> Yonge North Subway Extension LIVE - May 19, 2021 | Metrolinx Engage

Yonge North Subway Extension

Yonge North Subway Extension LIVE - May 19, 2021

On May 19, 2021, Metrolinx hosted a presentation and live question-and-answer session with members of the Yonge North Subway Extension project team focused on the updated environmental studies that inform our work to deliver the best project possible. During the event, we answered the top-voted questions that had been submitted by participants through Slido, our interactive online platform. We also took live questions from community members who called in to the meeting. Our team answered questions about the latest plans for the project, including the updated route, tunneling, and plans for future public input sessions.

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 – May 19, 2021 Outstanding Questions

Why not build Bridge Station underground? There is more space to build parking in the hydro corridor.

Having stations above ground cuts down on travel time by avoiding lengthy descents into underground tunnels and will make transferring from the subway to a GO train, GO bus, Bus Rapid Transit or local bus services faster and easier.

Building the subway and the Bridge and High Tech stations on the ground surface is a conventional and cost effective approach to building and operating subway services. By doing this it allows us to build a fourth station within the $5.6 billion funding envelope, whereas Initial Business Case Options 1 and 2, only three stations could be built.

The benefit of Bridge Station as it is proposed in Option 3 is that it brings together as many as six existing and future regional transit services in a location that will prevent buses from having to make long diversions from their routes to access the transit hub. The location of Bridge Station will also help us bring better rapid transit service to the many people who will live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway areas in the coming years.

Can Bridge Station be replaced with an underground pedestrian access with movavators like the Island Airport?

The location of Bridge Station brings important benefits to transit riders because it allows regional buses that travel along major roadways like Highway 7, Highway 407 and Yonge Street to quickly and easily access the station without having to divert far from their routes. This transit hub is ideally placed to bring as many as six existing and future transit services together in one convenient location. Bridge Station is also centrally located within the Langstaff Gateway area, which has long been identified through provincial, regional and municipal plans as a neighbourhood that will grow significantly in the years to come.

Who are the developers at Langstaff Gateway? Can you share documents of your interactions with them?

An area within the Langstaff Gateway has been identified as a potential Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) site and would be redeveloped by the Province in line with the stated objectives of the Transit-Oriented Communities Program. Conversations between the Province and the property owners are ongoing. Additional details will be shared as conversations mature.

Are Bridge and High Tech stations supposed to be like Highway 407 and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations on TYSSE? Will one be for bus transfer and the other for walking?

Bridge and High Tech are located at the heart of the Langstaff Gateway and Richmond Hill Centre urban growth centres and will be surrounded by vibrant urban development that will offer convenient pedestrian and transit connections.

Bridge Station will provide easy access to the subway for the many people who will live in these neighbourhoods in the years to come and will provide transit riders with a launchpad to explore the entire region by bringing together as many as six existing and future rapid transit services in the same location, allowing people to quickly and conveniently transfer between transit services. High Tech Station will put the subway within walking distance for more than half of the residents expected to live in the Richmond Hill Centre area by 2041.

Where is the north and south end of High Tech station?

The platform at High Tech Station will be below High Tech Road.

Why did you not consult with the community on Options 1, 2, or 3?

The plans we recently released in the Initial Business Case are just the first step of a planning process that includes robust and frequent conversations with communities. It provides recommendations that are backed up by evidence to make sure the proposal we’re bringing forward for consultation is something we can confidently deliver.

Our goal is to ensure we bring transit to the most people while limiting impacts on homes, businesses and communities as a whole. Once we identify the path a transit line will take, we’re able to then target our outreach to start discussing any impacts and how we’ll solve for them. That’s what we’re doing now, and there will be many, many more discussions as we move forward together on this important project.

Can you please explain how you are engaging the community? You are only discussing Option 3, but we were not consulted on Option 3 in the first place.

The input we’re getting from communities is vital to our work and is top of mind as we refine the plans for the extension. These insights will play an important part in shaping the project as it moves forward and there will be many more discussions as we move forward together on this important project.

We’ve already started to collect your feedback through the virtual open house events we’ve been hosting. We’ll be reaching out for input from the community as we prepare an updated environmental assessment for the project. All of the input we collect from the public and Indigenous communities, as well as any actions we take as a result of that feedback, will be documented in a draft report that is expected to be published this fall.

We will also set up working groups with members of your community and our project team called Community Liaison Committees (CLC). These groups will be a venue to review designs, hear concerns, answer questions, and keep the community updated on the project at every turn. We’re launching a committee for the Royal Orchard community this summer with other CLCs soon to follow.

Adverse mental health impact of the Option 3 plan is already felt across our community, an added stressor to the global pandemic. How will you address this?

Metrolinx is committed to meeting with you and listening and understanding your concerns due to construction and operation of the extension and answering any of your questions.

As we are in the early design stages for the Yonge North Subway Extension, there is still significant work to be done with many opportunities for you to share your input.

Our aim is to make sure there are no significant differences between the levels of noise and vibration experienced in the Royal Orchard community today compared to when the extension is up and running. We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago.

The tunnels are going to be built at a depth that will avoid direct impacts on the homes above. The tops of the tunnels will be at least 14 metres below the surface, which is equal to the height of a four-storey building. The tunnels will be surrounded by thick, reinforced concrete and will be built to strict design and engineering standards. We’re confident that high-quality, modern tunnels built to the latest industry standards will ensure future subway services won’t be a disruption for the community.

My parents are Korean. They do not understand what is happening. When will interpretation service be provided?

We are happy to work with you to understand how we can best communicate updates. Please reach out to us at [email protected] or 416-202-7000 so we can learn more about how we can help.

My proposal of Alternative Route 4 travels under the golf club instead of tunneling under Royal Orchard homes. Has this been considered?

As part of our planning work we looked at a number of options to bring the subway to that location with the CN Railway corridor, which included routes south of, below, and north of Holy Cross Cemetery.

We considered two route options that run south of Holy Cross Cemetery. The first option would leave Yonge Street as far north as possible to meet the CN Railway corridor and reach Bridge Station at surface level.

The second option would reach the same location but instead turn from Yonge Street south of Centre Street and travel below the Toronto Ladies Golf Club and the Royal Orchard community. Of those two options, we preferred the first because it allows for a potential station to be built at Royal Orchard.

The precise route 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.

Why is Metrolinx only pursuing Option 3?

The route we’re moving forward with allows us to build a fourth station within the $5.6 billion funding envelope because it minimizes the amount of tunneling needed. With the other underground options, only three stations could be built.

Running subway trains along the existing CN rail corridor in the northern end of the route makes it possible to build that fourth station – and that’s why we need to run a tunnel from Yonge Street to connect to it.

Also, by running the alignment along the existing CN railway we can protect for an easier extension of the subway north in the future.

We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago. The detailed studies we’re doing right now will help us make sure we put all the right noise and vibration solutions in place so neighbourhoods along the route stay sought-after places to live in.

Why weren't there any above grade alignments considered?

Elevated options were not part of our business case analysis for the Yonge North Subway Extension because there would not be enough clearance between the highway overpasses and the overhead hydro lines in the northern section of the route to accommodate an elevated subway. Running the route underground from Finch Station to the CN Railway corridor means we can limit our property needs and minimize impacts to the community.

Option 3 has a +/- 400m radius. Why can't you use 300 to 350m radius to make an “S” curve to catch the CN line north of the cemetery?

Our technical team has reviewed a route option in the Langstaff Gateway area north of the cemetery. To reach the location of Bridge Station at surface level, horizontal curves would be required that are below the TTC minimum standard radius of 300 metres.

Can we get a detailed clarification on the curvature required?

The route options explored for Yonge North Subway Extension used 300 metres as the minimum horizontal curve radius.

You have two options for the final 1.5 kms - one causes no disruption and another that causes disruption and is harder to build. Why would you choose the latter?

The route we’re moving forward with allows us to build a fourth station within the $5.6 billion funding envelope because it minimizes the amount of tunneling needed. With the other underground options, only three stations could be built.

Running subway trains along the existing CN rail corridor in the northern end of the route makes it possible to build that fourth station – and that’s why we need to run a tunnel from Yonge Street to connect to it.

Also, by running the alignment along the existing CN railway we can protect for an easier extension of the subway north in the future.

We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago. The detailed studies we’re doing right now will help us make sure we put all the right noise and vibration solutions in place so neighbourhoods along the route stay sought-after places to live in.

Is the Langstaff Gateway plan a major reason for the subway extension to be shifted away from Yonge Street?

The stations on the northern section of the extension, Bridge and High Tech, are placed the way they are to serve the most people in the future, making it faster and easier for riders to use the subway and connect to transit services across the region, and to better support growth while curbing local traffic congestion.

By 2041, as many as 64,000 people are expected to live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway communities and more than 36,000 people could have jobs in the area. Since the neighbourhoods surrounding Bridge and High Tech stations are expected to grow significantly in the years to come, these stations will contribute a large portion of the riders that will use the extension, especially those who transfer to the subway from a bus.

Who will make the ultimate decision on which option to proceed with?

Final decisions on project scope, including the route of the subway extension and station locations, will be made by the Province of Ontario, in consultation with government partners. These decisions will be informed by updated environmental studies, feedback from communities, and detailed technical work done by Metrolinx.

The 2009 Environmental Project Report noted that the Hwy 407 ETR-MTO Agreement excludes at-grade activity within the right-of-way. This was a criteria for the preferred option. How has this changed?

Metrolinx has worked with the Ministry of Transportation, including the department responsible for managing the Highway 407 Act and the Highway 407 Concession Ground Lease Agreement. We’re pleased to confirm that the subway and Bridge Station can be accommodated as proposed in the Initial Business Case.

What will it take to justify the stations at Clark and Royal Orchard?

The input we’re getting from communities is vital to our work and is top of mind as we refine the plans for the extension. These insights will play an important part in shaping the project as it moves forward and there will be many more discussions as we move forward together on this important project.

We’ve already started to collect your feedback through the virtual open house events we’ve been hosting. We’ll be reaching out for input from the community as we prepare an updated environmental assessment for the project. All of the input we collect from the public and Indigenous Nations, as well as any actions we take as a result of that feedback, will be documented in a draft report that is expected to be published this fall.

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.

Will Metrolinx build bare station boxes at all of the unchosen locations to allow for future construction if future circumstances permit?

It is possible to build new stations once the extension is complete but doing so would be complex in terms of maintaining existing service and limiting disruptions. This is something we’ll be looking at as we advance our designs.

What above ground facilities would be required at each of the potential sites and have specific choices been made as to where these facilities would be placed?

The stations along the Yonge North Subway Extension will require entrances, traction power substations, emergency exit buildings, emergency service buildings and bus facilities. The final sites of these surface level facilities will be confirmed through further planning and design work.

Which corner will the Steeles station be located and where will bus bays be on the surface? Will the platforms have dedicated bays to specific routes?

Steeles Station is currently proposed to be located under the Yonge Street right of way. We will have more detailed information about the surface-level bus facility in the coming months as further design work is refined.

Why are John Street or Centre Street not being considered for a stop?

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.

Clark Station is a very important station and what are you looking for to justify its construction moving to detail design?

We are using the same business case framework from the IBC to analyze the benefits of each station. This includes predicting how many people would use each station and looking at how many new riders a station would attract to the line each day. Our studies also consider how the distance between each station will affect ridership. Through these comparisons, we get a better understanding of how much the community would benefit from each of these stations. We also consider how complex it would be to build each station and how much impact it would have on nearby properties and development planned in the future.

Is Royal Orchard station confirmed?

So far, Steeles, Bridge and High Tech stations have been confirmed as moving forward. 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.

Is Drewry station confirmed?

So far, Steeles, Bridge and High Tech stations have been confirmed as moving forward. 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.

How long will it take to decide on the 4th subway station?

Metrolinx is working with 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. We are on an analysis of those proposed stations through the Preliminary Design Business Case and will have more details to share when it is finalized.

What is the additional expense to construct and operate the Royal Orchard station compared to the original plan?

Under the original plan, Royal Orchard Station was removed from the project in 2012. Since that time, it had been excluded from the project scope and cost estimates, including when Metrolinx assumed responsibility for the project in summer 2019.

Recognizing the renewed interest of Royal Orchard Station, Metrolinx included it as a potential station in our Initial Business Case for all three route options. Our analysis estimates the cost of Royal Orchard Station is $400 million to $500 million.

On your alignment map of Option 3, why is the Royal Orchard Station east of where it was previously?

The refined Option 3 route shifts the location of Royal Orchard Station to the north-east corner of Yonge Street and Royal Orchard Boulevard so that the station can be placed on a straight section of the track.

Where will subway crossovers/turnarounds be built? Which stations will have 3 platforms for turnarounds or short turns?

Our early plans include crossovers at Steeles Station and High Tech Station. The crossovers and special track work are required for operation of the subway and not currently expected to be part of the customer platforms.

Are all the stations planned to be the same size?

The size of each station is being planned according to factors like the number of customers that will use the station, and needs for subway operations. The size of some stations may also depend on the conditions at each site.

Minister Mulroney stated more than one neighborhood station (Cummer, Clark, Orchard) will be secured through various programs. Can you provide more details?

At this point in time the announced funding envelope of $5.6 billion can accommodate one of Cummer, Clark, or Royal Orchard stations. The provincial government will explore development opportunities that could support the project through the Transit-Oriented Communities program as part of the planning process. Any decisions we make on the route of the extension and station locations are in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs. These criteria are balanced by cost and other community considerations.

Who will own and operate this section of the subway - Metrolinx or the TTC?

The province will own and be accountable for the extension. Under the preliminary agreement between the province and the City of Toronto, the City/TTC would be responsible for the day-to-day operations.

When will the new subway extension be completed?

The planned date to begin the main construction on the project is late 2023. We will have more information about construction timelines as we progress through the next phase of planning and design, but we remain committed to an in-service date of 2029-2030, after the Ontario Line is in service.

When are the detailed plans going to be released to enable us to know exactly where the subway is going to be constructed?

The precise route 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.

What guarantees does Metrolinx offer that you will be on budget and on time?

Metrolinx knows that major transit improvements are needed, and teams are committed to guiding the project so that it can be completed on time and on budget. Lessons learned from past projects will be used to inform our decision-making and we will take steps along the way to reduce the risk of delays or cost overruns.

Are Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario going to consider reasonable time for the bidding/RFP phase for proponents in this project?

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario will use the feedback received from the market participants during our extensive engagement activities to ensure there is ample time to bid on the project.

How much money are the developers of the lands on Langstaff contributing to this project?

We are open to considering partnerships that could add benefits to the project. The provincial government will also be exploring development opportunities that could support the project through the Transit-Oriented Communities program as part of the planning process. Any decisions we make on the route of the extension and station locations are in the interest of improving the customer experience, increasing access to transit, maximizing ridership, achieving travel time savings, and creating better access to jobs. These criteria are balanced by cost and other community considerations.

Federal funding is contingent on providing local community benefits. How is that the case here with the selection of the disruptive Option 3?

We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago. The detailed studies we’re doing right now will help us make sure we put all the right noise and vibration solutions in place so neighbourhoods along the route stay sought-after places to live in.

The tops of the tunnels will be at least 14 metres below the surface in the Royal Orchard community, which is equal to the height of a four-storey building. The tunnels will be surrounded by thick reinforced concrete and will be built to strict design and engineering standards. We’re confident that high-quality, modern tunnels built to the latest industry standards will ensure future subway services won’t be a disruption for the community.

We’re are committed to ensuring that our vital transit projects also provide benefits for the communities in which they’re being built. That includes searching out and recruiting the best local talent, providing training and apprenticeship opportunities for people living in those communities and looking for local suppliers and procurement opportunities where possible.

When the original design of six stations was decided, was funding not already considered?

When Metrolinx assumed responsibility for the Yonge North Subway Extension in 2019, the only funding allotted to the previously envisioned project was roughly $91 million for preliminary design and engineering work.

Why have the costs risen so much from the original plan?

The Yonge North Subway Extension has been in the planning stage since the initiation of the Transit Project Assessment Process in 2007. Before Metrolinx assumed responsibility for the project in 2019, the estimated cost for the previous plan, which included stations at Cummer, Steeles, Clark, Langstaff, and Richmond Hill Centre, had grown to $9.3 billion, based on updated design information and cost estimates. The current proposal for 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 a funding envelope of $5.6 billion.

Metrolinx is working with regional and municipal partners to complete our analysis of which fourth station would best complement the benefits of Steeles, Bridge, and High Tech stations

Why not place a parking lot at the hydro corridor and build a Kiss & Ride across at Langstaff, with a subway entrance there?

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 and provisions for Passenger Pick up and Drop off at each station 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.

Where are the 2,000 parking spaces for the subway going to be?

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.

If parking isn’t committed, why are most York Region residents being ignored by Metrolinx in this alignment?

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 will cut commute times in York Region, Toronto and beyond by giving customers one seamless subway ride between Richmond Hill and downtown Toronto. It’s just one part of a massive expansion of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s transit network that will open up new travel possibilities in every direction.

The project is expected to serve 94,100 riders each day by 2041, cutting the time spent commuting in Toronto and York Region by a combined 835,000 minutes each day.

The extension will bring TTC Line 1 service roughly eight kilometres north from its starting point at the existing Finch Station but the benefits it will bring to communities stretch far beyond the end of the subway line.

When this vital rapid transit project goes into service, it will open up new travel possibilities for people all over the region by bringing as many as six major rapid transit lines together through a new station in the northern section of the route.

Bridge Station is an innovative transit hub placed at surface level between the Highway 7 and Highway 407 corridors. It will offer fast, easy transfers to downtown Toronto on Line 1, and act as a launchpad to explore the entire region through convenient connections to the regional the transit network.

For example, you’ll save as much as 15 minutes on a trip from the Whitchurch-Stouffville area to midtown Toronto by getting on the Richmond Hill GO train line at the future Bloomington GO station and transferring to the subway at Bridge Station, which will be integrated with the existing Langstaff GO station. From there, you can take Line 1 to Eglinton Station, where you’ll have convenient ways to get to destinations from Etobicoke to Scarborough via the Crosstown LRT.

Why is walking so important to station decision making when other modes are just as important?

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.

Do you have a demand breakdowns by mode that justifies the stations?

Steeles, Bridge and High Tech stations are included in future plans because they bring the most benefits to the project thanks to the many regional and local transit lines that connect to those future stations, as well as the growth they will support in their surrounding communities.

Metrolinx is working with our municipal partners to analyse and evaluate the other proposed locations to determine the best location for the fourth station as planning work continues. We are using the same business case framework from the Initial Business Case to analyze the benefits of each station, including the demand breakdowns by travel mode, additional new daily riders, and land use characteristics.

YNSE will carry somewhat more riders than the buses do today, the mode share will shift by less than one percent. What are you doing to change this demand?

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.

Local employment is important to reduce the need for long trips and to generate bidirectional travel on the transit network. How is YNSE accomplishing this?

We know that higher-order transit like this is transformative in so many ways. The Yonge North Subway Extension will provide better access to jobs and offset traffic congestion as drivers get out from behind the wheel in favour of using the subway.

York Region predicts the Yonge North Subway Extension will be a catalyst for as many as 60,000 new jobs by 2031.

By 2041, it is estimated that 22,900 employees will be within a 10-minute walk from a station along the extension.

How are benefits including travel time saving, reducing congestion, health effects of people, reducing pollution justified in the decision making of Option 3?

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.

The refined Option 3 proposal will help us bring better rapid transit service to the many people who will live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway areas in the coming years, while minimizing the amount of tunneling needed. This means we can build a fourth station within the $5.6 billion funding envelope. With Options 1 and 2, only three stations could be built.

This route also brings as many as six major rapid transit lines together through a new station in the northern section of the route – tentatively referred to as “Bridge Station.” Placed on the existing railway corridor at surface level between the Highway 7 and Highway 407 corridors, Bridge Station will offer fast, easy transfers to downtown Toronto on Line 1, and act as a launchpad to explore the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area through convenient connections to the regional transit network.

While Option 3 may meet some economic or financial criteria, how does it meet the test of an ethical decision making framework?

Our aim is to make sure there are no significant differences between the levels of noise and vibration experienced in the Royal Orchard community today compared to when the extension is up and running.

We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago. The detailed studies we’re doing right now will help us make sure we put all the right noise and vibration solutions in place so neighbourhoods like Royal Orchard stay sought-after places to live in.

It is important to note that the subway tunnels are going to be built at a depth that will avoid direct impacts on the homes above. The tops of the tunnels will be at least 14 metres below the surface through the Royal Orchard community, which is equal to the height of a four-storey building.

The tunnels will be surrounded by thick, reinforced concrete and will be built to strict design and engineering standards. We’re confident that high-quality, modern tunnels built to the latest industry standards will ensure future subway services won’t be a disruption for the community.

Please provide some data to support the claim of maximum benefits such as the usage numbers for each option over time.

To effectively plan and design a major rapid transit project like the Yonge North Subway Extension, we need to make sure the project fits not only the needs of the people who live in communities the extension will serve today but also the needs of residents who will live in those growing neighbourhoods in the future. The Initial Business Case uses the best plans and data we have today in order to model and evaluate the route options through 2041. The approved route is expected to serve 94,100 riders each day by 2041, cutting the time spent commuting in Toronto and York Region by a combined 835,000 minutes each day.

Running subway trains along the existing CN rail corridor in the northern end of the route makes it possible to build a fourth station (with the other underground options, only three stations could be built) and that’s why we need to run a tunnel from Yonge Street to connect to it.

This approach will help us bring better rapid transit service to the many people who will live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway areas in the coming years, since they are designated as urban growth centres. The existing rail line runs right through the centre of them, so building stations that will make it easier for people to get to existing bus and GO train services in that area will mean faster, more convenient transit and less traffic congestion as communities grow.

One of other benefits of extending the route of the extension at surface level through the CN Railway corridor is that we can protect for an easier extension of the subway north in the future. The design concept and requirements for Bridge Station are being refined based on the needs identified by York Region Transit and other local stakeholders. We are seeking input from our partners and will have more details about this component when the Preliminary Design Business Case is finalized.

Your ridership numbers for a station are based on a combination of residents and employees. Is it an issue if a major station area is 95% residential?

The type of land use (such as residential, office, or retail) affects travel patterns and the purpose of trips made to a station, which are all captured in the travel forecasting model we use.

Wouldn't the 2,000 power corridor parking spaces under Option 1 take more cars off the road and reduce green house emissions more than Option 3?

As noted in the Initial Business Case (page 105), Metrolinx estimates the Yonge North Subway Extension could result in 4,900 net new transit riders during the weekday morning peak hour. Putting more riders on transit would result in greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by lowering the total number of vehicle kilometres travelled by cars.

Positioning stations where many people will live and work and creating strong connections with existing and planned transit routes will also make it easier for people to walk to stations or to quickly connect using other transit, like Viva and York Region’s local bus services and GO Transit’s regional bus and rail services.

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.

Why is Option 3 chosen even though it has the lowest projected demand? With the new federal funding can now move to Option 1?

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.

This route also brings as many as six major rapid transit lines together through a new station in the northern section of the route – tentatively referred to as “Bridge Station.” Placed on the existing railway corridor at surface level between the Highway 7 and Highway 407 corridors, Bridge Station will offer fast, easy transfers to downtown Toronto on Line 1, and act as a launchpad to explore the entire region through convenient connections to the regional transit network.

On May 11th, the federal government announced a $10.4 billion funding commitment to Ontario’s four priority subway projects, including the Yonge North Subway Extension.

This commitment is in addition to contributions from the Government of Ontario and York Region which put together compose the $5.6 billion funding envelope for the Yonge North Subway Extension.

How many more riders might the subway get if only local service were substantially improved?

Our analysis shows about 59,300 riders would get on the subway at Finch Station by 2041, if the Yonge North Subway Extension was not built. In comparison, building the extension would put a combined 94,100 riders on the subway daily. By 2041, this would bring 48,800 people within walking distance of the new stations and would give 26,000 more people access to rapid transit compared to a scenario where the extension was not built.

Will Metrolinx provide walkable neighbourhood services to existing communities south of Bridge Station, and how?

The Yonge North Subway Extension has been designed to support vibrant urban development along the route 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.

As planning and design work on the project continues, we are looking at incorporating active transportation connections at all stations along the extension. Metrolinx is committed to providing convenient access to the subway for pedestrians and cyclists in the emerging Langstaff Gateway community.

Highways 7 and 407 act as barrier between Markham and Richmond Hill urban centres. The only viable connection is blocked by 4 tracks and a station. How will you maintain public continuity?

The future communities of Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway are poised for significant growth and development in the years to come and have been identified as one urban growth centre in York Region’s growth plan. This are is divided into by Highway 407 and Highway 7. The benefit of Bridge Station is that its location will stitch the two communities together through transit. In other words, this common subway station will bring better transit service to both of these important destinations. Residents on both sides of the highway corridor will have access to local and regional buses serving York Region and the wider Greater Toronto Area, as well as subway and GO train service on the Richmond Hill line.

Running subway trains along the existing CN rail corridor in the northern end of the route will help us bring better rapid transit service to the many people who will live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway areas in the coming years. The existing rail line runs right through the centre of them, so building stations that will make it easier for people to get to existing bus and GO train services in that area will mean faster, more convenient transit and less traffic congestion as communities grow.

As planning and design work on the project continues, we are working with our municipal partners to incorporate urban design elements that accommodate multi-use pedestrian paths that will provide a pleasant walking experience.

What impact would excluding stations have on the South Yonge Street Corridor Streetscape Master Plan and other planning frameworks?

We are working with our municipal partners to design the extension so that it aligns with existing municipal plans along the corridor, including the Yonge-Steeles Urban Design and Streetscape Study.

Will Bridge Station be used only for VIVA & GO routes? Will parking be on the Vaughan side of the highway? Will RH be mid-block linked to Markham?

We are working closely with our partners at York Region Transit to make sure we are accommodating future needs for the bus network in the design of the Bridge Station transit hub, which will serve Viva express routes, regional GO bus routes, as well as local bus routes.

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. Metrolinx has denoted to study and propose strategies to balance demand with available road network capacity.

As planning and design work on the project continues, we are working with our municipal partners to incorporate urban design elements that accommodate multi-use pedestrian paths that will provide a pleasant walking experience.

What fares are currently proposed for the Yonge North Subway Extension? Will there be fare integration?

Work is underway with the Ministry of Transportation and our municipal partners to explore opportunities to better integrate fare systems across the region and to make it easier and more convenient to take transit. We are actively engaging with our municipal and transit agency partners to provide feedback on and to help refine our approach.

Residents on both sides of the highway corridor have access to local/regional buses serving York Region. What about a drop off & pick up on Highway 7 for other York Region residents?

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. Passenger pick-up and drop-off at each station will be evaluated in more depth through the PDBC.

YNSE deleted parking based on Option 3. How can this be achieved without good, reliable transit and connections to the wider region?

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.

How does forcing the Rapid Transit buses on Yonge to veer off Yonge to Bridge station save travel time? Wouldn’t keeping the Yonge subway on Yonge serve all?

Bridge Station will be designed so that Viva rapid transit buses will to be able to easily and conveniently bring riders to and from the bus terminal. Building Bridge Station at surface level will also make transferring between transit lines faster and easier than if the station were built underground.

It’s also important to note that riders will save up to 22 minutes on a trip to downtown Toronto. The location of Bridge Station will help us bring better rapid transit service to the many people who will live in the Richmond Hill Centre and Langstaff Gateway areas in the coming years, since they are designated as urban growth centres. The existing rail line runs right through the centre of them, so building stations that will make it easier for people to get to existing bus and GO train services in that area will mean faster, more convenient transit and less traffic congestion as communities grow.

One of other benefits of extending the route of the extension at surface level through the CN Railway corridor is that we can protect for an easier extension of the subway north in the future. The design concept and requirements for Bridge Station are being refined based on the needs identified by York Region Transit and other local stakeholders. We are seeking input from our partners and will have more details about this component when the Preliminary Design Business Case is finalized.

Steeles Station will be a hub for local bus routes as well as a future rapid transit line along Steeles Avenue. What does this mean?

Steeles Station will provide connections to several bus services operated by the TTC and York Region Transit, and serve as the new connection point for the TTC’s Steeles Express services. About 9,400 riders will transfer from buses to this station each day. The exact location and size of the bus facilities at Steeles Station will be determined through the next phase of the business case analysis. We’re working with neighbouring land owners along with the TTC and York Region Transit to make sure we get the most benefits out of the design while minimizing local impacts.

What rail lines share the right-of-way for the Richmond Hill corridor? How co-ordinated is GO Rail and bus service at Langstaff Station?

The railway corridor used by GO trains on the Richmond Hill line through Markham and Richmond Hill is owned by CN Rail.

GO buses that travel Highway 407 serve the existing bus terminal at Richmond Hill Centre. Today, customers who want to transfer between a GO train and a GO bus to complete their trip must walk between Langstaff GO station and the bus terminal. When the Yonge North Subway Extension is complete, riders will be able to conveniently transfer between GO train, bus and subway service through Bridge Station, which will be connected to Langstaff GO station.

We are working with CN and our regional partners to make sure our plans are aligned and coordinated.

Will the YRT Bus terminal at 407 be similar to that at 407/Black Creek Stations? How about at Bernard, Cornell, Newmarket, Promenade, Vaughan Mills terminals?

The bus terminal at Bridge Station will be located between the Highway 7 and Highway 407 corridors. We are in the early stages of planning and design for the transit hub and will share more details as we confirm our plans.

In the future will you have a bus depot?

Bus services provided by GO, TTC and York Region Transit will stop at the major bus terminals planned at Steeles and Bridge stations that will provide fast, convenient connections to the subway.

Are property acquisitions really a true and honest negotiation between Metrolinx and the property owner?

We are still very early in the process and have not identified impacted property owners.

We understand that residents and businesses want those details and we will reach out to impacted property owners at the earliest opportunity.

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

Whether we have to acquire a portion of a property or the entire property, the owner will be compensated. In all cases, owners are compensated for their property at a price they could expect through a sale at fair market value.

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.

With the road widening on Steeles Avenue and the homes on the south side what will the property impacts be in that area?

We’re still confirming property requirements as we consult on and refine our plans.

We take the time to do detailed studies on what’s needed so we can limit our construction footprint and be certain that we’re only acquiring properties that are absolutely necessary to get transit built. Oftentimes, only a small portion of a property is needed, and many properties are only needed on a temporary basis during construction.

We reach out to owners individually once property needs are confirmed so that we can have one-on-one conversations about supports that are tailored to their unique needs.

When will we find out if our properties are impacted?

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.

What if in future I as a home/landowner decide using clean energy from the earth? Would running the subway under my home will take away this option from me?

When we confirm our property needs for the project, Metrolinx will reach out to each affected property owner as soon as possible so that we can have one-on-one conversations to make sure they have the information and supports they need to plan for the future.

Have expropriation costs been included in your cost estimates?

The estimated costs to acquire property for the project have been factored into the $5.6 billion funding envelope.

It is important to note that running the extension at surface level along the existing CN railway corridor means we can limit construction impacts for the stations in the northern segment and finish the project sooner.

This approach reduces the need for complex construction of tunnels and underground stations by using a dedicated rail corridor that already exists. It also means we limit the need for large, disruptive excavation sites for underground stations and exit buildings. This allows us to limit our property needs in areas of the surface-level alignment.

Limiting construction work to areas that are more out of the way will also help cut down on disruptions of hydro, natural gas, and water service as we bring you more transit.

Why extend the subway, when many business and employees will not be travelling to downtown to work, as they can now work from home and will continue to do so?

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.

How deep will the stations be?

The exact depths of the underground stations will be confirmed through further planning and design work. We expect to have more information to share on station depth when the Preliminary Design Business Case is released.

How deep will they tunnel beneath the CN Train track across Yonge Street in Thornhill?

The exact depths of the subway tunnels through that location will be confirmed through further planning and design work. We expect to have more information to share on tunnel depth when the Preliminary Design Business Case is released.

The original plan called for a combination of a road and subway bridge on Yonge Street across the valley between Centre and Royal Orchard. Is the new plan to tunnel?

The new plan to tunnel under the river valley will limit disruptions to the community, reduce the risk of potential impacts to the natural environment and is less costly when compared to the original plan to build a bridge from one side of the valley to the other.

If a serious fire occurred in the proposed tunnel beneath the homes in Thornhill, would fire equipment have to come through the tunnel either from Steeles Station or Bridge Station and what analysis has Metrolinx completed to assess the damage of a serious tunnel fire to the residences located above?

The tunnels will be designed to meet the latest fire safety codes. A fire fighting system will be built into the entire length of the tunnels that includes, smoke detectors, emergency ventilation systems and stand pipes to feed water to fire hoses. Firefighters would get to the tunnels through the subway stations or from emergency exit buildings at surface level.

Airborne noise is a common issue with at grade subway operations, what measures and controls will be taken to eliminate noise impacts?

Metrolinx is committed to addressing any noise and vibration due to construction and operation of the extension. Our aim is to ensure no appreciable difference between existing noise and vibration levels in your community. We will work with communities along the route of the project to ensure a comprehensive array of solutions are in place to keep things peaceful and quiet when the extension is up and running.

We’re looking at a wide array of proven noise and vibration solutions, like high-grade rail fasteners that keep all the parts tightly together, rubber dampers that attach to the rails to absorb vibration, and noise walls to block the sound of passing trains.

We will have more detailed information about the solutions we’ll be putting in place in coming months as further design work is refined and we conduct and consult on environmental assessments.

Metrolinx says 'new' noise, vibration technologies will be used. Provide details where they have been tested, installed.

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 completed 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.

Since speed of trains is a major factor in noise and vibration transmission, why design a route that may have to run slower, to eventually reduce problems.

The extension is being designed to balance the speed of the trains with the curves and grades along the route. Noise and vibration studies are underway that will take train speeds into consideration and recommend solutions to reduce noise and vibration.

How far from the subway will noise be heard from our homes?

The bottoms of the tunnels will be at least 20 metres deep in the Royal Orchard community – roughly as deep as a six-storey building is tall. The tops of the tunnels will be at least 14 metres below the surface, which is equal to the height of a four-storey building.

The tunnels will be surrounded by thick reinforced concrete and will be built to strict design and engineering standards.

We’re confident that high-quality, modern tunnels built to the latest industry standards will ensure future subway services won’t be a disruption for the community.

Metrolinx is committed to addressing any noise and vibration due to construction and operation of the extension. Our aim is to ensure no appreciable difference between existing noise and vibration levels in your community.

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.

We’re looking at a wide array of proven noise and vibration solutions for the project, like high-grade rail fasteners that keep all the parts tightly together, rubber dampers that attach to the rails to absorb vibration, and large rubber mats that go under the tracks to absorb noises and vibrations.

I’ve heard low frequencies and infrasound can be heard though hundreds of metres of solid rock and earth. Won’t I hear that in my home?

Subway systems that incorporate vibration solutions like those we will be investigating for the Yonge North Subway Extension do not typically produce appreciable levels of infra-sound. The potential of low-frequency sounds like those made by trains passing through underground tunnels are being assessed through our environmental studies.

We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago. The detailed studies we’re doing right now will help us make sure we put all the right noise and vibration solutions in place so neighbourhoods like Royal Orchard stay sought-after places to live in.

Where are you going to store your massive equipment needed for the construction?

These sites that will be needed to store construction equipment and material are still being confirmed but our goal is always to minimize the footprint of our construction sites, wherever possible. We will have more detailed information in coming months as further design work is refined.

There is an aquitard at Steeles. How are they managing it?

The environmental studies we are doing now will help us develop solutions so that we can reduce or prevent any potential impacts to groundwater during construction and beyond. Groundwater levels will be closely monitored and any potential impacts on infrastructure will be assessed as part of the design process. We will have more details to share as we complete our updated environmental assessment for the project.

How many and where will the Emergency Exits, substations will be placed in the Royal Orchard Community?

We will have more detailed information about the location of emergency exit buildings and traction power substations in coming months, as further design work is refined and we conduct and consult on environmental assessments.

How many air vents are proposed from Royal Orchard to Bridge Station and what analysis has Metrolinx conducted to determine the decibel level of these air vents?

We will have more detailed information about the ventilation systems needed for the project in the coming months, as further design work is refined. There are a variety of solutions available to reduce the noise from air vents and ventilation fans, such as acoustic lining that absorbs sound and reduces the levels at the surface.

With the next phase moving toward Major Mackenzie, under Option 3 how does Metrolinx propose to move the route back to Yonge Street to move 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.

Where will the train storage facility be located? Will it be at grade or underground

The train storage facility will be located within the CN Railway corridor, north of Bantry Avenue.

Placing a train storage facility at surface-level is a standard practice, and it’s a critical to keep it above ground to stay within the $5.6 billion funding envelope.

Cities like Vancouver, Chicago, and New York all have ground level train storage facilities that successfully integrate into residential areas while meeting the needs of their transit networks.

This change brings the proposal in line with the TTC’s five subway train storage facilities, which are all above ground.

Metrolinx is committed to addressing any noise and vibration due to construction and operation of the train storage facility. Our aim is to ensure no appreciable difference between existing noise and vibration levels in your community.

Has CN Rail agreed to go below them for YNSE?

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 corridors 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.

Is the ROW north of the cemetery wide enough and safe enough for all rail carriers and Subway?

The current plans for the project recommend placing the northern section of the Yonge North Subway Extension at the surface, instead of tunneling all the way to Richmond Hill. The tracks will head north beneath Yonge Street from Finch Station before they curve away from Yonge and align with the CN Railway corridor. The subway will rise to emerge at the surface south of Highway 407 as it continues through the Richmond Hill Centre area. We’ll be adding dedicated subway tracks to the west of the CN tracks within the existing railway corridor and looking at ways to keep the footprint of the project as small as possible as we build new infrastructure.

Is there more information on the train storage facility and how it would interact with the Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plan area?

Metrolinx is working with City of Richmond Hill to gain a complete understanding of the plans for the Richmond Hill Centre area, which are in the process of being updated by the city. We are in the early stages of planning and design for the surface-level train storage facility and working with our partners at the TTC to better understand what is needed to support operation of the subway extension. The train storage facility would include new tracks within the railway corridor that would store a total of 15 subway train cars.

Placing a train storage facility at surface-level is a standard practice, and it’s a critical to keep it above ground to stay within the $5.6 billion funding envelope. Cities like Vancouver, Chicago, and New York all have ground level train storage facilities that successfully integrate into residential areas while meeting the needs of their transit networks. This change brings the proposal in line with the TTC’s five subway train storage facilities, which are all above ground.

Even with the Ontario Line, what are the capacity projections for southbound trains arriving into Steeles and Finch and Sheppard stations during morning peak period?

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.

How can you start tunneling at the Langstaff site as part of the early works when Option 3 has not been fully studied yet?

Our teams are moving plans for the launch shaft forward based on the data and analysis we have done through the Initial Business Case, which builds off the work previously done on the project by our partners. We will refine our plans as we complete environmental studies, which we will provide to the community for feedback as we advance our design work. Final environmental reports will address the feedback we receive and our go-forward plans will reflect that input.

Have the federal government been made aware that Metrolinx is pursuing a preferred option that has not had any environmental studies done?

The Initial Business Case and supplementary analysis were submitted to the Federal government by York Region and the Ministry of Transportation to support their commitment to the project. An Environmental Project Report was completed and approved for the project in 2009. The updated environmental assessment we’re working on now will cover off any changes to existing conditions since that EA was completed and evaluate the updated route. 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.

Will the design of all structures respect Heritage areas of Thornhill to ensure that they blend into the community?

We are working with our municipal partners in Markham and Vaughan, as well as the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture to make sure any new buildings at surface level fit the look and feel of the existing heritage areas of Thornhill.

Please provide specific dates to the Environmental Assessment Addendum.

We are preparing an addendum to the existing Environmental Project Report for the Yonge North Subway Extension. Metrolinx will continue to consult with the public before the Notice of EPR Addendum, which is planned to be published in this fall. Upon the publication of the notice, a 30-day public review period will be provided, followed by up to 35 days for Metrolinx to respond to comments and post an updated EPR Addendum. Publication of the Updated EPR Addendum opens a 35-day period during which the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks can issue a notice related to the EPR Addendum. This period is anticipated to be completed in winter 2022.

The planned date to begin the main construction on the project is late 2023. We will have more information about construction timelines as we progress through the next phase of planning and design, but we remain committed to an in-service date of 2029-2030, after the Ontario Line is in service.

Is the environmental assessment being done by an objective third party?

Metrolinx, as the proponent of the project, is currently preparing an EPR Addendum to the 2009 EPR (EA) that assess changes to existing conditions since that EA was completed and evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with the updated project design/subway route. This involves studying things like noise and vibration, air quality, soil and groundwater quality, the natural environment, and land use. The results of the study will be shared publicly as part of the environmental assessment consultation process once they are available.

The updated environmental assessment will be completed by professional planners who are highly experienced in their field. The work they do will follow the Environmental Assessment Act and other regulations that apply to transit projects like the Yonge North Subway Extension.

Will you be listening to residents that oppose Option 3 as part of your environmental review? Why is the public review period only 30 days?

The feedback we’ve been collecting through virtual open house events and other ongoing engagement is being considered as part of the planning and design process for the project and will be documented in the updated environmental assessment. Metrolinx is providing a public review period of 30 days to meet provincial regulations in the Environmental Assessment Act. These regulations require the addendum to the Environmental Project Report to be updated to reflect public feedback and published within 65 days of a draft report being posted.

What are you doing about the abandoned fuel distribution system that polluted the soil when a hole was dug in 2009 at Royal Orchard and Colonsay?

The updated environmental studies we’re doing now include a comprehensive site assessment study that looks at potential soil and groundwater contamination within the project area. Metrolinx follows strict provincial regulations that will determine the approach we take to clean up any potential contamination.

Will the Ontario Ministry of the Environment be consulting with us?

Metrolinx is carrying out an extensive public, stakeholder and Indigenous Nations consultation as part of the Environmental Project Report Addendum process for the Yonge North Subway Extension. The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks oversees this process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.

How can you properly assess environmental impact if you don't have exits, venting, etc. determined?

The stations along the Yonge North Subway Extension stations will include elements like entrances, air ventilation systems, electrical substations, and emergency exit buildings. The proposed location and design of these elements is still under development as part of the engineering design process. As we confirm the location and design of these elements, the evaluations in our environmental studies will be updated to document potential environmental impacts and make recommendations on how to monitor, reduce or prevent those impacts. The updated environmental assessment we are preparing will also include detailed descriptions of all of the project infrastructure based on our latest design work.

During a pandemic how can you adequately review traffic models/congestion and noise and vibration conditions?

The data on traffic patterns and congestion we’re using to inform our traffic studies had been collected before March 2020. Part of our analysis includes using this data to assess potential traffic impacts through construction of the project and after it goes into service. Our team will monitor traffic patterns as public health regulations return to normal to make sure that our analysis reflects the most up-to-date information.

How do you assess the human impact and health and wellness of the public in your environmental study?

The safety and wellbeing of communities and residents is our top priority as we move the project forward.

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 aspects related to health including noise and vibration, air quality, and soil and groundwater quality.

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.

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 difference in noise and vibration levels compared to today. We’re going to be using noise and vibration solutions for the project that are proven to work. A big benefit is that they’ll be based on modern and up-to-date industry standards, which have significantly improved since the first subway lines in the GTA were built many decades ago.

Its also important to note that Metrolinx strives to go above and beyond provincial regulations that put limits on the noise and vibration that come from the construction of new transit projects.

We’ll monitor noise and vibration levels and schedule noisier work when it makes the most sense. Special noise-muffling equipment and state-of-the-art machinery are also available to help keep the noise down during construction.

What date will the EA addendum notice be issued?

Based on the current timeline, Metrolinx is planning to issue the Notice of EPR Addendum in Fall 2021.

Call-In With Your Question

As we continue to evolve the virtual engagement format, we are adding a call-in option for tonight’s event. To ask your question by voice, join the Zoom meeting here. We aim to keep each question and subsequent answer to 3 minutes allowing for as many call-in questions as possible.

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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 Devin Horne

Devin Horne

Manager, Rapid Transit Project Planning

Photo of James Francis

James Francis

Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment

Photo of Julia Kun

Julia Kun

Project Manager, Environmental Programs and Assessment

Photo of Lisa Lieu

Lisa Lieu

Manager, Property Acquisitions

Photo of Charlie Hoang

Charlie Hoang

Global Lead, Transit Architecture, Technical Advisor

Other Attendees

  • Sam Kulendran, Engineer, Technical Advisor

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