Ontario Starts Tunnelling the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension
TORONTO — The Ontario government has officially started tunnelling the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, marking a key milestone for the seven-stop extension that will bring reliable, modern rapid transit to communities in Etobicoke and Mississauga.
“Our government is getting it done and delivering the largest subway expansion in Canadian history,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We are getting shovels in the ground for this historic project and building world-class transit that will make life easier for the people of the GTA, while supporting the creation of thousands of jobs and spurring economic growth for decades to come.”
Two tunnel boring machines at the Renforth launch shaft site will dig the over six-kilometre twin tunnels underground along Eglinton Avenue West, forming the underground section for the extension between Renforth Drive and Scarlett Road. The machines will operate approximately 20 metres deep and move about 10 to 15 metres a day.
“The start of tunnelling marks an important milestone for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project, which will provide more Canadians with an efficient and affordable way to get to work, school, and access essential services,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our Government is working with the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto and the City of Mississauga to create jobs, grow the economy, and build inclusive communities.”
The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will extend the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT service another 9.2 kilometres, creating a continuous rapid transit line along Eglinton Avenue from Scarborough into Mississauga and Etobicoke. The extension will support as many as 4,600 jobs annually during construction and attract 37,000 daily boardings by 2041.
“By building more kilometres of new subway service to extend the existing Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will make a significant difference for the people of Etobicoke and Mississauga that depend on transit to get to and from work and other key destinations,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Under Premier Ford’s leadership, our government is building better public transit, relieving gridlock on our roads and unlocking job and housing opportunities. We are working at an unprecedented pace to make progress on each of our priority subway projects and the start of tunneling on this project is a key indicator that we’re getting the job done.”
Ontario’s bold transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area includes a commitment of nearly $17 billion from the province for construction. Last May, the Government of Canada announced over $10 billion in funding for Ontario’s four priority subway projects in the Greater Toronto Area – the largest joint investment in transit in the region’s history – which includes the all-new Ontario Line, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will run underground from Renforth Drive to Scarlett Road, where it will then run on an elevated guideway to Jane Street before heading underground again to connect with Mount Dennis Station.
In February 2020, Ontario and the City of Toronto announced the signing of the Ontario-Toronto Transit Partnership Preliminary Agreement, confirming their partnership to deliver on the government’s plan to build the four priority subway projects faster, including the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
In July 2021, West End Connectors broke ground at the Renforth launch shaft site for the arrival of the tunnel boring machines in December.
Each tunnel boring machine is 6.7 metres in diameter and can tunnel 75 metres per week and remove 500 cubic metres of earth each day.
"The importance of this project for the people of Mississauga and the GTA cannot be understated. This is one of the many investments our Government has made in public transit to connect residents across the GTA, and will transform the way people in our community get around."
- The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport
"Today is a historic day for the west end of Toronto as our government is following through on its commitment to improving transit and creating a more successful and connected future for our province. The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will make it easier, faster and more convenient for Ontarians to access resources, get to work or school, and connect with loved ones. Our government is building Ontario by providing people with the transit connections they need and deserve for generations to come."
- Kinga Surma Minister of Infrastructure and MPP for Etobicoke Centre
"Today, we’re one step closer to bringing rapid transit further into Mississauga and Etobicoke! The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is a crucial part of connecting the grid by bringing faster, more convenient transit options to the GTA – including connecting more people to key destinations like the Airport Employment Zone – Canada’s second largest employment hub. Once again, our government is getting to work to make it easier for people to get from Point A to Point B."
- Stan Cho Associate Minister of Transportation
"Residents in my community of Etobicoke Centre and I have long advocated for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension Project to be tunnelled. With the start of tunnelling, people will be able to see this project taking shape in real time."
- Yvan Baker Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre
"This project will reduce commute times for Mississauga residents, cut pollution and provide an affordable means of transportation for thousands of people. Our Government will continue to invest to make life more affordable for GTA residents."
- Iqwinder Gaheer Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Malton
"A big tree full of fruits starts with a seed. Today, we are laying the seed for a world-class infrastructure for the city of Mississauga. This historic investment in the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension unleashes Ontario by helping move people faster, so that families can spend more time on what matters most – time with their loved ones. It is yet another step our government is taking to ensure Ontario is the best destination to invest, live, work, and thrive."
- Deepak Anand MPP for Mississauga–Malton
"This is all good news for our city and our residents. We are working together and getting on with building much-needed transit lines in Toronto that will not only help us move people around our city but connect residents to other parts of the region. The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will create more opportunities for residents by connecting them to other parts of the city and to places where they can work, play and go to school. I want to thank both the federal and provincial governments for investing in transit in Toronto and for helping us create a more liveable city for generations to come. It is so important for Toronto, Ontario, and Canada that this city comes back stronger than ever. I am confident we can do it if we work together, build on our strengths and successes, and move forward. This project is an important step in that direction."
- John Tory
Mayor of Toronto
"Today’s announcement means we’re one step closer to connecting the Eglinton Crosstown to Mississauga’s transitway, which will make it so much easier for residents to travel across Mississauga and beyond. I want to thank both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada for their commitment to strengthening public transit in Mississauga and across the GTHA. These investments are critical to improving people’s lives, helping us reach our climate targets and spurring economic growth."
- Bonnie Crombie Mayor of Mississauga
"I’m so excited to see the team pressing forward on this project for the people of the GTA. This project and the others that make up our Subway Program are part of the largest subway expansion in recent history. Together, they will add more than 40 kilometres of new subway service to the region’s transit network and make it much easier to choose transit first."
- Phil Verster President and CEO of Metrolinx
"It’s an exciting day for transit infrastructure, as the massive tunnel boring machines – Rexy and Renny — begin carving out the tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Together with our partners, we are delighted to mark this milestone – a great step forward in extending fast, efficient and accessible transit westward from Mount Dennis to Renforth Drive."
- Michael Lindsay President and CEO, Infrastructure Ontario