The provincial government officially broke ground on the Ontario Line over the weekend, kicking off what will be several years of construction to build the new Toronto subway line.

On Sunday, Premiere Doug Ford was joined by Toronto Mayor John Tory, Federal Minister of Transportation Omar Alghabra, and Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, among others, for the groundbreaking at Exhibition Station -- the westernmost station of the future 15.6-km line.

“Our government has moved at unprecedented speed to start construction on the new Ontario Line subway,” Ford said. “This project will be a game changer for the city and region and is a key part of our plan to build the roads, bridges, highways and transit needed to move our economy forward.”

The Ontario Line, which will have 15 stops running from Exhibition Place up to the Ontario Science Centre, was most recently estimated to open in 2030. The province, however, has since said it is in the process of providing an updated timeline. In December, the City of Toronto approved seven years of downtown road closures to make way for construction of the subway, with notable closures along King Street West, Bathurst Street, Queen Street West, Spadina Avenue, University Avenue, and King Street East.

On Sunday, Tory noted that although construction won't be easy, the end result will be worth it.

"This is an important milestone in the work all of our governments are doing together to get much-needed transit built," Tory said. "I want to thank the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for working with the City of Toronto to invest billions of dollars in transit in our city. The Ontario Line is a massive transit project that will be a challenge to build in our city but I am confident that we will get this done and deliver the transit that will help ensure Toronto comes back stronger than ever."

Reassuring Businesses

After many years of prolonged construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT having disastrous effects on local businesses, forcing many to shut their doors, Tory, Ford, and Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster all gave assurances that disruptions to businesses from the Ontario Line would be kept to a minimum.

"Eglinton went on for a long time, it was a different kind of project, but the bottom line is we have to do better than that because while there will be benefits to business from these transit lines, at the same time you have to make sure they survive to see the benefits, and that's something we're going to work on together very hard," Tory said.

Commuters are also being considered during construction, with upgrades being made to Exhibition Station to allow GO customers to continue to use the station as the new subway line is built. This will include a new entrance at Atlantic Avenue, shifting the existing GO rail track, and creating a new train platform. There will also be a temporary pedestrian bridge built over the existing GO tracks to provide customers with additional access between Liberty Village and Exhibition Place.

According to Ford, once complete, the subway line is expected to generate up to $11B in economic benefits for the city. Metrolinx is projecting a ridership of 388,000 boardings per day, with trains expected to run every 90 seconds during rush hour. The route will provide connections to more than 40 other transit routes including GO, TTC, and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and by 2041, the line will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14,000 tonnes annually, a provincial release says.

“Public transit plays a pivotal role in reaching our climate goals and reducing congestion on our roads,” said Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc. “The Ontario Line will be a major addition to existing transit options in the GTA, and will enhance commuters’ ability to get to their destination on time and with ease. We are pleased to be partnering with the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto to deliver this transformational project.

New renderings were also released by the province over the weekend, revealing what 14 of the upcoming stations are expected to look like.


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01 future exhibition station aerial view looking east

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02 future ontario line station building at southeast corner of king st w and bathurst st 1


03 future ontario line station building at southwest corner of queen st w and spadina ave 1024x680

03 future ontario line station buildings on southwest and northeast corners of queen st w and spadina ave 1 1


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04 ontario line station entrance at northeast corner of queen st w and university ave osgoode 1024x680


05 ontario lines queen station located on northeast corner of queen and yonge 1024x678

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06 future ontario line station building at moss park looking west 1024x572


07 future ontario line station building at southeast corner of king st e and berkeley st corktown 1024x576


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09 future ontario line station entrance at northeast corner of queen st e and degrassi st riverside leslieville 1024x534

09 future ontario line station spanning queen st e east of degrassi st riverside leslieville 1024x576


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11 future ontario line pape station entrance on the north side of danforth ave east of pape ave 1


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13 future ontario line station on the north side of overlea blvd at thorncliffe park drive 1 1024x686

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13 future ontario line station on the north side of overlea blvd at thorncliffe park drive 1024x678


14 future ontario line flemingdon park station at don mills rd and gateway blvd 1024x576


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