Eglinton Crosstown surfacing in 2018

Written by John Thompson, Canadian Contributing Editor
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Work on Toronto’s 12-mile Eglinton Avenue Crosstown LRT, the city’s first such project, will break out onto the surface during 2018.

The alignment is above ground eastward from Brentcliffe, approximately 1.5 miles east of Yonge Street, to the terminal at Kennedy Subway Station. The surface section represents about one-third of the total distance.

Utilities relocation (electricity and telecom) has already commenced between Brentcliffe and Kennedy, with work to finish by year’s end. Road widening is also required at certain locations. Trackbed construction, rail installation and station construction will follow as the road allowance is prepared for it. The alignment will be entirely on center-reservation private right-of-way.

Don Mills Road Station, a short distance east of Brentcliffe, will be underground, due to the high volume of road traffic at this location. Excavation was scheduled began at the end of March 2018 for the main station structure; the tunnel portals and approach sections are essentially complete. The pedestrian tunnel between the station and bus terminal is progressing. Provision has been made in the station design for a possible future north-south subway station beneath it.

At Kennedy Subway Station (opened 1980), utility work and road widening are under way. Demolition of the existing north passenger entrance has begun, to make way for the new main entrance. Support of Excavation (SOE) is ongoing for the new east and west pedestrian tunnels. Pile driving at the Eglinton Avenue-Kennedy Road intersection for the LRT approach tunnel started at the end of March.

Two of the most challenging projects on the Crosstown will be the construction of LRT stations beneath the existing Yonge and Spadina subway lines at Eglinton and Eglinton West stations, respectively.

At Eglinton, SOE activities will represent the main activity for 2018, and will be completed by year’s end. This includes Toronto Hydro infrastructure relocation. After that, excavation, followed by underpinning of the Yonge line, can begin.

At Cedarvale Station (interface with the Spadina Subway), SOE will continue, as well as utilities relocation, selective demolition, and building the new east entrance.


Leaside Station will undergo piling and shallow excavation operations that are being transferred to the north side of Eglinton; these will continue until late 2019.

SOE activities are in progress at Fairbank, Forest Hill, Chaplin, and Mount Pleasant stations. This activity includes pile installation, shallow excavation, roof slab construction, and installation of shoring, lagging and tie-backs. At Forest Hill, more than 600 cubic meters of concrete are being poured to form the station roof.

Caledonia, an open cut station, will undergo continuation of deep excavation, with work breaking into the tunnel this Spring. Once tunnel demolition is complete, construction of the station below grade will begin.

Mining has begun at the three stations utilizing this construction method (Oakland, Avenue and Laird). The mining is done from the excavation shafts for the future station entrances, located off the road.

Mining is used at certain locations, instead of cut and cover, for several reasons: site and ground conditions; degree of utility relocations required (mining goes beneath the utilities); volume of excavation required (for deeper or longer stations, less excavation is needed), as well as the size and configuration of street intersections, and adjoining properties. Mining results in less surface disruption.


The trackbed in all of the tunnels will be finished during 2018. A short test section for LRVs will be equipped with track and overhead, at the west end of the tunnel section.

Work is in progress for the support piers for the elevated section that will take the LRT across Eglinton Avenue and Black Creek Drive and into Mount Dennis Station, the western terminus. The adjacent Maintenance and Storage facility will be completed by this October, including all interior work and track laying.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is a Metrolinx project under the overall responsibility of the Crosslink Transit Solutions consortium. Completion is expected about 2022.

Grateful acknowledgement is extended to Metrolinx in the preparation of this report.

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