When Metrolinx staff generally talk about "The Big Move", they're referring to their regional transportation plan for Toronto. Today, they could use the term specifically to describe a key part of the project to build the Crosstown LRT line.
About 200 people gathered at 9 AM this morning at the future site of Mount Dennis Station—the initial western terminal for the line—to watch as members of the Crosslinx Transit Solutions team moved the only remaining building on the site about 61 metres (200 feet) on rails to a new location.
The four-storey former Kodak building contains about 1,022 square metres (11,000 square feet) of space and weighs about 3,000 tonnes (tons), so this was a big move, indeed.
Crosslinx is the private consortium building the line for Metrolinx. According to Anders Persson, a Crosslinx engineer, the consortium had already excavated and separated the building from its foundation before today's move. The crew also inserted three girders to serve as tracks under the structure to help move it between locations.
Twenty-four dollies—eight of which were motorized—helped to move the building about eight inches a minute. A team of about six worked under the building to lubricate the dollies and the beams and keep everything moving smoothly, and by about 11 AM, the Crosslinx team had finished relocating the structure to its temporary home.
Kodak formerly occupied the site of the new station, where it manufactured film for nearly 80 years. Most of the buildings on the site were demolished in 2005 but, the former staff recreation area remained and has stood vacant ever since. After consulting with the public extensively in 2010 and 2012, Metrolinx decided to "repurpose" the building as the main hub of the station.
The building that was moved today in its original location. Image courtesy of Metrolinx.
Over the next eight months, the contractors will demolish the original foundation and excavate the space below, using open-cut construction, to form a new foundation for the concourse level of the LRT station. This requires about eight months of work. Once the new foundation is ready, Crosslinx will move the building to its final location and tie in the foundation.
The main level will provide access to GO Transit and Union Pearson Express trains, while passengers can connect with TTC buses and the LRT trains from the lower levels. Metrolinx will also build the maintenance and storage facility for the LRT vehicles on the remainder of the lands to the north of the station site.
An enthusiastic crowd of Mount Dennis residents, Metrolinx, GO Transit, TTC and City of Toronto staff—and former Kodak employees—watched the building move from bleachers on the site. Metrolinx and Crosslinx hosted a community barbecue after the move.
We will follow construction developments at Mount Dennis as milestones occur. You can find out more about what is planned here in the meantime by viewing our dataBase file for the facility, linked below. Want to talk about it? You can join in the discussion in the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.