Queen and Simcoe Facade Construction Ontario Line


Preserving architectural history at Queen and Simcoe

How Metrolinx is incorporating a historic building into the Ontario Line’s future Osgoode Station

Jul 9, 2024

When the new Ontario Line connection at Osgoode Station opens, one of its entrances will feature a familiar Queen Street building.  

The new subway entrance on the southwest corner of Queen Street West and Simcoe Street will incorporate the east and front-facing walls of the building that formerly occupied the site at 205 Queen Street West.

Future Ontario Line station incorporating the historic façade of the building at 205 Queen St W.

Artist’s rendering of the future Ontario Line station building on the southwest corner of Queen Street West and Simcoe Street (Osgoode), incorporating the historic facade.

Designed by architect Daniel Horsburgh for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and built in 1929, the Ontario Heritage Act-designated building features intricate stonework details and a distinctive pair of fluted columns.

City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 3, Item 1233

Queen Street West in 1931. (City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 3, Item 1233)

How we are preserving this piece of Toronto architectural history

Incorporating major elements of this handsome heritage building into the future Osgoode Station is no small task, but with the Ontario Line, we are committed to crafting a transit legacy that preserves heritage

First, yellow retention towers were installed to safely protect and support the front facade in its original place during construction.  

Queen and Simcoe Facade Construction Ontario Line

The building’s east and front-facing walls, protected by yellow retention towers. (Metrolinx photo)

Then, to give the construction crew full access to the site over the next four years, the entire east wall was moved down the street where it will stay until the site is ready, and then the 300-tonne wall can be carefully moved back into place. 

In addition to a steel framework, an A-frame system was built on both sides of the east wall so it could be safely and securely transported.  

Once the wall was secure in its frame, a hydraulic jack raised the structure millimetre by millimetre. Rollers helped move the wall onto the street and towards its resting place, where it was lowered onto a concrete pad.  

This wall can now safely rest outside the construction zone as the new Ontario Line entrance is completed.  

Celebrating heritage, and progress

The Ontario Line is a 15.6-kilometre subway line that will make it faster and easier to travel within Toronto and beyond.  

It will bring 15 new stations to the city and will run from Exhibition Place, through the heart of downtown, all the way to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT at Don Mills Road. 

In addition to the facade at Queen Street West and Simcoe Street, Metrolinx is working to preserve building facades and heritage elements and continuing the story of Toronto’s architectural history for a new era. 

by Truc Nguyen Senior Editorial Content Producer