Last week, we previewed the Crosstown LRT station designs revealed at the October 1st meeting of the Design Review Panel (DRP). Together with representatives from Crosslinx Transit Solutions, a consortium that will build, finance, and maintain the line, Metrolinx personnel laid out a distinct and unified aesthetic for Midtown Toronto's upcoming line. Featuring spacious designs that prioritize natural light—fostering a welcoming passenger experience—the glass boxes and minimalist subterranean platforms were well received by the panel. Meanwhile, the LRT network's at grade features were met with a similarly positive reception, with the system's green amenities singled out for particular praise. 

Running from Mount Dennis in the west to Kennedy Station in the east, 10 of 25 stations along the 19 kilometre line will be at grade, with the LRT first emerging from the tunnel approaching Leslie and then remaining above ground for most of its remaining eastern stretch.  The LRT will run along a dedicated right-of-way in the centre of Eglinton Avenue East, before terminating underground at Line 2's Kennedy Station. 

A rendering of Victoria Park Station, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Like the underground stations, the at grade stops will be marked by notes of orange colour, maintaining a cohesive visual identity throughout the network. As with the underground platforms, a minimalist aesthetic characterizes the above ground renderings, with clean lines and unadorned surfaces maintaining the "clarity and simplicity of architectural expression" outlined as one of the project's central design principles.

Bermondsey Station, image courtesy of Metrolinx

The simplicity and minimalism of the network's platforms serves to create a sense of spaciousness and comfort for riders, helping to alleviate the claustrophobia that is becoming an increasingly common part of the Toronto transit experience. A rendering of Bermondsey station shows that large windows make up the majority of the shelter wall (above), connecting the platform with the spaces around it.

A map of the green trackway, image courtesy of Metrolinx

While the outdoor stops are designed with commuter-friendly principles in mind, the LRT's most significant exterior showpiece could likely prove to be its green trackway (mapped above), which would introduce a forward-thinking transit paradigm to a city that has sometimes been more characterized by its paucity of imagination.

A green trackway in Paris, image courtesy of the City of Toronto

Though the specific details of the green trackway—namely which the type of plantings will be used, whether grass, sedum, or other—are still being studied, the presentation called for greenery to be installed along most of the Crosstown's above ground track surface, evidencing an ambitious level of commitment to an aesthetically attractive design feature shown to reduce noise and help offset the urban heat island effect.  

A map of new bike lanes, image courtesy of Metrolinx

In addition the the green trackway, Metrolinx's plan also calls for new bike lanes to be installed along Eglinton Avenue (above). In tandem with the proposed "Eglinton Connects" plan, the Crosstown LRT will bring new cycling infrastructure to one of the city's crucial east-west arteries. Besides the new bike lanes (depicted along the above ground section), each underground station will also feature designated bicycle parking spots at its main entrance, facilitating an easier transition between modes of travel.

Some of the green amenities, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Alongside the green trackway and improved cycling infrastructure, the design proposal features extensive greenery and ecologically friendly features throughout the system's 19 kilometre stretch, with green walls, interim landscapes, and green roofs—on top of stations—making up some of the proposal's landscape improvements (above).

The green elements of the proposal were met with particularly high praise, though questions about the exact composition of the green trackway were raised by the DRP—with grass suggested as a surfaceas the plan's finer details continue to be studied by Metrolinx.

We will keep you updated as the plan's details continues to take shape, and we will return soon with a closer look at the extensive LRT facilities planned at the Mount Dennis terminus. In the meantime, check out dataBase files, linked below, for more information. Want to share your thoughts on the designs? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page, or join in the discussions in one of our Forums, linked below.

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