eglinton crosstown west extension

Ontario just started work on yet another huge transit line in Toronto

If you thought Toronto had already undergone the worst of construction on all of the new transit lines in the city, you're in for a treat, because the province has yet to get into the thick of work on the biggest public transportaion expansion in Canadian history.

Housing, transit, businesses, amenities — we need it all as the region continues to expand. Premier Doug Ford and his team have created an overwhelmingly ambitious 30-year transit plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe area, which includes two subway extensions and an LRT extension, along with a completely new subway line and three new LRT lines.

While the storied Eglinton Crosstown LRT has now finally essentially finished after more than a decade, work is now starting on its westward extension, though the line has yet to start accepting passengers.

Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory were among those present to break ground on the extension on Monday, with Ford himself turning on one of the ginormous alien-looking tunnel boring machines. (They actually have names, too: Rexy and Renny.)

Upon completion, the 9.2 km track will stretch seven stops from the western terminus of the Crosstown at Mount Dennis Station over to Renforth, and eventually to Toronto Pearson International Airport via a new connection.

Most of the line will be underground, with access to local public transit like the Kitchener GO Line, and the Mississauga MiWay and GO along the way.

The above ground portions, meanwhile, will appear as illuminated ribbon-like elevated guideways alongside the road, avoiding local green spaces.

While Tory admitted that transit construction is "never easy" and will require patience, he reassured that it must happen for the end result.

"We'll be working with Metrolinx to make sure that the help residents and businesses get through what is often a very challenging construction phase, but make no mistake: transit expansion is good news," he said.

"This once-in-a-lifetime transit expansion and upgrading underway right now means jobs, construction jobs in this workplace. Workplaces in the future are going to be constructed around this transit, and it means faster and more reliable transit connections to make lives easier for the people who live here now and who will live here going forward. And that in turn will mean less vehicles on the roads."

Thankfully, construction on the extension is not set to disrupt traffic on Eglinton Avenue West nearly as much as work on the LRT did, which was enraging for drivers, pedestrians and businesses alike.

Next up will be work on the 15-stop, 16ish km-long Ontario Line subway, the biggest (and thus most beneficial but also most inconveniencing) of all.

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