Across central Toronto, deep beneath Eglinton Avenue, and hidden behind the construction hoarding that juts out into the street, lies the construction sites for the Crosstown LRT's 13 underground stations. Today, we take a close look at what's coming at one of those stations when the line opens in 2021.
Cedarvale Station will be the transfer point between the Crosstown LRT and the western leg of Line 1 (Yonge-University Line). The Crosstown will have two other transfer points with the TTC subway network; at Eglinton Station (Line 1 - eastern leg) and Kennedy Station on Line 2 (and for the time being, Line 3 at the station too). It will also have three transfer points to the GO network, at Mount Dennis Station (Kitchener Line and UP Express), Caledonia Station (Barrie Line), and Kennedy Station (Stouffville Line).
As part of the Crosstown project, the station—currently known as Eglinton West—is being renamed after the neighbourhood in which it's located, since the majority of the future underground Crosstown stations are technically located underneath Eglinton Ave West. This marks only the fourth time that an existing TTC subway station has been renamed, the others being Bloor Station becoming Bloor-Yonge Station when the Bloor-Danforth Subway opened, Sheppard Station becoming Sheppard-Yonge Station with the opening of the Sheppard Subway in 2002, and Downsview Station becoming Sheppard West Station with the opening of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension in 2017.
NORR Architects has recently made public updated drawings and renderings of the station complex, providing UrbanToronto the opportunity to take you on a virtual tour of sorts, of Cedarvale Station. Let's start with an overview of the station complex where Eglinton Avenue meets the south end of Allen Road.
One of the first things that may strike you about the station complex is the number of entrances it will have. In addition to the existing entrance to Eglinton West Station, the Crosstown project will add an additional 3. The existing entrance and station building will function primarily as the bus loop, and is unlikely to see a significant amount of walk-in usage, as there are new entrances that are less of a walk from nearly every direction, and allow pedestrian to avoid crossing roads.
The new primary entrance for the station complex is west of the current one, at the corner of Park Hill and Eglinton. For those who live along Marlee Ave and surrounding area, this will be the closest entrance. An interesting landscaping item of note is the combination of tall grass planters and trees, no doubt a concerted effort to reduce the appearance of a large empty swath of concrete surrounding the station entrance.
The new secondary entrance for the station complex will be located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Allen and Eglinton, and will service the neighbourhood to the northeast of the station. The rendering of this entrance below also provides more detail on how the benches will be integrated into the landscaping of the site, with back rests backing onto the tall grass planters. Bicycle racks are also clearly visible.
After entering through one of the two new entrances on the north side of Eglinton, passengers will be directed down to a hallway that runs the full distance between them. At centre of the hallway, it opens up what's called the Upper Concourse, where riders will find fare gates, and access to a pair of Lower Concourses one flight down.
The third new entrance is the sole entrance located on the south side of Eglinton (seen below). At Everden, it is across the from the existing Eglinton West Station entrance, and has direct access to the west-side Lower Concourse. (That access point can be seen on the left in the image above.)
The station is arranged in a T-shape, with the Crosstown platform being centred south of the south end of the existing Line 1 platform, and its connections between the rapid transit lines themselves, are somewhat complex, as are the connections between the rapid transit lines and the surface bus routes.
For riders of Line 1, there will be no change if you want to transfer between that line and surface bus routes: the stairs, escalators, and elevators will remain where they are near and at the south ends of parallel platforms. Riders of the Crosstown, however, will need to chose certain stairs/escalators/elevators and hallways to minimize the transfer time.
The complication mostly ensues from the Line 1 tunnel running through the middle of the Lower Concourse, cutting it into east and west halves. Crosstown riders wishing to switch to Line 1 southbound will want to minimize transfer time by ascending to the West Lower Concourse, from which they can take a hallway to the southbound Line 1 platform, while Crosstown riders wishing to transfer to Line 1 northbound will want to ascend to the East Lower Concourse, from which they can take a hallway to the northbound Line 1 platform. If riders ascend to the wrong side of the Lower Concourse, they can either return to the Crosstown Platform Level, or ascend to the Upper Concourse and then descend to the correct side of the Lower Concourse. If Eglinton West station had been built with a centre platform 40 years ago, this would all be much easier.
Transfers at Eglinton Station will be less complicated, as both lines have centre platforms, meaning that all stairs/escalators/elevators will access the other directions equally. More details about the Crosstown project as a whole can be found on Metrolinx's website.
To keep up-to-date on Crosstown construction, you can visit the forum threads for either Cedarvale Station or the entire Crosstown project. If you would like to share your thoughts on this project, you can do so in either of those forum threads, or in the comments below.