to help determine fair market value for a property, such as environmental consultants.

Regarding possible acquisition of properties what if we don't want to move?

Metrolinx is committed to providing as much time as possible to find solutions. The acquisition process can take up to 18 months but can also be completed earlier, depending on the specific case.

Whether we have to use a sliver of a backyard for a period of construction or take some land permanently, we always sit down with every property owner to work through the options together. We take that responsibility seriously.

Does property compensation only apply when a property has been physically impacted above ground?

Compensation can apply to any property acquisition – whether it is above or below ground, or whether the need for the project is temporary or permanent. These details are unique to each situation and compensation will be discussed with each individual property owner.

When will property owners be notified about their property's change to designated transit corridor property?

If your property is located on or within 30 metres of transit corridor land, you will be notified by letter. A notice of this designation will also appear on the title of your property, which will be shown in the land registry. This notice will be removed once construction of the project is complete.

Owning or occupying property on transit corridor land does not necessarily mean you will be impacted by transit construction or that Metrolinx will need to enter or acquire your property. You will receive separate written notification if your property is needed in any way.

Will people living in buildings be offered compensation too?

If you rent your home, Metrolinx has supports in place to ensure you are taken care of.

Each case is considered independently and your lease terms are always taken into consideration. Supports are tailored to your specific needs and are determined through discussions during the acquisition process.

Whenever Metrolinx needs to acquire property to support a new transit project, our commitment is to ensure that owners and tenants do not experience a financial loss.

Offices in Toronto are not as busy due to COVID-19. Why is a subway extension even required?

The Yonge North Subway Extension makes sense because the benefits it offers are critical to our success – as individuals and communities. This project will spur economic activity, create good jobs and connect more people to more opportunities to succeed.

The extension is one of four priority subway projects are expected to support the equivalent of 12,000 full-time jobs each year. It will lead to new opportunities for businesses and workers that provide the services and equipment needed to build and operate the extension, including everything from terminals, stations and maintenance facilities; to train cars, tracks, and automated control systems.

For every $1 billion we invest in transit, we support over 10,000 person-years of employment, boost Ontario’s real GDP by another $1 billion, and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in time savings to each commuter. The ways in which we use public transit might evolve over time but what remains the same is our need to travel and increase the number of people who choose transit first.

What is the projected construction timeline?

The target date for construction to begin on the main contract(s) is late 2023. We will have more information about construction timelines as we progress through the next phase of planning and design.

What guarantee do you have that you’ll be able to complete this project on time and on budget?

Metrolinx is committed to efficiently and cost effectively guide the project so that it can be completed on time and on budget. Lessons learned from past projects will be used to guide our decision-making and we will take steps along the way to reduce the risk of delays or cost overruns.

What is the status of your agreement with CN to tunnel under their railway?

We have had numerous positive discussions with CN about our plans for the Yonge North Subway Extension as planning and design for the project continues. Metrolinx has a longstanding relationship with CN – we share rail corridor throughout our existing GO network and have done so for years. We’re confident we will be able to effectively work together to move this important project forward.

At present the Subway Line 1 is not keeping up with the current number of riders. Why are you adding more service to this line?

Our planners are thinking ahead to address the possibility of downstream crowding on Line 1. The extension won’t come online until the Ontario Line goes into service, which will significantly reduce crowding on Line 1.

The Yonge North Subway Extension is also one of four projects under the Subway Program that are designed to spread demand across the transit network as it expands.

In the future, if you were to extend the subway further north, does this plan mean that you will continue to go under existing neighbourhoods further north?

One of the benefits to running the alignment along the existing CN railway is we can protect for an easier extension of the subway north in the future. This is because we are positioning the northern end of the project along a pre-existing rail corridor.

How do we contact your community engagement team?

Your opinion matters. You can always share thoughts, questions or comments on the project by emailing [email protected] or by calling 416-202-7000.

Why is this conversation being had only in English?

We’re looking into ways we can incorporate French language support through our online platform for virtual engagement sessions. In the meantime, the latest project updates are available in French from the Metrolinx website at http://www.metrolinx.com/fr/greaterregion/projects/yonge-subway-extension.aspx





6:30: Meeting Begins/ Opening Remarks

6:35: Yonge North Subway Extension Project Update

6:50: Questions and Answers

7:55: Wrap up & Closing Remarks

Meet the Speakers

Photo of Raj Khetarpal

Raj Khetarpal

Acting VP for Community Engagement – 905 Region

Photo of Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Program Sponsor for YNSE

Photo of Adrian Piccolo

Adrian Piccolo

Vice President of Subways Project - YNSE

Photo of Nasim Bozorgmehr

Nasim Bozorgmehr

Senior Advisor for Rapid Transit Planning

Photo of Monika Stade

Monika Stade

Senior Manager, Property Acquisition

Photo of James Francis

James Francis

Manager, Environmental Planning Assessment

Photo of Charlie Hoang

Charlie Hoang

Global Lead, Transit Architecture, Technical Advisor

Other Attendees

  • Sam Kulendran, Engineer, Technical Advisor

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