The tally of multi-billion-dollar transit projects across Canada is growing. Seven of the mega-projects are in Toronto and area, while the rest is in Vancouver, Hamilton and Montreal. The projects include subways and light rail transit (LRT), both above and below ground.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 largest transit projects currently underway or planned in Canada:
1. Eglinton Crosstown LRT
Construction on the $12-billion Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line in Toronto is slated for completion in 2022.
The line will run along Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy station. The 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion between Keele Street and Laird Drive.
Upon completion, the Crosstown will have 25 stations and stops and three subway stations. The capacity of the vehicles will be 15,000 passengers per hour per direction.
The project was started a decade ago and has created thousands of design and construction jobs.
2. Ontario Line
The Ontario Line is a proposed 15.6-kilometre, stand-alone rapid transit line in Toronto. The $10.9-billion line will connect the Ontario Science Centre to Exhibition Ontario Place.
More than half of the route is planned to run underground through new tunnels, with the remainder running along elevated and at-grade rail corridor sections of track. The line will run through the city’s downtown, head through East York and then swing north, where it will meet up with the Eglinton Crosstown.
Fifteen stations are proposed, along with a maintenance and storage facility. Construction on the project is expected to start in 2023.
3. Go Expansion – On Corridor Project
Work is expected to begin later this year on the $15.7-billion Go Expansion – On Corridor project in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). It will be the largest infrastructure program ever undertaken by the Government of Ontario.
A request for proposals was issued in May 2019, and a winning bidder should be announced soon. The anticipated completion date for the project is 2025.
The project includes putting in rail tracks, systems, infrastructure and rolling stock, as well as the construction of new maintenance and train storage facilities.
Once completed, the project will enable Metrolinx to run an all-day service at a frequency of every 15 minutes throughout the GTHA.
Work has already started on some grade separations, and track and tunnel work is underway. Ten stations will be built, and another 29 will be improved.
4. REM in Montreal
Construction has been under way for three years on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), an automated light rail network. It will have 67 kilometres of tracks and will be located in the greater Montreal area in Quebec.
The $6.9-billion project will include 26 stations. More than 3,000 workers are presently deployed on dozens of construction sites along the route.
It is the largest public transit project undertaken in Québec in half a century. The project is expected to be completed in 2024, but first trains should start running next year.
The province is already looking at expanding the line to the east as well. A proposal is in the works to add 32 kilometres of track and 23 stations. The price tag of the additional work would be about $10 billion.
5. Scarborough Subway Extension
This past summer, a ground-breaking was held to mark the start of construction on the $5.5-billion Scarborough Subway Extension.
It will extend the Toronto Transit Commission Line 2 subway by 7.8 kilometres further into Scarborough, adding three new stops. There will be stations at Lawrence Avenue and McCowan Road, Scarborough Center, and Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road.
A $614-million contract was awarded to Strabag for the tunnelling work. A shaft is being built to allow for tunnelling work to begin next year.
6. Yonge North Subway Extension
In May, funding was announced for the Yonge North Subway Extension in Toronto.
A request for qualifications for the project is expected fall of 2021. The estimated value of the project is $5-billion.
The work will extend the Toronto Transit Commission’s existing Line 1 subway approximately 7.4 kilometres to Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill. There will be four stations along the route.
7. Hurontario LRT
A $4.6-billion Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) line that will connect Brampton and Port Credit, west of Toronto, is well underway and expected to be completed in 2024.
The LRT will consist of 18-kilometres of above-ground track in its own dedicated lane, ensuring a smooth, reliable, and convenient ride along the region’s busiest street.
The system will feature 19 stops. It will travel through two urban growth centres and connect to major transit systems. There will be a maintenance and storage facility built for light rail vehicles.
Mobilinx Hurontario General Partnership is in charge of the project.
8. Hamilton LRT
The Hamilton LRT project was cancelled in 2019, but it’s back on the books. The project will feature 14 kilometres of light rail that will run from McMaster University through downtown to Eastgate. There will be 17 stops along the route.
The federal and Ontario governments have committed $3.48 billion to the project, making it one of the largest infrastructure investments in the city’s history.
9. Broadway Subway Project
The $2.8-billion Broadway Subway Project will extend the Millennium Line in the Metro Vancouver area by 5.7 kilometres and add five new stations. A pair of boring machines will dig twin 6.3-metre-diameter tunnels for the line.
The province has announced that Spanish conglomerate Acciona Infrastructure and Italian company Ghelia will be in charge of construction. The estimated completion date for the project is 2025.
10. Finch West LRT
The $2.5-billion West LRT in Toronto will provide fast, reliable transit from Humber College to Finch West Station, with links to York and Peel Region transit.
The project’s 11 kilometres of rail are expected to open in 2023. There will be 18 stops along the route.