Ontario Breaks Ground on First Eglinton Crosstown LRT Station
New LRT Will Create Jobs, Drive Economic Growth and Improve Quality of Life
Construction has begun on Keelesdale Station, the first of 25 stations to be built for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT). The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is the largest public transit project currently under construction in Canada and represents the single biggest expansion of urban rapid transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in more than half a century.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the ground-breaking ceremony today to celebrate this milestone in the modernization of Ontario's transit infrastructure. The province has invested $5.3 billion toward the capital costs of the LRT line, which is expected to begin service in 2021.
New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people across the region. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will also help lower greenhouse gas pollution from Ontario's transportation sector. The new LRT line will have 25 stations and stops along Eglinton Avenue between Weston Road and Kennedy Station, and will also link to 54 bus routes, three TTC interchange subway stations and GO Transit.
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- about $160 billion over 12 years -- for projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. The planned investments would support 110,000 jobs on average every year across the province. In 2015, the province announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life.
Investing in priority transit infrastructure is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- By 2031, the new, efficient line is expected to carry approximately 5,500 passengers per hour during peak travel times, with daily boardings estimated to be 162,000 and an annual ridership of about 50 million.
- At the peak of construction, approximately 2,500 workers will work on the project and 90 per cent of the labour will come from the Greater Toronto Area.
- Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are working together to deliver the Crosstown, which will remain publicly owned and controlled.
- Metrolinx’s The Big Move plan will triple the length of rapid transit service in the GTHA to 1,725 kilometres; increase the percentage of people living within two kilometres of rapid transit to 81%; reduce commute times to an average of 77 minutes per person per day; and decrease greenhouse gas emissions from passenger transportation per person by 29%.
- A recent report by the Broadbent Institute and the Centre for Spatial Economics found that, on average, investing a dollar in public infrastructure in Canada raises GDP by $1.43 in the short term and up to $3.83 in the long term.
“Every dollar we spend on transit — here in Toronto and across Ontario — grows our economy, creates jobs and strengthens our cities and communities. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT project is part of our record investment in infrastructure that is improving quality of life today, creating jobs and building a sustainable and prosperous tomorrow for the whole province.”
“We are making considerable progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. The start of construction of the Keelesdale station is an important milestone and further proof of our government’s commitment to provide accessible, modern transit infrastructure that will reduce commute times, create jobs and improve the quality of life for Ontarians.”
Steven Del Duca
“With the start of construction of Keelesdale station, we’re one step closer in making the Eglinton Crosstown LRT a reality. As the province’s largest public transit construction project in more than a half century, this state-of-the-art public transit line will reduce traffic congestion and improve the flow of goods and services in and around Toronto.”
“We are excited to move into this next phase of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project – building the stations and stops, track and signal infrastructure and maintenance and storage facility to support the line. The Crosstown is one of Metrolinx’s key projects that will transform the way Toronto and the region moves with a fast, convenient and integrated transit network.”