Project Newsletter - Winter 2011
December 23, 2011
Official Launch of Tunnel Boring Machines
On June 17, 2011, more than 200 dignitaries, invited guests and media assembled at the site of the future Sheppard West Subway Station to celebrate the offi cial start of tunnel boring construction for the new Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension TYSSE).
Dignitaries at the ceremony included the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment; the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, then Ontario’s Minister of Transportation (now Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs); Monte Kwinter, Member of Provincial Parliament for York Centre; His Worship Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto; York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch; and Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz.
Holey, Moley, Yorkie and Torkie, the offi cial names of the four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will bore and build the tunnels for the TYSSE project, were chosen in a naming contest. During the launch ceremony, contest winners Tom Cohen and Rosa Rinella received commemorative glass sculptures of a TBM, as a token of thanks for participating in the contest.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and contest winner Tom Cohen
York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch and contest winner Rosa Rinella
The launch event concluded with an exciting pull of the ceremonial lever by the dignitaries at the ceremony, marking the start of tunnelling!
From Right to Left: Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs; York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch; His Worship Rob Ford,
Mayor of Toronto; Toronto Transit Commission Chair Karen Stintz; Honourable Peter Kent,
Minister of the Environment; Monte Kwinter, Member of Provincial Parliament for York Centre.
TBMs can drill up to 15 metres a day and will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to complete the subway extension.
Tunnelling is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The new subway line will open in late 2015.
What's Happening Now?
Two pairs of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will bore 6.8 kilometres of new subway tunnels in preparation for the new Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension. Holey and Moley will build all of the tunnels south of Finch West Station. Holey started tunnelling at the Sheppard West launch shaft and has now passed under the fi rst milestone, Sheppard Avenue West, and is on its way north to the Finch West Station site. Following in the adjacent tunnel is Moley, which has begun to drive north.
The second set of tunnel boring machines, Yorkie and Torkie, are drilling the tunnels north of the Finch West Station site. Yorkie has started the fi rst tunnel drive from the launch site at Steeles West Station, and will bore south toward Keele Street. Torkie will follow Yorkie, boring southbound in an adjacent tunnel. Both machines will end at the Finch West Station site. Once this drive is complete Yorkie and Torkie will be moved to the Highway 407 Station launch site to build the remaining tunnels.
TYSSE New and Improved Website Launched
Early in October, the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension launched an updated project website. This colourful, friendly site provides visitors with opportunities to fi nd out about current construction activities and learn more about the project through newsfeeds and user-interactive construction activity maps. Below are a few new features we have added to the website: spadina.ttc.ca.
Homepage - introduces the visitor to the website and offers an up-to-date construction newsfeed, a large image that will change regularly, feature boxes that provide timely information, a contact link, and links to TTC Service Alerts.
Stations - features the six new stations under construction. Explore the design images, public art and architectual concept for each design. Newsfeeds are also displayed on each station page.
Updated Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Masthead
Now that the project is well into the construction phase, we have updated the project masthead to symbolize the move from the design phase, bringing the new subway line closer to realization as part of the TTC subway system. We’ve changed the colour of the subway line from red to yellow (the colour of the current Yonge-University-Spadina line), fl ipped the route map to accurately refl ect the correct direction of the new subway line, and added a photo of the new Toronto Rocket.
Finch West Subway Station
The new Finch West Subway Station will be located on Keele Street north of Finch Avenue West, with its main entrance on the west side of Keele and a TTC bus terminal on the east side. Both the main entrance and bus terminal will be distinguished with clear and coloured glass on the main fl oor and a distinct black and white graphic pattern above. The Spadina Group Associates led the design team for the station.
The hydro corridor to the north of Finch West Station will accommodate commuter parking for 358 vehicles, a 10-space passenger pick-up and drop-off facility and the TTC bus terminal with secure parking for approximately 100 bicycles.
The station will incorporate environmental initiatives such as cool (solar refl ecting) and green vegetation-covered) roofs, increased daylight levels and energy efficient lighting in electronic signs, and native and drought-tolerant landscaping.
Public artist Bruce McLean worked closely with the architectural design team Richard Stevens Architects and Alsop Architects to develop artwork for the station that is fully integrated with its architecture. The artwork includes strong sculptural concrete forms that are joined with the supporting columns of the entrance building, the bus canopy and the double-height columns below grade.
Steeles West Subway Station
The new Steeles West Subway Station will straddle the boundary between York Region and the City of Toronto and run diagonally under the intersection of Steeles Avenue West and Northwest Gate at York University. The station will feature a TTC bus terminal on the south side of Steeles and a York Region Transit (YRT) bus terminal on the north side. A large commuter parking lot north of Steeles will be accessed via a protected pedestrian pathway through the YRT bus terminal.
The façades of the entrances to Steeles West Subway Station and the TTC bus terminal will be clad with weathering steel metal panels with matching porcelain
panels at the base. The entrance buildings will be covered with a cool (solar refl ecting) roof, while the TTC bus terminal will have a green roof (covered with vegetation). The entrance buildings’ interior walls also will be clad in weathering steel panels. The Spadina Group Associates led the station’s design team, which includes the architectural firms Richard Stevens Architects and Alsop Architects.
A studio led by brothers Jan and Tim Edler worked closely with the architectural team to develop a concept for the public art called “Light Spell”—a sculpture and cross between art installation and subway station lighting. The interactive installation consists of a suspended array of 62 light elements. Each element is made of 16 controllable lights, which can produce letters, numerals and special characters.
Interesting Facts about the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Project and Tunnelling
- The total estimated cost of the project is $2.6 billion, funded by the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Toronto and The Regional Municipality of York.
- It is estimated that the construction of the subway extension will generate approximately 20,000 jobs during construction.
- The total length of the new subway extension is 8.6 kilometres (6.8 kilometres of tunnels, 1.8 kilometres of cut and cover).
- Cut and cover construction involves excavating a large trench from the surface, building a concrete tunnel or structure and then backfilling and restoring the ground or roadway.
- Six new stations to be built have been designed to achieve a great customer experience through integrated design, bright open spaces, barrier-free access and simple flow of space.
- Service on the new extension is planned to start at the end of 2015.
- For the very first time, TTC subway service will extend beyond Toronto, north to the City of Vaughan in The Regional Municipality of York.
- Tunnel boring machines Holey, Moley, Yorkie and Torkie, will take almost two years to bore nearly seven kilometres of twin tunnels.
- The tunnel boring machine cutter head assembly weighs 50.6 tonnes, equal to the weight of an average humpback whale.
- The total weight of a tunnel boring machine and all of its components is 568 tonnes, and it takes 25 transport trucks to move all of the components.
- Material excavated from the tunnels and stations could fill the Rogers Centre!
- More information about tunnelling can be found on the new project website: spadina.ttc.ca.
Rendering of the Future TTC Subway System Map, Including the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension.