Winning names for the new subway tunnel boring machines revealed
After thousands of votes from the community, the winning names are in - find out what they are.
Jan 27, 2022
The results are in, and they are heavy on the puns (sorry, Diggy McDigface didn’t win).
After months of voting and deliberation, the winning names are decided for the Scarborough Subway Extension’s tunnel boring machine (TBM) and the two TBMs that will build the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension’s twin tunnels.
And the winners are:
- Diggy Scardust for the Scarborough Subway Extension’s TBM
- Rexy and Renny for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension’s TBMs
How we got here
In October 2021, Metrolinx launched two naming contests to crowdsource the names of the earth-digging superstars that will build the tunnels for two major subway projects in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Metrolinx received hundreds of submissions for names from the community and shortlists of names were published for people to vote on.
After receiving thousands of votes from the community, Diggy Scardust, Rexy, and Renny were the names that really stuck.
Who came up with the winning names?
Jean-Pierre Veilleux, who submitted ‘Diggy Scardust’ for the Scarborough Subway Extension’s TBM, was thrilled to receive the news. His submission was inspired by Boaty McBoatface, but he really wanted to make it relevant to Scarborough.
“Diggy was already on my mind and it took a half second to get to ‘Ziggy Stardust’. With the assonance of ‘Star’ and ‘Scar’ for ‘Scarborough’, the leap was pretty immediate,” said Veilleux.
“Coincidentally, 2022 also marks the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ album.”
Not only does the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension have two TBMs, it also has two winners for its TBM naming contest: Steven Sansano, who submitted the names Rexy and Renny as a pair, and Ryan Bignell, who also submitted the name Renny.
These names are a tribute to Renforth Station (Renny) in Mississauga and the Rexdale neighbourhood (Rexy) in northwest Toronto that is adjacent to the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
Sansano and Bignell each echoed Veilleux’s excitement when they learned they had submitted the winning names.
Sansano’s submission was inspired by the connection between transit and the community.
“Public transit is very important to a community because it makes that community more accessible to the entire population and brings people closer together,” said Sansano, explaining why he submitted the name Rexy.
“Renny is for Renforth Station, which is an important hub connecting Mississauga Transit, GO Transit, and TTC all in one location.”
The journey to the starting line
Rexy, Renny and Diggy Scardust have been making their way to their respective launch shafts after arriving in Canada last month.
Assembly has started for all three machines and will continue over the next few months.
Depending on site conditions and public health guidelines in the spring, the winners will be invited to take a photo with these machines before they are lowered into the ground.
Metrolinx News will continue to bring you the latest ‘boring’ updates about Rexy, Renny and Diggy Scardust’s tunnelling journeys as they progress.
Hopefully with a few more puns along the way.
For the latest Scarborough Subway Extension updates, click here.
And for the latest information about the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, click here.
by Joshua Patel Metrolinx communications senior advisor, subway program, Kimberly Murphy Metrolinx senior advisor, subway program