ontario line

Here's what the Ontario Line subway will sound like when it's finally finished

As Toronto has learned from the decade-long work along Eglinton for the Crosstown LRT, construction on major transit projects can be far more of a pain than originally anticipated, with exorbitant costs, delays, land expropriation, and neverending headaches for motorists, pedestrians, businesses and nearby residents.

Then there are the impacts after completion, which can range from the positive, such as the obvious perk of better access to other parts of the city and increased real estate value for those in the area, to the not-so-great, like excess noise and the loss of parks and other amenities.

Understandably, there is thus definitely a mix of excitement for and fury about the handful of new multi-billion lines that are on the way for the city, especially the Ontario Line subway, for which Metrolinx has had to set up physical storefronts to field questions and complaints following some packed community meetings.

Very aware of the pushback to the massive project — which will span 15 stops from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre — the transit agency is now going the extra mile to prepare residents for a new subway in their backyards, from asking for a ton of public input on design to a new initiative that simulates what the trains will actually sound like.

An expert firm was hired to record actual sounds from comparable routes and mix a demonstration of what locals in Leslieville and Riverside specifically can expect to hear during the Ontario Line's day-to-day operations.

Citizens can also leave feedback after listening to the virtual simulation, which accounts for walls and vibration mitigation technologies that will be installed to dull the noise from the contentious above ground portions of the tracks.

Sound models for six different locations along the corridor — which will accommodate Ontario Line and GO Train vehicles — show in detail what typical ambient noise is in the area, followed by the sound of Ontario Line trains and GO trains passing by both with and without a barrier, as well as the sound of a typical car driving by for comparison.

It may seem a little much in preparation for a line that is definitely happening regardless, but the simulation will hopefully help people better ready themselves and acclimate to the new line, while feedback will hopefully help determine some finer details.

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