Ontario Construction News staff writer
Metrolinx says easy connections are at the heart of plans for the new Ontario Line subway, with stations designed to link with existing GO and TTC routes along the line.
On June 10, the public got a look at how Ontario Line stations at how designers will incorporate heritage attributes into stations at Exhibition, King and Bathurst, and Queen at Spadina.
“No subway station exists in isolation. Each one must serve and fit within a surrounding neighbourhood and offer connections that get people where they need – and want – to be,” Metrolinx staff wrote on the blog.
“That’s particularly true for three stations at the west end of the new Ontario Line – Exhibition, King/Bathurst and Queen/Spadina – where each spot is a vibrant destination in its own right.”
The Ontario Line will directly connect dozens of other neighbourhoods across the city, all while linking with TTC streetcar and GO lines in the area.
“We are only acquiring properties we need to build and accommodate new transit infrastructure and to create the best possible transit connections,” said Malcom MacKay, program sponsor for the Ontario Line. “We know we need to work hard to make sure any new structure fits and blends in with the community it serves, and that’s something we’re going to do from one end of the line to the other.”
Details of station designs:
- Exhibition Station will be upgraded and expanded to become a vital transit hub. This station will give new subway access to growing areas of the city such as Liberty Village and Parkdale. An estimated 12,100 customers are expected to use Exhibition Station during the busiest travel hours.
- Riders coming from places even further west—including Niagara, Hamilton, Halton, and Peel – will easily transfer from GO trains onto the subway system, helping to relieve congestion at Union Station by 14 per cent during rush hour. With a shared concourse and an above-ground connection between GO and the Ontario Line, transfers will be quick and seamless.
- TTC riders will also be able to connect to the 511 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront streetcars, just steps away. The Ontario Line will provide a new and faster way to reach Ontario Place, trade shows, the CNE, BMO Field and Liberty Village street life by public transit.
King and Bathurst
- A new station at the corner of King and Bathurst will bring Toronto’s Fashion District into the subway system.
- While the corner is best known for bars and restaurants, like the historic Wheat Sheaf Tavern, the station will add a faster transit option to a densely populated neighbourhood where almost 9,000 households don’t have a car.
- With multiple entrances and exits on both the north and south corners of the intersection, Ontario Line customers won’t have to worry about crossing to the opposite side of the street to catch their streetcar.
Queen and Spadina
- The area around the Queen and Spadina station will be a hot spot for young professionals, with more than 42,200 jobs projected for the area by 2041. It will also be home for 22,800 people expected to be living within a 10-minute walk.
- This station will provide fast and convenient links to Chinatown, Alexandra Park, the Fashion District – and shopping on Queen West will be just steps away.
A benefit of the Ontario Line is it will bring riders through parts of the city with a rich architectural heritage. Station construction in older areas is a challenge faced by subway planners around the world, and Metrolinx is using widely adopted techniques to maintain heritage attributes and conserve each neighbourhood’s unique characteristics.
Working with a team of heritage conservation specialists, Metrolinx is exploring a wide range of conservation options for heritage properties in these new station locations and will be customizing solutions for each site. These options include retaining full façades that stations can be built within, and carefully dismantling the exteriors into panels which can be stored and then reassembled as part of new stations.