Regional growth and economic expansion can only succeed if infrastructure investment follows along. Along a ribbon that cuts through Toronto's west side, Metrolinx is making major investments in their Georgetown Rail Corridor. Increased GO Transit rail service and the coming Union Pearson Express (UPX) train will make getting to work or catching your flight easier and more comfortable. If a certain provincial election promise is kept for future high speed rail through the corridor to London, the use and importance of these tracks in our regional transport system will increase even further. Today we will take a look mostly at work and plans in the area between Bloor Street and the West Toronto Diamond.

We will start just to the east of the intersection of Dundas and Bloor Streets, where steel frame work is now up for the improved and enlarged Bloor station. While it continues to serve GO trains that pass by on the way between Union Station and Toronto's western suburbs, the station is being readied to handle more people and the new airport UPX train.

Bloor Union-Pearson Express Station street level entrance, photo by Forum member drum118

Set for a grand re-opening in early 2015 and prior to the Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games, we can expect to see work moving quickly here over the summer to meet the deadline. Thanks to forum Member drum118 whose photo above illustrates how the final product is currently stacking up against its promising renderings, below.

Bloor Union Pearson Express Station project rendering, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Bloor Union-Pearson Express Station under-construction at track level, photo by Forum member drum118

To the north of Bloor Station, work on realigning the track is progressing while new grade separations are completed allowing more trains to past through this former at-grade crossing. 

Track realignments are seen in the foreground while grade separation takes place in the background, image by Craig White

With multiple new and increased services, Metrolinx in consultation with the local community, have been developing their Noise Wall designs to keep the decibels down. The finalized plans and designs have now been released with a helpful set of renderings, maps and legends to guide you along the tracks. The finalized plans call for a mixture of vegetation, concrete, clear panels and splashes of colour, visible on both to the city and rail sides of the walls. A full map and legend can be found here.

Noise Barrier Schematic Between St Clair Avenue West and Bloor Street West

Abutting this long stretch of the rail corridor is the widely used and much loved West Toronto Rail Path. A big draw for recreational and commuter users of the path is its airy and open feeling in a distinctly urban setting. In response to this valuable asset for commuters and locals alike, the noise wall designs incorporate clear and coloured panels. The transparent design will also help to ensure that the path remains safe and inviting to all users. In the rendering below where transparent panels will be used, we see the desired look where the century-old Wallace Avenue Footbridge crosses the corridor.

Wallace Avenue Bridge Crossing the Rail Corridor rendering, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Meanwhile, progress hums along on all portions of the route. At Pearson International Airport, the station exterior is virtually complete while work progresses on doors, and interior finishes and systems for the station.

Pearson International Airport Union-Pearson Express Station, photo by Craig White

As the project moves forward, UrbanToronto will keep a close eye and provide details on the latest developments. Check out the project dataBase entry below for more renderings and info, or jump into our Forum and join in on the discussion. You may always leave a comment on this page of course!

Related Companies:  AECOM, Carillion PLC, City of Toronto, EllisDon, entro, Entuitive, FGMDA, Hatch, Metrolinx, MMM Group Limited, Morrison Hershfield, NORR Architects, PARTISANS, Priestly Demolition Inc., RJC Engineers, WSP, Zeidler Partnership Architects