Scarborough Subway Extension FAQs
We know you have questions about the Scarborough Subway Extension, and we have answers. Below, you will find answers to the most asked-about topics for this important project.
If you have a question that isn't answered below, please reach out to us at ScarboroughSubwayExtension@metrolinx.com so that a member of our team can help you.
Why isn’t the previous LRT proposal on the table anymore?
We acknowledge that there have been many discussions on how to improve rapid transit in Scarborough over the years, and now we are moving forward with a solution. That solution is the three-stop subway extension that was announced in the 2019 budget. We’ve already awarded Strabag the tunnelling contract with work now underway at the launch shaft site, at the northeast corner of Sheppard and McCowan.
The three-stop extension will provide seamless travel for Scarborough residents heading into and out of the downtown core by eliminating the need to transfer at Kennedy Station. There are proposed stops at Lawrence Avenue and McCowan Road, Scarborough Centre and McCowan Road and Sheppard Avenue.
It will connect to a number of other transit systems to make it easier to travel within the city and beyond. Kennedy Station will provide connections to GO train services and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and a station at Scarborough Centre will connect to GO and Durham Region transit bus services. There will also be local TTC bus connections at every stop along the extension.
This extension will provide Scarborough residents with the same kind of connected and seamless subway service that residents have in other areas of the city.
When will you know the specific locations of station buildings and entrances?
These details will evolve throughout the design and procurement process as teams gather more information, including details on ground conditions, community and environmental impacts, and potential for partnering with developers. We will continue to finalize the exact alignment as more planning work is done as part of the Full Business Case.
Why did we go from two launch shafts to one? Would that not extend the project timeline?
We refined our construction approach to go from two launch shafts to one, including only using one TBM, to reduce disruptions to the community, especially around the Scarborough Health Network’s General Hospital. The excavation required for the extraction shaft near the hospital, at Lawrence and McCowan, would have been 40m deep, meaning the work would take a long time and be disruptive to the surrounding area. We also wanted to reduce our construction footprint in the Eglinton and Midland area and we’ve done so by changing our construction plans to an extraction shaft, which requires a smaller construction site than a launch shaft.
One of the main reasons that this refined plan doesn’t affect the project’s schedule is because the deep excavations needed at the Lawrence and McCowan would have taken a lot of time and the second tunnel boring machine wouldn’t have been able to start tunnelling until much later in the project schedule.
Will the trains and stations be fully accessible?
The entire line, including station buildings, access points, elevators and ramps, will meet or exceed all necessary accessibility standards.
Do the plans for the extension account for future transit expansion along Sheppard (either LRT or subway)?
Our current plans at the Sheppard/McCowan terminus station will protect for future expansion considerations, including the proposed Sheppard subway.
With a TTC report predicting that Line 3 (the Scarborough RT) will have to be decommissioned in 2023, 7 years before the extension is completed, how will you serve residents between then and when you finish the extension?
We are committed to advancing discussions with the City of Toronto and the TTC to better understand what options and alternatives they may need to put in place to keep people moving, quickly and easily. We know how important it is to ensure the people of Scarborough have access to rapid transit. Getting the Scarborough Subway Extension built as quickly as possible remains a top priority for Metrolinx and transit riders in Toronto.
Does Metrolinx have any plans for repurposing the existing Scarborough RT infrastructure, or will you cooperate with potential city plans? Does Metrolinx need to demolish the SRT?
Metrolinx doesn’t require the existing Scarborough RT infrastructure to be demolished to build the Scarborough Subway Extension. We will engage with the City and TTC to understand their vision for the future of the infrastructure, which we understand will be the subject of community consultation.
How are you ensuring that people who live or work in properties that you are acquiring, are supported during this difficult time?
We labour over the decisions we make when it comes to acquiring property, and that’s why it takes time to confirm what’s needed.
Each case is considered independently, and every effort is made to reach amicable agreements and compensate property owners with fair market value for any land required. Tenant supports are tailored to specific needs and are determined through discussions during the acquisition process.
We understand that this is an emotional process for people. Whether we have to use a sliver of a backyard for a period of construction or take some land permanently, we have one-on-one discussions with every property owner to work through it together. We take that responsibility very seriously because we understand how connected people feel to the places they live, work, and play.
What is the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020?
The Province recently passed the Building Transit Faster Act, 2020, which provides the Province with tools needed to streamline the delivery and support the accelerated completion of priority transit projects. As part of the Act, land that may be needed for the construction of transit projects is designated as transit corridor lands. This designation will ultimately help Metrolinx streamline the construction of priority transit projects. For more information, visit http://www.metrolinx.com/property.
How were the transit corridor lands identified?
The boundaries for transit corridor lands were set by looking at the existing infrastructure in the area, the route and design of the transit line, and how the project is to be built – factors that are unique to each transit line. This work was conducted by technical teams at Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation.
How will community impacts be mitigated (i.e., noise and vibration)?
Being a good neighbour in the communities we serve is important to us. We have developed and are implementing a construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan with our constructor, Strabag, to anticipate and address any potential disruptions. We have a number of different measures we can put in place to reduce and manage any impacts to our communities including specific limits for construction noise at different times of the day, using water tankers to reduce dust and using construction equipment and methods that minimize noise and vibration.
How will Metrolinx support businesses through construction?
We’re committed to ensuring local businesses remain accessible, visible and successful throughout this important project. We’ll work with the business community to provide customized supports, from making sure store fronts are clear and easy to access, to working together on promotions and incentives, to helping them relocate to other nearby locations if their properties are needed to support construction. We will also be opening community offices along the route where we’ll be available to answer questions, provide updates and help support local businesses through construction.
During construction, we will have a 24-hour hotline giving the community direct access to someone who can listen to their concerns and address any issues. This will be an ongoing process, and we are committed to keeping an open, two-way dialogue going so we can continuously strengthen and improve our supports for local businesses.
Is the construction activity at the northeast corner of Sheppard and McCowan related to the Scarborough Subway Extension?
We identified the northeast corner of Sheppard and McCowan as a site for the launch shaft and the future Sheppard and McCowan station for the Scarborough Subway Extension.
Construction is now underway at this site to build the launch shaft for the tunnel boring machine. To keep up with progress, visit our webpage Metrolinx.com/Scarboroughsubway or follow us on Twitter @ScarbSubwayExt.
Procurement and Next Steps
What is the status of procurement for the project?
To keep the project moving forward as quickly as possible, tunnelling will begin first. On May 25, 2021 Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario awarded the advance tunnel contract to Strabag to design, build and finance the tunnel for the Scarborough Subway Extension. Procurement for the rest of the work started with a RFP issue on September 17, 2021. This includes building the stations, fitting out the tunnel and installing and commissioning the systems to put the subway in service.
What is included in the Stations, Rail and Systems contract?
Metrolinx and IO have released the Request for Qualifications for the Stations, Rail and Systems contract on September 17, 2021. The contract will involve the design and build of stations and emergency exit buildings, fitting the tunnel with track and signals and installing and commissioning the systems for the project, including communications and signalling systems.