The province of Ontario and the city of Toronto have signed a revised policy agreement (AIP) for the SmartTrack Stations program, which will end its scope and allow Metrolinx to move forward with five new GO Transit stations.
“With funding from the city of Toronto and the federal government, the city will be able to make use of [roughly 40 kilometers or 24 miles of] Metrolinx’s GO rail infrastructure in Toronto to transform the regional commuter service into an urban transport network, ”Metrolinx said of SmartTrack on 17 August. There would be connections to four existing or planned metro lines and light rail transport services as well as nine local transit services from the feeder bus or tram routes. (See the map above.)
The SmartTrack proposal to use existing GO corridor infrastructure to deliver more frequent transit in Toronto was introduced in 2014.
The SmartTrack Stations program AIP launches the procurement process for the construction of four stations. Metrolinx has broadcast Request for Proposals (RFP) to the stations St. Clair-Old Weston, Finch-Kennedy and King-Liberty and a Qualification Statement (SQ) for the Bloor-Lansdowne station. Prices are expected in the fall. A fifth station, East Harbor, will be provided through Ontario’s Transit-Oriented Communities Program.
All five stations are expected to be open by 2026, according to Metrolinx. By 2041, they are expected to attract a total of 24,000 boardings and transfers during the average weekday in peak weekdays and 3,400 new daily riders to Toronto’s transit system every weekday.
The following are the station’s highlights provided by Metrolinx:
• Finch-Kennedy Station: Located on Finch Avenue East between Milliken Boulevard and Midland Avenue, the station will give GO Stouffville corridor riders access to frequent Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus connections on Finch. It will be equipped with canopies and heated shelters.
• East Harbor Station: “This exchange station on the Lakeshore East GO line is expected to be a major transit hub and will provide seamless connectivity to more GO services and local transit as well as to [planned 15.6-kilometer or 9.7-mile, 15-station free-standing] Ontario Line [subway], ”Metrolinx reported. This new GO Station will be in the Riverdale neighborhood, just east of Don Valley Parkway and south of Eastern Avenue, on the Lakeshore East GO line.
• King-Liberty Station: Located on the Kitchener GO line between the Union and Bloor GO stations, this station will include a closed pedestrian bridge connecting King Street and the High Line with the new platforms, as well as another pedestrian bridge connecting the new platforms with Sudbury Street and Joe Shuster Way.
• Bloor-Lansdowne Station: This new station – on Bloor Street West between St. Helen’s Avenue on the Barrie GO line – will have bicycle parking, an entrance at Bloor Street (lower) level and at platform (upper) level, a space and landscaping at platform level, a tunnel connecting east and west platforms, and a path to more use from the Davenport Diamond greenway north of Bloor Street to Dundas, according to Metrolinx. The multi-use trail will be routed next to the Barrie GO Rail Corridor and will provide connection to the West Toronto Railpath, the agency noted.
• St. Clair-Old Weston Station: This station is located on Union Street north of St. Clair Avenue West, between Bloor and Mount Dennis GO stations on the Kitchener GO rail corridor. It will include two new station buildings connecting with Union Street, bicycle parking, two pedestrian tunnels connecting the east and west platforms. Connections to Gunns Road and St Clair Ave West will also be available.
“As travel patterns change, we know how important it is for Torontonians to be able to use transit to get around their city,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster. “In partnership with the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto, we are pleased to enable the use of GO Transit’s rail infrastructure to build stations that will further enhance the city’s transit network.”