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Hydro One Project, Downtown

DSC

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Originally built in the 1950s, the underground cables located between our Esplanade Transformer Station (TS) and Terauley TS are reaching their end of life and will be replaced to ensure that we continue to energize the city’s most crucial institutions. The map below shows the tunnel route selected for the new cables through the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process completed for the project in June 2020. The new underground tunnel will run between the stations at a depth of approximately 25 metres below ground in bedrock within existing road allowances.

In addition to the installation of the new tunnel, new tunnel access shafts will be constructed at both Esplanade TS and Terauley TS.

From: https://www.hydroone.com/about/corporate-information/major-projects/power-downtown-toronto

They are starting the excavation for the tunnel at The Esplanade & Lower Sherbourne this week.

About a decade ago they dug a similar tunnel from The Esplanade TS to the TS at Front & Windsor - there was really very little sign of it being dug.
 
View attachment 407557

Originally built in the 1950s, the underground cables located between our Esplanade Transformer Station (TS) and Terauley TS are reaching their end of life and will be replaced to ensure that we continue to energize the city’s most crucial institutions. The map below shows the tunnel route selected for the new cables through the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process completed for the project in June 2020. The new underground tunnel will run between the stations at a depth of approximately 25 metres below ground in bedrock within existing road allowances.

In addition to the installation of the new tunnel, new tunnel access shafts will be constructed at both Esplanade TS and Terauley TS.

From: https://www.hydroone.com/about/corporate-information/major-projects/power-downtown-toronto

They are starting the excavation for the tunnel at The Esplanade & Lower Sherbourne this week.

About a decade ago they dug a similar tunnel from The Esplanade TS to the TS at Front & Windsor - there was really very little sign of it being dug.

Ahh, so that's the project I passed walking up Sherbourne........... I might have a photo on my camera, but probably not, I remember thinking it didn't look overly interesting but making a mental note to follow up.....

But here @DSC has been kind enough to do the work for me!
 
I love this stuff -- so much hidden infrastructure below our feet. I was curious about what the current route is, so I dug through the EA materials and found this map:
Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 11.53.18 PM.png


This slide helped me visualize the tunnel (larger than I expected!):
Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 11.54.09 PM.png

So then I got to wondering, if this is 25m deep, is it going to be above or below the Ontario Line tunnel at Sherbourne and Queen?
Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 11.59.47 PM.png


Looks like the Ontario Line is also about 25m deep here! Let's hope the engineers are talking to each other. 😅
 
I wonder what the plan is for the life expired cable once the new one is switched in. The cable route passes near Toronto Hydro’s Copeland Station (at the Roundhouse) and the Windsor Station at Front - is it likely the current tunnel could be refitted to provide alternate/reinforcement routing?
 
I wonder what the plan is for the life expired cable once the new one is switched in. The cable route passes near Toronto Hydro’s Copeland Station (at the Roundhouse) and the Windsor Station at Front - is it likely the current tunnel could be refitted to provide alternate/reinforcement routing?
The two tunnels are quite separate. About 15 years ago they linked The Esplanade transformer station with the one at Windsor Street by tunneling below Front Street; this is another link going from The Esplanade to the station on Bay just south of Dundas. (There has also been a tunnel made in recent years to link the Copeland Station (which is new) to Windsor - this was designed to allow parts of Windsor to be turned off while being upgraded.
 

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