Waterfront Transit Network Expansion
For the most up-to-date information and to learn more visit the City of Toronto’s Waterfront Transit Reset page. For more information on this project please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Waterfront East LRT (WELRT) project is one of the City’s priority transit projects and will expand the streetcar network in a dedicated right-of-way from Union Station, along Queens Quay East to Cherry Street, to serve the growing East Bayfront and Port Lands neighbourhoods.
This TTC streetcar network expansion will make transit service better to Toronto’s waterfront and improve customer experience and connections to, and integration with, the existing streetcar routes at Union Station.
The Harbourfront streetcar (Union Station to Queens Quay and Spadina) was opened in 1990. Since then, ridership has grown steadily as development along the streetcar route, especially the waterfront, has increased. The existing Union Station streetcar loop can’t accommodate the demand from new riders, particularly when transit is added to the east.
In 2010, the East Bayfront Transit Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed recommending expansion of the streetcar loop at Union Station as a means of providing the infrastructure to serve growing demand, including an interim loop at Parliament Street and future extension of the LRT along an extended Queens Quay to Cherry Street and into the Port Lands.
In 2018, the City of Toronto, in partnership with the TTC and Waterfront Toronto, completed the Waterfront Transit “Reset” study, including a comprehensive assessment of needs and options for transit improvements for the waterfront area. On January 31, 2018, City Council endorsed the overall Waterfront Transit Network Plan.
In April 2019, City Council approved a streetcar loop expansion as the preferred option for the Union-Queens Quay Link and requested staff to commence the preliminary design and engineering (PDE) phase of the project in 2020, and report back to City Council at the completion of the PDE project phase.
In summer 2021, the TTC, the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto held a virtual Community Consultation Meeting for the Waterfront Transit Network Expansion. View the Engagement Summary Report and Appendix for further details about the consultation activities.
In spring 2023, the TTC, the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto hosted three virtual Community Consultations. The meeting materials will be provided when they come available.
The PDE phase of the Waterfront Transit Network Expansion project is a collaborative effort between the City of Toronto (the asset owner), Waterfront Toronto (the tri-government lead for waterfront revitalization), and the TTC (the asset operator).
What we're doing
The WELRT project is divided into three focus segments: Segment 1 – the underground section from Union Station to Queens Quay, Segment 2 – the at-grade section along Queens Quay from Yonge Street to Cherry Street, and Segment 3 – where the line extends further north along Cherry Street to Mills Street and south into the Port Lands.
TTC is responsible for project delivery for Segment 1. Waterfront Toronto is responsible for Segments 2 and 3. TTC is also providing overall technical oversight for the project relating to streetcar infrastructure.
The WELRT project Segment 1 includes the following key scope:
- the reconstruction of Union Station streetcar loop with 4 independently operated platforms, 2 accessible entrance connections, and underground traction power substation;
- reconstruction of the running tunnel section between Union Station and Lakeshore Boulevard;
- accessibility upgrades at Queens Quay-Ferry Docks Station;
- reconstruction of the existing west portal on Queens Quay;
- construction of an east portal on Queens Quay to west of Yonge Street;
- an underground through-travel wye connection between the tunnel portals; and
- associated track and overhead catenary systems works.
The station expansion and upgrade are being designed to enhance accessibility and safety in accordance with the , 2005 (AODA) and the Ontario Building Code.
Artist’s rendering of the future Union Streetcar Station. Design subject to change.
Artist’s rendering of the future Union Streetcar Station typical platform level. Design subject to change.
Artist’s rendering of the new west entrance at Queens Quay-Ferry Docks Station and reconstructed west tunnel portal on Queens Quay (view looking west). Design subject to change.
Artist’s rendering of the new east tunnel portal on Queens Quay, west of Yonge Street (view looking west). Design subject to change.
In collaboration with the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, TTC has prepared the following project videos (click the links):
- The TTC project team continues to work closely with the City and Waterfront Toronto to finalize the PDE phase project deliverables including the 30% Design Submission, Constructability Assessment (adjacent projects coordination), Phasing Plan, Business Case and Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP).
- The City, Transit Expansion and Transportation Planning, with input from the TTC and Waterfront Toronto, is preparing a status update report for the overall project to City Council in 2023.
- Subject to City Council direction, the TPAP process is anticipated to be completed in 2024.
- Detail design phase is not expected to begin until further funding is secured.
On February 19, 2020, City Council approved the TTC’s 2020-2029 Capital Budget, which includes $27 million to complete the Preliminary Design and Engineering phase of the Waterfront East LRT project underground segment.
City of Toronto Reports
- Toronto's Transit Expansion Program - Update and Next Steps (April 2, 2019)
- Attachment 3 - Waterfront Transit Network – Union Station – Queens Quay Link and East Bayfront LRT (April 2, 2019)
- Attachment 1 - Eglinton East Light Rail Transit and the Waterfront Transit Network (November 26, 2020)
- Update on the City's Transit Expansion Projects – Fourth Quarter 2020 (November 26, 2020)
- Advancing City Priority Transit Expansion Projects – Eglinton East LRT and Waterfront East LRT (May 25, 2022)
TTC Board Reports
- Waterfront Transit Network Expansion, Union Station and Queens Quay Link (June 17, 2020)
Transit Network Expansion Update (February 10, 2022)