The long-anticipated construction of the Crosstown LRT line has witnessed substantial activity lately, as the largest Public Private Partnership (P3) in Canadian history continues to make its mark along Eglinton Avenue. Significant above-ground construction work is currently underway at the Black Creek Drive and Eglinton West Station launch shaft sites, while the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) continue to carve out the underground portion of Metrolinx and the TTC's new light rail line.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsThe launch site west of Keele Street, image by Camil Rosiak

At the Black Creek Drive launch shaft site in the west end, Eglinton detours around where construction work is under way, with a crane visible above the site, as preliminary work on configuring the underground tunnel begins. The large white tent stands beside the entry point for the TBMs, while another large tent and construction office, together with the construction equipment visible in the background (below), underline the large scale of the project.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsLooking west along Eglinton, image by Camil Rosiak

Located between the future Keele and Mount Dennis (the line's western terminus) stations, the site marks the beginning of the underground portion of the Crosstown, which will stretch from just west of Keele to slightly east of Laird. Moving east, another construction site dots the landscape at the future Caledonia Crosstown Station, which will eventually provide a connection to GO's Barrie line via a new station on it (below).

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsThe site of the Caledonia Station, image by Camil Rosiak

Perhaps the project's largest current construction site, however, is visible at the intersection of Eglinton and the Allen Road (below), where the Crosstown will connect with the University-Spadina Line. The transfer station, which is set to become one of the busiest parts of the line, posed a significant engineering challenge during the construction process, as the TBMs had to be extracted and lifted over the existing subway tunnel earlier this year, only to be returned underground on the other side of Eglinton West Station. 

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsLooking east onto Eglinton West Station, image by Camil Rosiak

Currently, work is ongoing both east and west of the existing Line 1 subway tunnel, where former parking lots are in the process of being converted into new entrances for the Crosstown. Construction cranes surround the station, which is set to house a new Crosstown platform underneath the current subway line.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsLooking east from Eglinton West Station, image by Camil Rosiak

On Eglinton East, meanwhile, an increasing number of roads are being temporarily shut as construction continues. At the intersection of Lillian Street just east of Yonge, much of Eglinton Avenue has been closed off as large cisterns and generators now take up the middle of the road (below), reducing traffic to two lanes.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto by Metrolinx, Crosstown Transit SolutionsLooking east on Eglinton from Lillian Street, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor ehlow

Below grade, the TBMs continue their progress, with Dennis and Lea having recently reached as far east as Menin Rd (just east of the Allen), while Don and Humber TBMs have been moved to the Brentcliffe launch site in the east end. The progress of the TBMs can be tracked on Metrolinx's Crosstown site here.

For more information about the Crosstown LRT, visit the dataBase files for some of the stations, linked below. To get involved in the discussion, check out the associated Forum thread or a leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of the page.