This morning Urban Toronto checked out the launch of Holey, the first of four Lovat Tunnel Boring Machnes, at the future site of Downsview Park Station. Holey, along with siblings Moley, Yorkie and Torkie will help bore tunnels for the 8.6-kilometre extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina line. This expansion is part of FLOW, a federal initiative for the GTA that is designed to reduce congestion, cut commute times, help clear the air and help drive the economy in the area. The project is targeted for completion in late 2015.
Under ominous skies TTC Chair Karen Stintz, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, Councillor and Chair of the Budget Committee Mike del Grande, Minister of the Environment Peter Kent, York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch, and Ontario Minister for Transportation Kathleen Wynne spoke about how this project will improve the quality of life of Greater Toronto Area residents by providing a direct link to the city and offering commuters more choice in how they get to work.
The group then signed a piece of the tunnel liner.
And the moment all were waiting for: a flip of the switch, a short siren and Holey was offically launched.
A peek into the massive hole which will eventually become Downsview Park Station. It is worth noting that Holey is over 4.5m tall, yet the station box excavation that it sits in is so massive, it looks like a small toy.
Here we look east across the enormous site towards Metro Place Condos and Downsview Subway Station, the line's current terminus.
The crew is eager to begin!
The TTC provided this incredible, up-close footage of the machines. It also gives a good sense of how vast the hole is. Enjoy!