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Exhibition, King/Bathurst, Queen/Spadina

The Ontario Line LIVE - Exhibition, King/Bathurst, Queen/Spadina – June 10, 2021

Archive - June 10, 2021

On June 10, 2021, Metrolinx hosted a presentation and live Q&A focused on Exhibition, King-Bathurst and Queen-Spadina stations with over 80 people in attendance. During the virtual open house, we answered top-voted questions submitted by registrants, as well as live questions from participants using a Zoom call-in option. Participants asked a variety of questions related to the project plans and timeline, station design, transit connectivity, heritage conservation, and more. We’ll be posting answers to questions from the event on this page soon. For those who weren’t able to join us, you’ll find the video recording below. We’re looking forward to holding many more meetings in the future.


6:30PM - 6:50PM: Ontario Line Project Update

6:50PM - 7:10PM: Questions and Answers to Pre-Submitted Questions

7:10PM - 7:30PM: Call-in Questions

Your Questions Answered:

The Line is now on the North of GO at Exhibition and East Harbour, trains should run on the left to allow cross-platform transfer for those travelling west.

Is there any study on running Ontario Line trains on the left-hand side on the whole line from Exhibition all the way to Science centre?

We investigated several options for the Ontario Line and its link with GO transit, including possibly crossing the Ontario Line over to the southside left when travelling westbound into Exhibition Station, but the complexity of switching to a southside configuration outweighed the potential benefits of having cross-platform transfers.

That said, we are developing plans for a new overhead concourse at Exhibition Station that will create easy and fast connections between GO and Ontario Line trains. Keeping transfer times to minimum is a key priority as we finalize plans.

Why does the line snake all the way up to Queen then back down south? King street seems like a better alignment.

During the planning process, we studied station locations with a focus on bringing several benefits to our customers, including: increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, reducing travel times, reducing overcrowding on existing transit and creating better access to jobs.

We chose to run the Ontario Line along the Queen Street corridor through the downtown core to create a more even distribution of rapid transit between Union Station and Bloor Street (Line 2).

Is the route shown with dotted blue lines an alternative? Bathurst instead of cutting diagonally across Niagara and Wellington?

The dotted line shown on the station overview maps represents a previously studied alignment for the Ontario Line.

In this area, a shift in plans straightened out the curve of the Ontario Line between King-Bathurst and Queen-Spadina, which allows us to provide faster service.

When it was first announced, the King/Liberty station was located in the vicinity of Queen St. W and Abel. The map now shows it is located along King St. Has it officially moved? And to whereabouts exactly? Thank you.

The proposed King-Liberty station falls under the SmartTrack transit project and you can find more information on the City of Toronto’s website here.

You can find more information about the future Ontario Line King/Bathurst and Queen-Spadina stations here on our website.

Will there be impacts to streetcar services on Queen, Spadina, Bathurst and King when construction starts?

Our plan is to maintain streetcar service during construction and we’re working closely with the City and TTC on a plan to keep Toronto moving.

This is a work in progress, and we’ll share more on these plans once they’re finalized.

Any temporary, planned disruptions to existing transit service will be communicated as early as possible using a number of communications channels to ensure everyone gets the information they need to keep moving.

Where exactly will the Queen/Spadina station/stop be and how will it affect the road closures and for how long?

You can find the proposed station entrance locations and building footprints for Queen-Spadina here on our website.

Building a subway through such a densely populated urban area is a challenge, but we’re committed to keeping people moving during construction. Our top priority is maintaining safe access for all.

We’ll be working with communities, local BIAs, elected officials and the TTC on plans to maintain safe access to local stores and businesses with robust safety measures and frequent communication. These plans will involve:

  • avoiding or minimizing impacts to existing transit services as much as possible;
  • communicating early and often about any temporary impacts to roadways and transit lines;
  • looking at other projects that may be taking place to see how they might affect our plans;
  • ensuring communications about any changes are clear and highly visible across many different channels.

Will there be a construction staging area near Fort York?

Although we are still in the process of finalizing property requirements, we don’t expect there will be a direct impact on Fort York property, though there will likely be impacts in neighbouring properties as a portion of the joint Ontario Line-GO corridor is situated to the north of Fort York. We will share anticipated impacts and related solutions for review as part of upcoming environmental reports.

Have businesses been notified in the Queen/Spadina and King/Bathurst areas about the construction?

The experience of businesses and residents along the Eglinton LRT has been dreadful. You talk of everything being hunky dori. But that is not previous experience with the construction of an underground transportation system. Why should anything different be expected?

We’re committed to ensuring local businesses remain accessible, visible and open throughout this important project.

We’ll work with the business community to provide flexible and tailored supports, from making sure store fronts are clear and easy to access, to working together on promotions and incentives, to helping them relocate to other nearby locations if their properties are needed to support construction.

We will also be opening community offices along the route, with community engagement staff available during business hours to answer questions, provide updates and help support local businesses and organization through construction.

During construction, we will have a 24-hour hotline giving the community direct access to someone who will listen to their concerns and help address any issues.

This will be an ongoing process, and we are committed to keeping an open, two-way dialogue going so we can continuously strengthen and improve our supports for local businesses.

What steps will be taken to ensure access to BMO field is retained during construction?

We will not be impacting BMO Field for Ontario Line construction.

We will work with stakeholders and venue operators near Exhibition Station to discuss any temporary transit impacts that may arise and to work together to continue to provide easy access to the area.

A more detailed understanding of impacts and proposed solutions will be part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which we anticipate releasing for review and comment in January 2022.

Please explain how the Ontario Line design will prevent the incident that happened on TTC Line 1 where a train nearly hit another train.

Providing safe, reliable service is of the utmost importance to us, and safety is top of mind in all our plans.

Automated Ontario Line trains will run on their own dedicated tracks that will be completely separate from other rail operations. We will use a dedicated signalling system for the line that will use the latest signalling and monitoring technology. This system will ensure trains are in constant communication with one another, meaning their precise location will be known at all times and vehicles will always stay a safe distance from one another. With sensors that can detect objects on the tracks, trains will also automatically stop if there is something blocking the way. Train doors will also automatically open and close in sync with platform edge doors that will be installed at all stations, keeping both passengers and objects safely separated from moving vehicles.

Are revisions being made for a possible extension of the Ontario Line further west?

Our plans protect for the possibility of expanding the line in the future to improve transit access and meet demand.

The transit hub and transfer point at Exhibition Station will bring much-needed transit to the dense residential and commercial area around Liberty Village and make getting into and around the city much easier than it is today.

By connecting to Lakeshore West GO train services at Exhibition, this station will also help people connect to more places and spread demand across the broader transit network.

Apartments in Liberty Village are going to hear the subway every few mins. Why not cover it above ground with a concrete structure?

What vibration and sound reduction strategies are you implementing, particularly for the elevated portion of the line between Strachan and Exhibition station? The increased train frequency will increase vibrations and noise pollution for residents facing the rail tracks.

Our aim is to make sure there will be no significant difference in noise and vibration levels compared to what people are experiencing today. The whole line will feature continuously welded rail with no joints, resulting in a smoother, quieter ride as trains pass over the tracks. We’ll also be using modern, electric, automated trains which will help avoid the sounds that arise from human error, like hard breaking.

A more detailed understanding of impacts and proposed solutions will be part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which we anticipate releasing for review and comment in January 2022. This builds off the findings of the Environmental Conditions Report, which we consulted on and finalized in November 2020.

Additional studies on noise and vibration and potential solutions can be found in the Early Works Report for Exhibition Station.

What kind of impact will construction have in the Niagara St area to homes identified within 30m of the transit zone?

A more detailed understanding of construction impacts and proposed solutions will be part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which we anticipate releasing for review and comment in January 2022.

If your property falls within the designated transit corridor lands for the Ontario Line, or the 30-metre buffer area that has been set around them, it does not necessarily mean your property will be affected or required to support construction. If teams need to access your property for any reason, you will receive separate written notice from Metrolinx informing you of why it’s needed and outlining next steps.

Will major properties need to be bought for the station builds?

What buildings will be demolished at all three stations?

We have recently released the anticipated full, permanent property impacts for Exhibition, King-Bathurst and Queen-Spadina stations for the station entrance buildings. You can find the property impact maps for these stations here on our website.

We understand that residents and businesses want these kinds of details as soon as possible, and we are reaching out to impacted property owners at the earliest opportunity. If Metrolinx confirms that a property is needed to support construction or operation of the project, the property owner will receive written notification from us informing them that this is case.

160 characters is TOO SHORT. This was mentioned several times for previous meetings; it gives a feeling that you don't want real questions. Can this be fixed?

Just saying -- the Zoom room allows people to ask longer questions. Also, there are more characters than 160 available -- I count 300.

We appreciate you sharing this feedback with us. We’re continuously looking to refine and improve our virtual open house format. One of the ways we’re doing this is by expanding the submission length for questions to 300 characters.

After our first virtual open house, we also heard from residents who wanted the opportunity to ask their questions live. This is why we’ve also added the Zoom room feature to all our virtual open houses. Participants watching live can join the event via the Zoom room and ask their question verbally or in the chat.

How current is the OPEN DATA released by Metrolinx via the "Future Regional Transit Network Shapefile" for these updated ONTARIO LINE station details? It does not seem to be up-to-date.

We appreciate you bringing this to our attention and will notify our teams. Metrolinx endeavours to keep the open data files available on our website as up to date as possible. With a project as large as the Ontario Line in its early stages, plans are subject to change and there may be a delay in updating the Future Regional Transit Network Shapefile.

Will stations have the provisions for platform extensions when the extra capacity needed?

We are planning for various options to help us increase capacity and meet ridership demand in the future. Some possible options to increase capacity include changing seat configurations when updating or procuring a new fleet of trains. We have also planned to increase the frequency of Ontario Line trains to meet rising demand in the future at up to as little as 90-second intervals.

Is there turn back track west of Exhibition Station to maximize train frequency?

There will be a turnback track that extends west of Exhibition station. Trains will arrive at the station, let people off, and then continue west past the station to turn around and cross over to the other side to pick up new passengers.

That operation will be fully automated and will allow us to run with a frequency of up to 90 seconds, which will result in higher capacities. This is especially important at Exhibition Station when there are multiple large-scale events, such as a soccer game and a concert ending at the same time. We’re planning for that, and so is GO transit.

Will 63 Ossington (250m), 29 Dufferin (500m), 929 Dufferin Express (500m) be extended to Exhibition station? This could decrease travel time for a lot of trips.

The TTC has plans to extend the 509/511 streetcar tracks west to connect to Dufferin St. Are you taking these plans into consideration when designing Exhibition station?

Any plans to move the streetcars at Exhibition so outside of the CNE that streetcars load closer to the GO Station?

We are still completing detailed design and planning work and consulting with the TTC to determine how to best integrate Ontario Line plans with other local transit services. We want to ensure our services complement one another and provide the best possible connections for the community.

What leads to the decisions of the three weirdly located entrance at the northern side of Exhibition. Why the station building have a T-shaped piece in the north?

How many north-south tunnels will there be at Exhibition station upon the opening of the Ontario Line? Before the Ontario Line plan, Metrolinx did a study of Exhibition with a plan for 3 tunnels.

We introduced initial design concepts during the virtual open house on June 10.

The ‘T’ shaped structure on the map is called a head house, and it’s another entrance way into the station on the northside of the rail corridor. Multiple entrance and exit points at the station are needed to meet ridership demand and ensure a safe and positive experience for guests, especially during large events.

We’re also developing plans for an elevated concourse at Exhibition Station to allow travellers to easily access the north and south sides of the rail corridor, so there’s no longer a need for new tunnels.

More detailed designs for Exhibition Station will come to life after the project company is selected through the procurement process. We look forward to coming back to engage the community once we have more detailed design plans to share.

In regards to Exhibition station, is the Liberty New Street involved? Or will the station be built and have the new street built at a later time?

We do not have more details about timelines for the Liberty New Street project at this time, which is being led by the City of Toronto. However, we are working closely with the City of Toronto and other partners around Exhibition station to coordinate the Ontario Line with other planned projects in the area, including Liberty New Street.

Hard to fathom how a change as big as the portal move to adjacent to Exhibition station is released just today and then glossed over/ignored in this presentation. Tell us more about why and how that alters the Early Works plan previously released for comment.

The shift of the tunnel portal further west of Ordnance Park was originally announced during our first Ontario Line virtual open house for the West Segment on April 29, 2021. You can watch the recording here.

The tunnel portal shift allows us to work within the existing rail corridor while avoiding or minimizing impacts to the Strachan Avenue bridge and Ordnance Park.

The tunnel portal shift does not impact plans for early works at Exhibition station. Tunnel portal construction at Exhibition will fall under the Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel procurement package. We currently anticipate construction to begin under this procurement package as early as 2023.

What qualifications is Metrolinx looking for in the tendering of the construction of Exhibition Station?

Information on procurement is available in the procurement section on our website.

In June 2020, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario issued the first two Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Ontario Line project for the Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel (South Civils) contract and the Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) contract.

The RFQ is a call for interest, and the information we ask for largely pertains to a team’s design, construction, financing, operational and maintenance experience on transit projects.

In December 2020, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued to shortlisted RFQ teams, asking them to submit a formal proposal to design, build and finance the South package and to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the RSSOM package. An RFP is a document that sets out a list of conditions and specifications to undertake the project.

Is Metrolinx planning to reconstruct King Street outside the King/Bathurst station, which is also an opportunity to install same permanent infrastructure for the King Street Pilot?

We’re working closely with the City of Toronto and aim to reinstate the streetscape to the City’s standards following construction of the Ontario Line at King and Bathurst. More details about streetscape restoration for the Ontario Line will become available later on, as the project advances.

For the future Queen Street-Spadina station, how will that affect the buildings on the same side as where the station will be?

Regarding the future Queen St W Station location, when it will be built how will it affect the building on the same side as the station?

You can find the proposed station entrance locations and building footprints for Queen-Spadina here on our website

We currently anticipate construction will begin as early as 2023 for the south portion of the Ontario Line from Exhibition to the Don Yard portal (west of the Don River) under the Southern Civil, Stations and Tunnel procurement package. You can find the projected timeline here on our website. Please also note that the delivery timeline will be confirmed through the procurement process.

When will the work start for Exhibition and King/Bathurst station and what is the expected timeline until completion?

Work is expected to start at Exhibition in September. Please provide details/location of where work will disrupt daily life for residents at King/Bathurst?

We currently anticipate construction will begin some time in 2023 for the south portion of the Ontario Line from Exhibition to the Don Yard portal (west of the Don River). You can find the projected timeline here on our website. Please also note that delivery timeline will be confirmed through the procurement process.

Exact tunneling route from King/Bathurst station to Exhibition station.

Please find the map for the Ontario Line’s West Segment, which includes Exhibition and King-Bathurst stations, here on our website.

What safety precautions will you be taking with the digging in the area of Niagara and Wellington Streets, which are surrounded with 135+ year old houses?

How will you ensure there is no structural impact to existing house dwellings?

Will the work be underground (exhibition and King/Bathurst), meaning people can continue with their regular life?

Our priority is to keep our construction footprints slim, keep property impacts to a minimum, and keep construction sites safe. We’ll be exploring a number of techniques including tunnel boring, sequential excavation or mining, and cut and cover methods. Techniques will vary based on what the safest, most effective approach for the type of ground we’re working in and how much space is available to carry out the work. Any approach we take will be respectful of surrounding community spaces.

Additionally, because we’ll be so deep in this area, homeowners aren’t likely to experience significant impacts once the Ontario Line is running. In terms of construction, most of the tunnel in this area is in bedrock, which is rigid strong material. There is also another approximately 10 metres of glacial till above the layer of bedrock, which helps to isolate noise and vibration.

As part of the detailed environmental assessment work we’re undertaking, we are also doing a comprehensive noise and vibration study. It's a three-dimensional study where we look at topography, construction practices, train frequencies and soil conditions. Through that study, we'll be predicting the specific noise and vibration levels associated with construction and operation and then the solutions that we'll be putting in place as part of the design of the project so that we effectively control noise and vibration. These results will be in our draft Environmental Impact Assessment Report, which we will share for review and comment in early 2022.




Meet the Speakers

Photo of Richard Tucker

Richard Tucker

Ontario Line Project Director

Photo of Malcolm MacKay

Malcolm MacKay

Ontario Line Project Sponsor

Susan Lin

Susan Lin

Manager, Property Team

james francis

Carrie Sheaffer

 Senior Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment

Photo of Renee Afoom-Boateng

Renee Afoom-Boateng

Senior Manager, Third Party Adjacent Works

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