Ontario Line rendering of Bruce Mackey Park - from the joint corridor design competition

Ontario Line progress for Toronto’s east end

Major transformation underway to bring almost 30,000 people closer to transit.

Jul 21, 2023

Work is underway for the Ontario Line in the Lakeshore East rail corridor, bringing transit upgrades to neighbourhoods surrounding the sites of the future East Harbour, Riverside-Leslieville and Gerrard stations.

New rail bridges as well as new retaining walls and noise walls around the rail corridor are all critical parts of the work in this vibrant part of Toronto. Roughly ten years after the line is up and running, almost 30,000 people will live within a 10-minute walk of rapid transit between the three new Ontario Line stations being delivered in this community. 

Redeveloping rail bridges

New rail bridges at Eastern Avenue, Queen Street, Dundas Street and Logan Avenue will revitalize neighbourhoods, accommodate more transit trips, and improve traffic flow.

The bridges, which currently accommodate both GO and VIA Rail services, are located within the shared rail corridor where Ontario Line tracks will also run.

The bridges need to be replaced to reposition existing GO tracks to make room for the Ontario Line, and for expanded GO services. Ontario Line bridges will be built next to the new GO rail bridges.

Ontario Line Lakeshore East joint corridor early works - map of rail bridges

Overview map of the bridges to be redeveloped for Ontario Line and GO Expansion. (Metrolinx map)

Replacing the old bridges will also leave the community with upgraded infrastructure that will last for at least another 100 years.

Traffic and transit impacts

Bridge construction in the area will result in some temporary traffic and transit impacts:

  • Eastern Avenue will only be open to local traffic between Broadview Avenue and Logan Avenue during the week of July 24 to 27 from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., and from 8 p.m. on Friday, July 28 to 5 a.m. on Monday, July 31.
  • Queen Street will only be open to local traffic between Broadview Avenue and Logan Avenue during the weekend of Aug. 12 to 14, one day on Sept. 24, and the weekend of Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. 
  • Dundas Street East will only be open to local traffic between Broadview Avenue and Logan Avenue during the weekend of Oct. 14 to 15. 
  • Logan Avenue will only be open to local traffic between Gerrard Street East and Dundas Street East during the weekend of Oct. 21 to 22. 

During the above road closures, the areas immediately around and under the bridges will be fully closed and there will be no access for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. 

Future Ontario Line station spanning Queen St E east of Degrassi St (Riverside-Leslieville).

Artist’s rendering of the future Ontario Line Riverside-Leslieville Station. (Metrolinx image)

Temporary transit service changes will also take place:

  • The 501 streetcar will be replaced with bus service during Aug. 12 to 14 weekend, and between Sept. 3 and Oct. 8. Detour routes will be announced early and posted on the TTC website.
  • On some weekends, including July 21 to 23, train service on the Lakeshore East GO line will be suspended to safely carry out upgrades in the active rail corridor. Customers can find information about construction-related changes on the GO website.

Road closures and traffic impacts are being closely managed and coordinated with the City of Toronto and TTC to minimize the length of any road or lane closures and to keep people moving. All of the changes will be reflected on Google Maps and Waze and signage will be in place and signage will be in place to keep people moving.

Reference rendering of noise barrier options - Ontario Line

Rendering of studied noise barrier options. (Metrolinx image)

New retaining walls and noise barriers

Construction of retaining walls and noise barriers will also begin this summer. Extending from Eastern Avenue to east of Pape, the new walls will make this neighbourhood quieter than it is today.

Working with the community

A community open house will be hosted on Thursday, July 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre. Residents can learn more about the design competition, the winning designs, upcoming construction, and how the Ontario Line will make it easier to move around Toronto.

For more information on the Ontario Line, visit Metrolinx.com/OntarioLine.

**Editor's note: this story was updated on Sept. 15, 2023 to reflect changes to construction and road closure dates**

by Caitlin Docherty Communications Senior Advisor, Subway Program