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In areas where construction is concentrated, several construction vehicles may be required to be staged along Eglinton Avenue, and is subject to City of Toronto approval. Construction vehicles range from heavy operating equipment to smaller vehicles for transportation of signage and various materials. These vehicles are performing a key process of the operation occurring on site.  

In some cases, vehicles may appear to be unnecessarily idling; however, it is important for vehicles and equipment as part of the immediate works are required to dwell nearby to move in as required to perform the scheduled work. Construction associated vehicles are exempt from City of Toronto idling legislation. 

Generators may also be required to supply power to site equipment. Each site presents a unique challenge for construction and varies in terms of impacts to the roadway and space required for construction activity. Each stage of work will dictate the size and type of truck and generator. Noise and vibration associated with construction can be expected with this work. 

Please be cautious when travelling nearby and around these vehicles and equipment. Workers on or near the road and are operating heavy equipment, acting as flag persons, inspecting the work and  working with specialized equipment and  tools within the site.

Construction began in the summer of 2011. The first pair of tunnel boring machines began tunnelling from Keelesdale Park (at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue) in the summer of 2013, working eastwards towards Yonge Street. The second pair of tunnel boring machines began at Brentcliffe Road in fall 2015, working westwards towards Yonge Street.

The Crosstown is a significant project with a long timeline, and works are completed in phases and in “rolling waves.” That is, we will focus on a section at a time. For example, there might be road closures and traffic diversions between Caledonia Road and Dufferin Street for several months while we construct headwalls in that area, but then we will move on to the next section. The entire project takes several years to complete, but we will not be occupying the same section for the entire time.

Generally, on the west side, we started tunnelling and station construction at Black Creek Drive, and we will work our way east. On the east side, we started at Brentcliffe Road and will work our way west, until the two meet at Yonge Street.

The project will be complete in 2021.


Assembly of Tunnel Boring Machines
The west launch site at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue where the first two tunnel boring machines begin tunnelling.

The Crosstown will bring fast, reliable and convenient transit service to passengers across Toronto. It will carry many more passengers and move up to 60 percent faster than the existing bus service on Eglinton Avenue. See LRT infographic.

In addition to moving people across the city more quickly, reliably and conveniently, the Crosstown will ease traffic and congestion by providing an excellent travel alternative.

The Crosstown project will create tens of thousands of jobs and provide lasting economic benefits for the entire region.

The Crosstown line will be partially underground. The line will run along Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. This 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive.

The rest of the line will run at surface on dedicated right of way transit lanes separate from regular traffic.

Crosstown map

In order to assist with keeping transit building projects on time and on budget, a special by-law was passed for major Toronto transit projects in 2010. The hours of work as permitted by the City by-law are between 7a.m. and 11p.m., 7 days a week. Some overnight work may be required and permitted. The contractor will not always work during the extended hours, but may do so at its discretion. These permitted hours of work will assist contractors to operate a double shift to keep construction moving. We recognize that this means lots of construction activities will take place, but noise and vibration monitoring equipment is in place to monitor levels and ensure that they are within acceptable legal limits.

Eventually, once the tunnelling machines are in the ground, underground tunnelling and associated work may continue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The section west of Mount Dennis was studied in the Crosstown Environmental Assessment, however it requires additional funding and is therefore not part of the current phase of work. In the meantime, Metrolinx is completing work on the UP Express which will connect passengers from Union Station to Pearson International Airport in time for the 2015 PanAm Games.

The Crosstown is a large infrastructure project that requires long-term construction along Eglinton. While one section may seem to take longer, another section might take less time than expected. The scale and complexity of the project mean that many portions of work are linked and cannot necessarily happen at the same time. For example, completion of utility relocation work on one side of an intersection might depend on the construction timeframe of the adjacent side. Work is done in waves and round-the-clock work is not always appropriate. 

The contractor works with various subcontractors to complete the project and it is within their control to choose the method and schedule for successful delivery based on their resources. The project requires ongoing coordination of sub-contractors and obtaining a variety of separate permits through the City mandated process. Much of this type of construction work and coordination occur behind the scenes. As with other road works, the road remains occupied with fencing and equipment which may continue to shift through different phases of the project.

Beam removal on Eglinton Avenue

Utility relocation is a common occurrence in Toronto. Depending on site conditions, gas, hydro, watermain and sewer, cable, fibre and telephone lines may need to be diverted away to ensure safe excavation. Trucks and excavators will be visible, and some side streets may be closed.

Excavator at construction site

Metrolinx, through the Government of Ontario, is responsible for funding and overseeing the design and build of the Crosstown. Metrolinx approves the scope of the project, its schedule and budget. Metrolinx also approves all the contracts associated with the development of the Crosstown, as well as all the community relations and communications for the project.

Once the Crosstown is complete in 2021, the TTC will be responsible for its operations. Since the beginning of the project, Metrolinx and the TTC have worked in close collaboration to ensure the effectiveness of the project – and will continue to do so.

Light rail transit (LRT) provides fast, reliable and convenient service by carrying passengers in dedicated transit lanes separate from regular traffic. LRT is electrically powered, with near zero emissions. The LRT vehicles are manufactured by Bombardier in Thunder Bay, Ontario. See our LRT infographic to learn more.