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Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension wins Canadian Project of the Year Award

October 28, 2015

The Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) annually presents the Canadian Project of the Year Award to a team that has significantly contributed to a project in Canada that demonstrates the highest level of engineering skill, insight and understanding of underground construction.

This year’s winner is the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Twin Tunnels Project. The award was presented at the TAC 2015 Annual Awards Dinner, held on Monday, October 5, 2015 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.


TAC Award

TBM (tunnel boring machine) tunnelling progressed with minimal settlements and excellent ring build quality being achieved. The project overcame a number of challenges associated with the alignment which passes near or directly beneath many existing buildings, as well as sensitive buried and surface utilities. Detailed assessment of the settlement effects of tunnelling on these buildings was performed which identified a key concern with tunnelling beneath the York University’s Schulich Building.  Tunnelling beneath the Schulich Building was completed with maximum achieved movement of less than 3mm.

Also, a triple-track section required for the turnback of trains was located beneath an existing power transmission corridor and major gas pipelines. Following a detailed analysis of options, the Sequential Excavation Method (SEM) was selected as a superior alternative which involved a multi-stage excavation and lining sequence – the first large scale implementation of this tunnelling methodology in the Toronto area. This was also the first major use of SEM in soft-ground in Canada.

Other project innovations included the introduction of guide rods on the segment radial joints that significantly improved ring build quality and tunnelling productivity, and the first use of steel-fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) lining rings (100 ring test section) on a transit tunnel in Canada.


Owner: Toronto Transit Commission
• Tunnel & Shaft Designer: Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM)
• Geotechnical Consultant: Golder Associates
• Contractors:
o North Twin Tunnels Contract: OHL/FCC Joint Venture
o South Twin Tunnels Contract: MKA Partnership (McNally, Kiewit, AECON)
• Construction Management – Integrated project team consisting of TTC and consultant staff (Hatch Mott MacDonald, MMM Group, Parsons, Morrison Hershfield)

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